Full breastfeeding a life saver for babies
The Borneo Post Monday May 13 2002

SACRAMENTO: Babies who are fully breastfed for six months are less likely to suffer from respiratory illnesses than babies fully breastfed for only four months, according to research conducted by investigators at UC Davis Children's Hospital, the University of Rochester and the American Academy of Paediatrics, Centre for Child Health Research.

Caroline Chantry, UC Davis School of Medicine assistant professor of paediatrics, led an analysis of a nationally representative, cross­sectional survey of 2,277 children between the ages of six and 24 months.

She identified five groups -- formula fed only, full breastfeeding for less than one month, full breastfeeding from one to four months, full breastfeeding from four to less than six months and full breastfeeding for six months or more. Chantry then looked at the percentage of children in each group who experienced pneumonia, wheezing, and recurrent (three or more) colds or ear infections.

The results were adjusted for age, birth weight, ethnicity, poverty, two­parent household, parental education, family size, child care and prenatal smoke exposure. "What we found was that infants fully breastfed for six months had a significantly lower risk for respiratory infections in the first two years, when compared with babies who were fully breastfed four months," said Chantry.