Breast pump feeding can pass wrong bacteria to baby, scientists reveal

Scientists are warning mums about the dangers of breast pump feeding after they discovered that it can potentially pass the wrong bacteria to baby.

The study stated that using a breast bump introduces the wrong type of bacteria to babies and can also increase their chances of developing asthma.

It is understood that there was a smaller chance of exposing a baby to this bacteria if they are breastfed.

The researchers analysed 393 breast milk samples from mums three to four months after they had given birth.

They tested the bacterial genes in each sample which led them to discover that milk administered from breast bumps had higher levels of opportunistic pathogens including Psudomonadaceae and Stenotrophomonas.

Being exposed to these pathogens can strengthen a baby’s risk of developing respiratory infections. 

Dr. Shirin Moossavi, lead scientist of the study commented on the findings: “Increased exposure to potential pathogens in breast milk could pose a risk of respiratory infection in the infant, potentially explaining why infants fed pumped milk are at increased risk for paediatric asthma compared to those fed exclusively at the breast.”

“To determine if this is the case, there will need to be additional research into how changes in the milk microbiota affect colonization of the infant gut microbiome, which influences health,” Dr. Shirin Moossavi added.

The findings, published February 13 in the journal Cell Host & Microbe.

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