2. Protects Against Illnesses
Infants of a middle class and well-educated populations benefit from the breastfeeding practice and its protective effect, more
so if they are exclusively breastfed and for a longer period.
Source: Palti, H., "Episodes of Illness in Breast Fed & Bottle Fed infants in Jerusalem". ISR J MED SCI, 1984.
b. Immunologic Development
Enhanced fecal SIgA in breastfed infants is not cause solely by the presence of IgA in breast milk; it represents a stimulatory
effect of breastmilk on the gastrointestinal humeral immunologic development.
Source: Koutras,A.K., "Fecal Secretory Immunoglobulin A in Breast Milk vs. Formula Feeding in Early Infancy". J Ped Gastro Nutr, 1989.
Breastfeeding seems to protect against wheezing, respiratory tract illnesses in the first four months of life, particularly when
other risk factors are present.
Source: Wright, A.L., "Breastfeeding and lower respiratory Tract Illnesses in the First Year of Life." British Medical Journal, 1989.
A study indicated that breastfeeding was protective against SIDS, Consistent with an effect mediated through the prevention
of gastrointestinal and/or respiratory disease.
Source: Hoffman, H.J., "Risk Factors for SIDS: Results of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development SIDS Cooperative
Epidemiologic Study". Ann NY ACAD Sci, 1988.
Not breastfeeding at discharge from an obstetric hospital at any stage of the infants life was
associated with an increased risk of SIDS.
Source: Mitchell, A. "Results from the First Year of The New Zealand Count Death Study". N.Z. Med A, 1991; 104:71-76.
e. General Morbidity
There is an inverse relationship to breastfeeding and morbidity. This was most prominent in the first year of life, but it was
also present in the first three years.
Source:Van Den Bogaard, C. "Relationship Between Breast Feeding in Early Childhood and Morbidity in
a General Population". Fan Med, 1991; 23:510-515.
The lack of a dose response affect between breastfeeding and perinatal HIV-1 transmission in the presence of the protective
effect of breastfeeding against common causes of early childhood morbidity and mortality support the current WHO recommendation that
breastfeeding should continue to be promoted in all developing countries, including those with high HIV-1 prevalence rates
in women of child bearing age.
Source: Ryder,R., "Evidence from Zaire that Breastfeeding by HIV-1 seropositive Mothers is not a Major Route for Perinatal HIV-1
Transmission but does Decrease Morbidity". AIDS 1991; 5(6):709-14.
g. Infant Survival
There is an association between breastfeeding up to 6 months of age and survival of infants throughout the first year of life. The younger
the infant and the longer the breastfeeding, the greater the estimated benefits in terms of death averted.
Source: Habicht, J.P., "Does Breast Feeding Really Save Live, or Are Apparent Benefits due to Biases?" Am J Epidemiology, 1986.
h. Gastroesophageal Reflex
Breastfed neonates demonstrate gastroesophageal reflux episodes of significantly shorter duration than formula-fed neonates.
Source: Heacock, H.J., "Influence of Breast vs. Formula Milk in Physiologic Gastroesophageal Reflux in Health Newborn Infants".
J. Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 1992 January; 14(1): 41-6.
i. Multiple Sclerosis
Although thought to be multifactorial in origin, and without a clearly defined etiology, lack of breastfeeding does appear to be
associated with an increased incidence of multiple sclerosis.
Source: Dick, G. "The Etiology of Multiple Sclerosis." Proc Roy Soc Med 1976;69:611-5.
j. Inguinal Hernia
Human milk contains gonadotropin releasing hormone, which may affect the maturation of neonatal testicular function. This case
control study showed breastfed infants had a significant dose response reduction in inguinal hernia.
Source: Pisacane, A. "Breast-feeding and inguinal hernia" Journal of Pediatrics 1995:Vol 127, No. 1, pp 109-111.
k. Cryptorchidism (Undescended Testicle)
This case controlled study showed a significant association of cryptorchidism and lack of breastfeeding.
Source: Mori, M. "Maternal and other factors of cryptorchidism: a case-control study in Japan" Kurume Med J 1992:39:53-60.