Breastfeeding is widely considered a milestone in the infant’s life. Many studies have proved that infants who were breastfed had lower chances of contracting a disease in their first years of life. A new study points out that breastfeeding can also help reduce the risk of ear infection in newborns.
In the decade-long battle between breastfeeding versus baby formula, it would seem that breastfeeding has begun to win more ground. Many young mothers have understood the advantages of feeding their babies mother’s milk. As a result, most newborns are better protected against many diseases.
And now, a new study from the University of Texas point out that breastfeeding can also reduce the risk of your child developing an ear infection, which is difficult to treat.
According to this study, ever since young mothers understood the importance of breastfeeding, the rate of ear infection has dropped significantly.
The team of researchers involved in this project, analyzed the health data on 367 infants, from 2008 to 2014. Their results suggested that the number of ear infection cases has dropped since the late ’80 and early ’90.
Tasnee Chonmaitree, a professor of pediatrics, and the lead author of the study, stated that the drop in ear infection cases can be explained by mothers adopting a healthier lifestyle during pregnancy. For example, the doctor pointed out, that most mothers now choose to breastfeed their children, instead of using baby formula.
Moreover, the head scientists also declared that during the last decade, fewer women chose to smoke during their first months of pregnancy.
Now, let us take a closer look at the numbers. According to the Texan follow-up study, performed between 2008 and 2014, the rate of ear infection in one-year-old infants dropped from 62 percent to 46 percent.
Subsequently, in the case of six-month-old toddlers, the rate of ear infections has reduced from 39 to 23 percent, while in regard to three-month-old babies, the risk of infection is now below 6 percent, whereas in the past it was over 18 percent.
Naturally, the doctors cataloged these finding as being encouraging but said that more work has to be done to find out the best solution. For instance, there are some rare cases in which breastfeeding is not advisable.
In these rare cases, mothers are required to give the baby a specialized milk formula instead of mother’s milk. Still, the physicians are quite taken by the fact that mothers have understood the importance of breastfeeding.