2013 April 22 by Dr. Randy
A study published in the journal Pediatrics found an association between prolonged breastfeeding and low iron levels in children. For every month of breastfeeding the risk of iron deficiency anemia increased by 5 percent. Children who breastfed for more than 12 months had almost twice the risk of developing iron deficiency anemia compared to babies who nursed for less than 12 months. This should alert parents and health care providers to the importance of including iron sources in the diets of babies and young children.
2013 February 27 by Dr. Randy
An interesting study has confirmed that breastfeeding has benefits for childhood asthma.
The study of 1,100 babies showed that exclusive breastfeeding for at least 3 months or longer in children with eczema or asthma was associated with significantly reduced asthma symptoms. The study showed this effect persisted in children at 4, 5, and 6 years of age. Each additional month of exclusive breastfeeding had a beneficial effect in reduction of the rate of asthma in these children.
Although many breastfeeding mothers are concerned that their babies with allergy symptoms may be sensitive to something in their milk, resorting to formula feeding is likely to do more harm than good. Breastfeeding has so many beneficial effects on immune function that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months just makes good sense. If mothers are concerned about persistent symptoms in their babies, then taking a holistic approach to asthma in addition to continued breastfeeding will help alleviate wheezing and build a strong immune system.
See also this article on asthma in children.
Oddy, WH. Longer duration of exclusive breastfeeding associated with reduced risk of childhood asthma up to age six. Evidence Based Nursing. 2013;16(1):18-19.
2011 March 10 by Dr. Randy
Once more we discover the incredible value of breastfeeding for the health of infants. In a study published in the Archives of Disease of Childhood, researchers found that exclusive breastfeeding for six months resulted in less infections of many types compared to babies who did not breastfeed or babies who were partially breastfed. It also showed that the longer babies breastfed the more protection they had from infections (Ladomenoul, 2010).
2011 March 10 by Dr. Randy
It seems obvious that babies who sleep with their parents are likely to breastfeed more than babies who sleep in a separate room. They will probably nurse more often and nurse for a longer duration of their lives. A study published in the November 2010 issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, has verified this assumption, showing that breastfeeding is more prevalent in families where babies share a bed with their parents (Blair, 2010).