Doesn't everyone know about the benefits of breast-feeding? If you're one of the few who
doesn't know, just check out the wealth of recent research on the topic. (See "Breast-feeding
to Prevent Infant Illness" next topic on this site.)
If that isn't sufficient proof, consider a study that appeared in the September 25th issue
of the British Medical Journal. The study found that children who received milk other
than breast milk had a substantial higher risk of developing asthma than children who
were exclusively breast-fed for the first four months of life.
The authors believe that excluding non-breast milk (and its potentially allergic components)
and providing breast milk (and its proven beneficial components) may account for this
protective effect. They also note that the age at which other milk is introduced into
the children's diet may be more important than how long they nurse.
Breast-feeding is an important aspect of the mother-child relationship, and as the evidence
continues to show, it's an important aspect of childhood development and overall health.
Oddy WH, Holt PG, Sly PD, et al. Association between breastfeeding and asthma in six-year-old
children: Findings of a prospective birth cohort study. British Medical Journal, Sept.
25, 1999: Vol. 319, No. 7213, pp815-19.