The precise cause is not yet known

By Stefan Anitei, Science Editor

May 7, Softpedia

Currently, in many western countries, less than 1% of women breastfeed continuously for the first six months of the baby's life. In the UK, the category most prone to breastfeeding was found to be formed of well educated, professional women, older than 30 and mothers for the first time. The fear of ending up with saggy breasts (although recent researches have come to infirm this theory), commodity, lack of time and other factors have contributed to this low percentage.

With all that, studies have shown that colostrum, that yellowish
milk secreted after birth, is the first package of immune factors delivered to the infant's body. Breastfed babies are five times less likely to get gastroenteritis as compared to formula-fed ones, also two times less likely to catch a respiratory disease in their first seven years of life, as well as much less vulnerable to diabetes. Breastfeeding prevents children from turning overweight later in life. Research showed that children breastfed for 3-5 months had 35% lower chances of becoming overweight by the age of 6 than those who were not breastfed. In fact, the longer the breastfeeding period, the lower the chances of the child to become overweight later in life. It seems that the ingredients from the maternal milk improve the metabolism.

A new research published in the Archives of General Psychiatry shows that long-term, exclusive breastfeeding improves children’s cognitive development. The researchers from McGill University and the Montreal Children’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, made a randomized trial of a breastfeeding promotion program with patients from 31 maternity hospitals and affiliated clinics in Belarus.

The program supporting and promoting breastfeeding was applied between June 1996 to December 1997. The trial involved 7,108 infants and mothers. 6,781 of the infants were interviewed and examined between 2002 and 2005, when the children had already reached an average age of 6.5 years.

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photo by Courier Journal