Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Breastfeeding - Fights Diseases (Part III)

Natural pain relief for baby

Breast milk actually contains chemicals that suppress pain (endorphins).Many a bruise or scrape has been soothed away almost instantly by a few moments of nursing. If you choose to have your child vaccinated, it is a good idea to nurse immediately after he/she receives a vaccination. This soothes the hurt.

Breastfeed babies get fewer cavities

Bottle-fed babies are at increased risk for baby bottle caries, a destructive dental condition which occurs when a baby is put to bed with a bottle containing formula, milk, juice or other fluids high in carbohydrates. Expensive and extensive dental repair may be required.

If the teeth come in straight, there's no need to fix them-meaning less money spent on corrective orthodontics treatment.

Less chance of baby getting eczema
  • According to 1995 Lancet study, breastfeeding for 6 months can prevent eczema in babies during the first 3 years.
  • Another study published in the British Medical Journal found that eczema was less common and milder in babies who were breastfed (22%). Instead, in infants fed casein hydrolysate, soymilk, or cow's milk, 21%, 63% and 70% respectively developed atopic eczema.
  • An American study that followed over 20,000 babies for 5 years found that there were 7 times as many babies with eczema in the bottle-fed group as in those completely breastfed. And babies given some breast and some bottle milk were twice as likely to get eczema as the totally breastfed ones.
Less chance of hernia

Breastfeeding is protective against inguinal hernias. For unknown reasons breastfed babies experience significantly fewer of them.

Decreased risk of baby developing urinary tract infections.

Breast milk is good for combating eye infections

Breast milk contains natural antibiotic qualities, and many mothers swear that a squirt in the irritated eye of their baby has cleared up the problem in no time.

Breast milk has antibacterial properties, so breastfed babies have fewer illnesses

About 80% of the cells in breast milk are macrophages, cells that kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. Breastfed babies are protected, in varying degrees, from a number of illness, including pneumonia, botulism, bronchitis, staphylococcal infections, influenza, ear infections and German measles.

Furthermore, mothers produce antibodies to whatever disease is present in their environment, so mother's milk is custom-designed to fight the diseases their babies are exposed to as well.

Breastfed babies are healthier overall and thus require fewer doctor visits.

Breastfed babies have great skin

This is not based on a formal study. Check out the skin of breastfed baby and see what you think.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Breastfeeding - Fights Diseases (Part II)

Breastfeeding protects baby against vision defects

In a study in Bangladesh, a breastfeeding was a protective factor for night blindness among preschool-aged children in both rural and urban areas. Breast milk is generally the main, if not the only source, of Vitamin A during a child's first 24 months of life (or for the duration of breastfeeding).

Breastfeeding decrease chances of maternal osteoporosis in later life

The odds that a woman with osteoporosis did not breastfeed her baby was 4 times higher than for a control woman.

Dr. Alan Lucas of the MRC Childhood Nutrition Research Center if London, found that 8-year-olds who were fed formula rather than breastfeed as infants, had less developed bone mineralization than those fed breast milk.

Breastfed babies have less chance of cardiopulmonary distress while feeding

According to a 1990 study, bottle-fed babies are at increased risk of cardiopulmonary disturbances, including prolonged airway closure and obstructed breaths due to repeated swallowing.

Breastfeed babies have less chance of developing ulcerative colitis

This is disease of later life (a severe inflammatory disorder of the colon characterised by the passage of blood and pus), which may be connected with type of feeding in infancy and especially the early introduction of solids.

  • In one survey, it was found that people with ulcerative colitis were twice as likely as "normal" people never to have been breastfed.

  • Another study showed that people with long-standing ulcerative colitis had high levels of antibodies to cow's milk protein in their blood.

Breastfed babies have less chance of developing necrotising enterecolitis, a bowel infection with high death rate seen almost exclusively in the bottle-fed

Although this is a rare disease, it is virtually never seen in the breastfed child.