Study confirms breastfeeding reduces common infections

A study out of St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto has produced evidence supporting the infection-reducing outcomes of breastfeeding.

The study was conducted among Indigenous infants in Canada, a population that tends to experience gastrointestinal infections, lower respiratory infections (such as pneumonia) and ear infections "in excess frequency." Indigenous infants are "disproportionately affected" by sudden infant death syndrome, according to Kathryn McIsaac, PhD, of the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael's Hospital.

Dr. McIsaac's study found that the following percentages of infections could be prevented in Indigenous infants if they were breastfed.

  • Between 5.1 percent and 10.6 percent of ear infections
  • Between 24.3 percent to 41.4 percent of gastrointestinal infections
  • Between 13.8 percent to 26.1 percent of hospitalizations from lower respiratory tract infections; and
  • Between 12.9 percent to 24.6 percent of sudden infant death

"Interventions that promote, protect and support breastfeeding may prevent a substantial proportion of infection and mortality in Indigenous infants," said Dr. McIsaac.

Dr. McIsaac noted that non-Indigenous infants would also benefit from higher rates of breastfeeding.



More articles on breastfeeding:
Physicians fail to give new mothers infant care recommendations, report finds
Report: Insurers violated PPACA's women's health requirements
100 hospitals with great women's health programs

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