studies have shown the multiple benefits of breastfeeding,
but a new study in the May issue of Pediatrics reveals
that breastfeeding is also linked to decreased infant mortality.
Researchers studied the health records of U.S. infants, including
1,204 infants who died between 28 days and 1 year of age whose
causes of death were not linked to congenital anomalies or
cancer, and 7,740 children who were alive at the age of 1.
Results: Breastfed infants were 20 percent less likely
to die within their first year than those not breastfed; researchers
also noted that the risk of death continued to decrease the
longer the infants were breastfed, and that "promoting breastfeeding
has the potential to save or delay 720 postneonatal deaths
in the United States each year."
Of course, this is just one benefit of breastfeeding your
baby. Studies have shown that breastfeeding enhances the immune
system and aids in protecting baby from infection, allergies
and developmental problems. Additionally, breastfeeding has
been linked to a decrease of breast cancer in women.
Chen A, Rogan W. Breastfeeding and the risk of postneonatal
death in the United States. Pediatrics 2004;113(5):e435-e439.
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