Breastfeeding and Autism Risk  (Friday, Jan. 18, 2013   At

"Have researchers looked at whether breastfeeding or formula feeding affects autism risk"


(This is a piece by Alycia Halladay, PhD, in which she speaks favorably of studies that suggest beneficial effects of breastfeeding in preventing autism.  She provides a link to "a number of research reports  that have considered breastfeeding versus formula.... most show that children with ASD are more likely to have been either bottle fed from birth or weaned early than are comparison groups of children not affected by ASD."  


Going to that link leads to one study carried out in the Sultanate of Oman that came to such a conclusion, one statement by two people in a psychology department who say that breastfeeding, by its contraceptive effect of delaying new pregnancies postpartum, may reduce autism, and one 1989 study in Japan finding that infants who were weaned early, typically because of "conditions" of either the mother or the child, were more likely to turn out to be autistic.  Apparently no other study at that link supports Dr. Halladay's statement of what is "shown" by "most" studies.)  If any reader can find any other study at that link that supports Dr. Halladay's statement, please submit it to for inclusion below. 


(Compare the above rather weak trio of studies with the studies and major other evidence on this subject that can be found at .)

Included below are all comments posted at the above blog as of when this web page was accessed on Feb. 11, 2013.

·         je77ss•24 days ago

I breastfed my son till 14 mos. (his choice) and he was diagnosed will ASD @ age 3. He never had a drop of formula and we didn't start solids till after 6 months. I truly believe has been a healthier child because of breastfeeding but it couldn't prevent autism.


LivingWellWithAutism22 days ago

I breastfed my son until he was almost 3 when he self-weaned after he got his adenoids out to correct sleep apnea. He never received formula, and the only time he was on the bottle was 5 days (of my stored milk) when I was hospitalized for an illness. He was held all the time, I took him to play dates and enrichment experiences, and I was a stay at home mom who doted on him and took pains to foster every aspect of his development. I took prenatal vitamins and ate a balanced, healthy diet with no caffeine, meds, or alcohol while pregnant and breastfeeding. He had access to the best medical care money could buy. AND STILL he developed autism.

Researchers, autism is not mom's fault. I wish to god it was something I did so at least somebody could learn from it. There is nothing MOMS did or didn't do to give or predispose our kids to have autism. Keep looking.

VanessaDoof24 days ago

Nor correlation here, either. I breastfed my son for longer than I care to admit on a public forum. Far beyond the US average. Can we please start looking beyond mother-blaming?

Emily Ray•24 days ago

Perhaps the reason ASD kids don't breastfeed as long relates to their sensory processing issues. My son hated being snuggled close and had a hard time tolerating anything in his mouth (which made it hard for him to also eat solids when the time came). Due to societal pressure to breastfeed, he still received breast milk almost exclusively thanks to a breast pump until he was 10 months old. He still has autism. Society sucks.

Martha•15 days ago

I breastfed mine for two years. He was born with autism so there is no way that breastfeeding made him have autism. He cried so much there is no way I could have taken the time to fix bottles for him. The breast was always available and breast feeding was a comfort to him and helped me relax.


jon's aunt•22 days ago

There are multiple factors. Breastfeeding, or the lack thereof, is only one. Stop looking for someone to blame. Stop trying to pin to one thing. If it were that simple, we would know. Environment, immune system, drugs, food, etc. Keep your eyes ears and minds open people!


angela24 days ago

I breast fed all 3 of my kids and all has Asperger's do more accurate research this is crazy and not accurate.


Jen•24 days ago

My son was breastfed for 13 months, he did not have a single drop of infant formula. He was diagnosed with ASD at 2 1/2. In my personal experience, Austism is not related to infant formula, bottle feeding or early weaning.


Janet at Autism Life Resources7 days ago

I breastfed both of my children until they self weaned.

Both are on the Autistic Spectrum.

Interestingly at 12 months when traveling, at a major international airport, I attempted to feed my daughter some organic top of the line jar baby food and she broke out in hives. My daughter had vigorously refused any solid pureed foods (apples, rice) prior to this.

I decided that she probably knew best and continued breast feeding her and thankfully - and interestingly - she doesn't have the multitude of digestive challenges, including Gluten intolerance, that my son has.

My son was also breast fed for an extended time until he self weaned, but he did accept home made organic food - ground rice and apples - before 12 months.

For the record, both of my children were born at different altitudes (a mile high in Denver, CO, and just above sea level in Herndon, VA), one in the February snow and the other in the July heat and humidity.

My dietary intake were very different with each child too (though always good), as was my support group of friends.

More research please!

Perhaps LLL would like to get involved?


Amandap•9 days ago

i agree with je77ss! My daughter brestfeed till 10 months and was diagnosed with autism!


Michele•10 days ago

I, too breastfed 3 children for more than a year each. I, too, get to say I have a child on the autism spectrum along with (2) typical children. I, too, live my life wondering many what ifs?. I get to wonder what I did wrong when I was pregnant . Too much contact with germs while I was pregnant and teaching elementary students? Did I eat all the right foods? What color were my prenatal vitamins? Some woman asked me that because she is convinced there is a link there, too! I had 3 natural childbirths-no epidurals for me because no drugs would come into contact with my babies. Still wringing my hands about those vaccines. Still wondering if I should have tried any number of interventions that cost a fortune, but have no real science behind them. And like every other outraged mother here, I need to get through adolescence with my Aspie. I have more pressing issues to wring my hands over-like what is going to become of my son who will be 18 in 3 years. Education? Meaningful work? Adult relationships? Will my wonderful daughters be blessed with pregnancies say 15 years from now? If so, will we be able to enjoy the anticipation, or will we all be worrying about the babies they're carrying?Autism Speaks-shame on you for having posted this ridiculous question. You continue to disappoint. You can do better.


Carol Martinez•18 days ago

I also breastfeed my daughter until she was 2 years old. Did not use a drop of formula. Diagnosed with autism at age 3.


Anyah•24 days ago

I breastfed my son until he self-weaned at the age of 2 years. He was breastfed exclusively for the first year, adding only vegetable purees during the second year. He never had any formula and was never given a bottle. He was diagnosed with autism at age three. Absolutely no correlation!


Keelyjaloue•24 days ago

In breast feed my daughter for 14 months and she was diagnosed with ASD at 3


Audrey Humaciu24 days ago

We breastfed until 2 1/2 - no correlation here.


Robyn•24 days ago

I breastfed both my sons till one year of age. One has PDD-NOS, the other does not.



Ditto exactly what Robyn said.



For further information on this subject, including actual information from many scientific studies provided by the CDC, NIH, EPA and other authoritative sources, go to