Recent research, conducted by scientists from the University of Birmingham, UK, provided new insights into the process, finding that mother’s milk promotes the growth of important immune cells that help manage inflammation.
To study this phenomenon, the researchers examined the immune functions of 38 full-term newborns, who were all delivered via cesarean section. Babies were divided into three groups: breastfed, formula-fed, or received a mixture of both. Also, blood and stool samples were taken at birth and three weeks later.
The scientists noted a significant difference in T-cells between the breastfed and formula-fed children: in those who received exclusively breastfeeding the number of the cells doubled by the age of three weeks compared to those who received formula only.
Neonatologist Gergely Toldi from the University of Birmingham says: “We hope this invaluable new insight will lead to an increase in rates of breastfeeding and will see more babies benefit from the advantages of receiving breastmilk.”
According to a recent study, published in the journal Pediatrics, children who are breastfed for 2 years or more are at higher risk of having dental cavities later.
For the research, a team of scientists analyzed breastfeeding habits and sugar consumption for 1,129 children in a city of Pelotas, Brazil. Having analyzed the given data, the researchers concluded that children who were breastfed for 2 years or longer were 2.4 times more likely to have severe cavities than children who were breastfed for less than a year.
Dr. Karen Peres, a lead author of the study and an associate professor at the University of Adelaide in Australia, explains: “There are some reasons to explain such an association. First, children who are exposed to breastfeeding beyond 24 months are usually those breastfed on demand and at night. Second, higher frequency of breastfeeding and nocturnal breastfeeding on demand makes it very difficult to clean teeth in this specific period.”
A new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, says that breastfeeding has no influence on a child’s cognitive development.
During the research, a team of scientists from University College Dublin studied 8,000 Irish families and tested the children were breastfed and who were not at ages three and five. They found that those kids who were breastfed for at least 6 months are less hyperactive by age 3 than kids who were not breastfed, but this difference disappears by the age of 5 years.
Study author Lisa-Christine Girard, a researcher at University College Dublin, explains: “We weren’t able to find a direct causal link between breastfeeding and children’s cognitive outcomes.”