Breast milk protects babies

6th Aug, 2006, Dr Stephen Sears, Morning Sentinel, Maine

According to a recent study from researchers at the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento and the University of Rochester NY breastfeeding for the first six months makes a difference in the baby’s ability to resist infection. In this study the parents of 2,277 children, between six and 24 months of age, answered questions about whether their baby’s breastfed, for how long; and how often their babies had respiratory infections or symptoms including ear infections, colds, flu, and pneumonia or wheezing.

Babies who were fed only breast milk for the longest span of time, six months or more, had lower rates of pneumonia and ear infections. Stopping breast feeding between four and six months of age doubled the odds that the infant would experience three or more ear infections in the first year of life.

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