[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 17, 1993

Changes in Bone Density With Lactation

JAMA. 1993;270(19):2300. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510190054019

To the Editor.  —The recent article by Sowers et al1 has unfortunately resulted in some misleading headlines in the world press2 suggesting that breast-feeding causes irreversible maternal bone loss. These articles are not justified by the study by Sowers et al, which clearly shows that bone density returns to normal after weaning. Sowers et al state, "At the 12-month examination among those who weaned between 6 and 9 months, the average spine and femoral BMD [bone mineral density] values had returned to the baseline value." This return to baseline bone mass between 6 and 12 months after weaning has also been reported by others.3,4Despite their findings, Sowers et al1 imply a reason for concern when they report, without sufficient explanation, that the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine and femoral neck of those women who continued to breast-feed more than 9 months had increased