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Breastfeeding Prevents Eczema, GI Infection

Wednesday, 29 October 2008 10:46

An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association supports previous evidence indicating that breastfeeding slashes a newborn's odds of gastrointestinal infection and eczema.

data on 16,491 women and their newborns. The women received either traditional infant feeding instructions or more intensive education aimed at maximizing the duration of breastfeeding.  Babies whose mothers received more intense education about breastfeeding were more likely to be exclusively breastfed and to breastfeed for longer durations, compared with women who did not receive special support. What's more, youngsters who were breastfed for 12 months were 40% less likely to experience gastrointestinal tract infections and 46% less likely to develop atopic eczema, compared with babies who were breastfed for fewer months. However, breastfeeding did not appear to lower the risk of respiratory tract infection.

Kramer MS, Chalmers B, Hodnett ED, Sevkovskaya Z, Dzikovich I, et. al.   Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial (PROBIT): a randomized trial in the Republic of Belarus   JAMA 2001 (Jan 24-31);   285 (4):   413-420