Pediatrics

Study compares stools of breastfed and formula-fed infants

When researchers compared the stools of 40 infants who were exclusively breastfed with those of 13 who were exclusively formula fed, the average daily stool frequency was significantly higher in the breastfed than formula ...

Pediatrics

Bifidobacteria supplement colonizes gut of breastfed infants

Supplementing breastfed infants with activated Bifidobacterium infantis (B. infantis) bacteria had a positive impact on babies' gut microbes for up to a year, according to a recent study by researchers at the University of ...

Cardiology

Breastfeeding found to be protective against hypertension

(HealthDay)—Postmenopausal women who breastfed more children, or breastfed for a longer duration, have a lower risk of hypertension, according to a study published online Jan. 30 in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Health

Breastfeeding reduces risk of endometriosis diagnosis

Endometriosis is a chronic and incurable gynecologic disorder that affects approximately 10 percent of women in the United States. Its symptoms can be debilitating and include chronic pelvic pain, painful periods and pain ...

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Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the feeding of an infant or young child with breast milk directly from female human breasts (i.e., via lactation) rather than from a baby bottle or other container. Babies have a sucking reflex that enables them to suck and swallow milk. It is recommended that mothers breastfeed for six months or more, without the addition of infant formula or solid food. After the addition of solid food, mothers are advised to continue breastfeeding for at least a year, and can continue for two years or more.

Human breast milk is the healthiest form of milk for babies. There are few exceptions, such as when the mother is taking certain drugs or is infected with human T-lymphotropic virus, HIV, or has active untreated tuberculosis. Breastfeeding promotes health and helps to prevent disease. Artificial feeding is associated with more deaths from diarrhea in infants in both developing and developed countries. Experts agree that breastfeeding is beneficial, and have concerns about artificial formulas but there are conflicting views about how long exclusive breastfeeding remains beneficial.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. Both recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. The AAP recommends that this be followed by supplemented breastfeeding for at least one year, while WHO recommends that supplemented breastfeeding continue up to two years or more. While recognizing the superiority of breastfeeding, regulating authorities also work to minimize the risks of artificial feeding.

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