637 4060 ADDRESS: 60 Mount Street Lower, Grand Canal Dock, Dublin 2 info@merrionultrasound.ie

Scientific Studies Reveal the Multifaceted Benefits of Breastfeeding

Recent scientific studies have continued to unveil the multifaceted benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers. Here’s a roundup of some of the latest findings:

Scientific Studies Reveal the Multifaceted Benefits of Breastfeeding

1. Infant Health and Development

  • Neurodevelopment and Gut Health: A study by the University of Colorado found that breastfeeding significantly impacts the infant gut microbiome in ways that promote brain development and may enhance cognitive performance later in life. This is attributed to the beneficial metabolites produced during breastfeeding that foster a healthy gut-brain axis​ (ScienceDaily)​.

  • Obesity Prevention: Research from Michigan State University highlighted that breastfeeding reduces the risk of childhood obesity. Each additional month of breastfeeding, whether exclusive or not, contributes to a lower body mass index (BMI) in children. This effect is particularly significant for children of mothers who were overweight or had obesity before pregnancy​ (Med Xpress)​.

  • Allergy Protection: Recent studies suggest that certain components in breast milk may protect infants from developing allergies. These tiny molecules, like specific proteins and immune cells, help modulate the infant’s immune system, potentially reducing the risk of conditions like asthma and eczema​ (ScienceDaily)​.

Scientific Studies Reveal the Multifaceted Benefits of Breastfeeding

2. Maternal Benefits

  • Cancer Risk Reduction: Breastfeeding has been associated with a lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. This is especially critical for Black women, who face higher mortality rates from breast cancer. Promoting breastfeeding can be a vital preventive measure for this demographic​ (Med Xpress)​.

  • Mental Health: The act of breastfeeding releases oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and may reduce the risk of postpartum depression. Extended breastfeeding duration correlates with lower rates of postpartum depression, providing both psychological and physiological benefits to mothers​ (Med Xpress)​.

  • Immune System Modulation: A study from the University of California – Santa Barbara discovered that a mother’s immune status changes with her breastfeeding patterns. This variation can influence maternal inflammation levels and overall immune function, suggesting a dynamic interplay between lactation and maternal health​ (ScienceDaily)​.

Public Health Implications

Despite these benefits, breastfeeding rates in many regions fall short of recommendations. The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes the need for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding along with complementary foods up to two years or more. Efforts to support breastfeeding mothers, like paid family leave and workplace accommodations, are crucial to improving breastfeeding rates and, consequently, health outcomes for both mothers and infants​ (World Health Organization (WHO))​.


Barriers and Solutions

Barriers such as inadequate maternity leave policies and insufficient breastfeeding support in workplaces contribute to low breastfeeding rates, particularly among Black and minority women. Addressing these issues through policy changes and public health initiatives can help close the racial and geographic gaps in breastfeeding practices​ (Med Xpress)​.


Future Directions

Ongoing research continues to explore the complex interactions between breastfeeding, infant health, and maternal well-being. Studies are increasingly focusing on personalized approaches to support breastfeeding and investigating the long-term health outcomes for both mothers and children.

For more detailed information on these studies and recommendations, you can explore resources from ScienceDaily and MedicalXpress.

If you are currently pregnant and based in and around the Dublin area, do check our various pregnancy scans Dublin options.


Pregnancy Scans, Testimonials and Information


Nuchal Translucency

12-14 weeks


Anatomy Survey

21-22 weeks


Later Dating

10-17 weeks


Gender Scan

19 weeks onwards


Growth & Well Being

22 weeks onwards


Post Dates & Liquor

40 weeks onwards


What Our Patients Say

Gráinne Macken

This is my second visit to Merrion Fetal, I was very pleased on both occasions. Lovely quiet waiting room, appointment was on time. The 20-week scan is very detailed we enjoyed watching our baby on the large TV screen. We got some beautiful photos. The nurse was very pleasant and talked us through all the measurements and anatomy. I would highly recommend this scanning clinic.”

Áine Gibney

I had the best experience at the Merrion Fetal Health clinic for my 20-week big scan. The staff were so friendly and so nice and the lovely lady who did my ultrasound scan was amazing. She was so thoroughgoing to absolutely everything and gave me such reassurance on how my baby was growing and developing. I would recommend any Mother to be to attend here if you are looking for a comfortable, reassuring and super pleasant experience.”

Linda O'Sullivan

Highly recommend! We had an early scan due to a little scare at the start of pregnancy and then another at 12 weeks to make sure all was good again. Helen who was scanning on both days was fantastic. We felt totally relaxed and un-rushed while she took her time finding the best angle of baby to get us the clearest pictures as keepsakes all while making sure everything was perfect with baby. She reassured us throughout and I can honestly say it was the best money we ever spent getting both scans done.

Please let Helen know we are 18 weeks now and flying along Highly recommend!



About The Clinic

Merrion Fetal Health Pregnancy Scans Dublin 2

About The Consultants

Dr. Rhona Mahony

About The Team

Pregnancy scans lead sonographer at Merrion Fetal Health

Book Your Scan

Screen of Pregnancy Scan

Common Concerns

FAQs - Your Questions


GP Referral Scheme


Health Conditions


Healthy Pregnancy


Medical Studies


Patients' Information


Pregnancy Diary


Pregnancy Magazines

pregnancy health magazines

Scans & Services

18 weeks pregnancy scan facial profile Merrion Fetal Health

Susan's Trimesters

pregnancy trimesters

Videos By Consultants


Midwife sonographer facilitated

Consultant Led, Centre of Medical Excellence 


All articles on the blog and website are intended as information only. Please do not consider any of the information provided here as a substitute for medical advice. At all times seek medical advice directly with your own doctor and medical team.


This website was formerly Merrion Fetal Health. The clinic has undergone a rebrand and is now known as Merrion Ultrasound.