Breast-Feeding Reduces Children's Risk of Asthma

Filed under: In The News, Breast-Feeding, Research Reveals: Babies

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While women's breasts often make grown men gasp and wheeze, they seem to have the reverse effect on nursing infants.

The Daily Telegraph in London reports babies who are not breast-fed are 50 percent more likely than develop asthma symptoms than babies who do breast-feed.

Researchers at Erasmus Medical Centre in The Netherlands studied more than 5,000 children and found those who were never breast-fed were 50 percent more likely to have persistent phlegm and 40 percent more likely to wheeze regularly.

They also reportedly suffered more from shortness of breath and a dry cough in the first four years of life.

Breast-feeding could cut the chance of asthma by reducing the number of serious colds and flu virus infections, researchers concluded.

"These results support current health policy strategies that promote exclusive breast-feeding for six months in industrialized countries," Agnes Sonnenschein-van der Voort tells the Daily Telegraph. "Further studies are needed to explore the protective effect of breast-feeding on the various types of asthma in later life."

The Daily Telegraph reports past studies have shown that breast-feeding cuts the risk of infections in the first six months of life.

Others have found it also cuts the chance of childhood obesity and can lead to more intelligent and better behaved children.

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.