The World Health Organization says, and I quote, “Lack of breastfeeding—and especially lack of exclusively breastfeeding during the first half-year of life—are important risk factors for infant and childhood morbidity and mortality.”
The role of the CDC is to reduce infectious disease right? I mean isn’t that why we have so many doses of vaccines (69 by 18 years old)? To “save children”? They SHOULD be aiming to support a population with inherently strong immune systems and better health outcomes, not just try to reduce the individual cases of the particular diseases we vaccinate for. That way, if children are exposed to ANY infections they will have a greater likelihood of successfully fighting them without complication. What we really need for a government organization is a CENTER for HEALTH and WELLNESS—one that focuses on how to keep our bodies healthy, not medicated.
Numerous studies make the connection between breastfeeding and prevention of disease, reduction of serious infections, and stronger infant immune systems. And yet, according to their lists of contraindications, the CDC can find more arguments against breastfeeding than they can for you to get the flu shot. How is that possible? How can there ever be a time where human milk is “not recommended” for human babies? Ironically all but one of the contraindications could be solved by donor milk—but they forget to mention that. 🤷🏻♀️
Knowing the evidence is so overwhelming, shouldn’t the CDC be as pro-breastfeeding as they are pro-vaccine? Could you imagine what would happen if they spent the same time and marketing on educating and supporting women to successfully breastfeed as they did on advertising the flu vaccine?
The following are some highlights from various individual studies that show to connection between breastfeeding and the reduction of infant/childhood disease—remember that is the goal, according to the CDC. (All links to studies will be posted in the first comment of this post).
* The greatest and most obvious benefits of breastfeeding are for the immediate health and survival of the infant. Rates of diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, otitis media, and other infections, as well as deaths due to these diseases, are all lower in breastfed than in nonbreastfed infants. During the first six months, the rates are lower for exclusively breastfed than for partially breastfed infants. These benefits, resulting from stronger immunity and reduced exposure to infectious agents, are greatest in younger infants and where hygiene and sanitation are poor. However, the research described here also suggests that these health and survival benefits extend beyond infancy and to well-off Western populations.
* The important role of appropriate breastfeeding practices in the survival of infants is clear from this analysis. The reduction of associated respiratory infection deaths underscores the broad-based beneficial effect of exclusive breastfeeding in prevention of infectious diseases.
* The deaths of 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year could be averted through universal breastfeeding, along with economic savings of $300 billion.
* Compared with infants who were breast-fed with no milk supplements, and after adjusting for confounding variables, those completely weaned had 14.2 and 3.6 times the risk of death from diarrhea and respiratory infections, respectively. Cow’s and formula milk seemed to be equally hazardous.
* When infants receiving no breast milk are contrasted with those on exclusive breast-feeding, the median relative risk of death from diarrhoea during thefirst 6 months of life is 25. Theoretical calculations based on these data show that breastfeeding can reduce diarrhea mortality rates by 24-27% in the first 6 months of life.
* 66% of infant deaths from diarrhoeal disease and acute respiratory infections in Latin America are preventable by exclusive breast feeding. Promotion of breast feeding has an important role in increasing survival of infants.
* Promotion of early initiation of breastfeeding has the potential to make a major contribution to the achievement of the child survival millennium development goal; 16% of neonatal deaths could be saved if all infants were breastfed from day 1 and 22% if breastfeeding started within the first hour.
* Exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 4 months and partially thereafter was associated with a significant reduction of respiratory and gastrointestinal morbidity in infants. Our findings support health-policy strategies to promote exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 months, but preferably 6 months, in industrialized countries.
* The epidemiologic evidence is strongly affirmative. Important protection against gastrointestinal infections in every setting has been confirmed and reconfirmed; most clinicians now accept such observations. Many clinicians, however, are surprised to learn that breast-feeding is associated with significant reductions in nongastrointestinal infections, including pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis, and with a reduced frequency of certain chronic diseases later in life.
* Infants who are not breastfed in a developed setting experience twice the hospitalization rate and more severe illness from lower respiratory tract infection, primarily respiratory syncytial virus. In developing countries the mortality risk is 4-fold. For otitis media, the relative risks were 3.3-4.3 for Finnish infants. Bacterial meningitis and/or bacteremia had a 4-fold risk for hospitalization in a Connecticut study, and a 3-fold relative risk in 2 developing country studies. Human milk was the best preventative for bacteremia and necrotizing enterocolitis in prematures in British neonatal units. A 20-fold reduction in neonatal deaths occurred in Philippine study of breastfeeding, especially in low birth weight babies. Diarrhea causes the most infant mortality in developing nations, where bottle-feeding raises rates 14-fold. In the U.S. estimated relative risks is 3.7 for diarrheal mortality. There is evidence for better long-term health after breast feeding in disorders such as celiac disease, Crohn disease, ulcerative colitis, insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, thyroid disease, malignant lymphoma, chronic liver disease, atopic dermatitis, and food allergies.
* Results: Hospital, doctor, or clinic visits for four or more upper respiratory tract infections were significantly greater if predominant breast feeding was stopped before 2 months or partial breast feeding was stopped before 6 months. Predominant breast feeding for less than six months was associated with an increased risk for two or more hospital, doctor, or clinic visits and hospital admission for wheezing lower respiratory illness. Breast feeding for less than eight months was associated with a significantly increased risk for two or more hospital, doctor, or clinic visits or hospital admissions because of wheezing lower respiratory illnesses.
* Respiratory and gastrointestinal tract infections are the leading cause of morbidity in children. Breastfeeding has been suggested as a modifiable influencing factor. When given exclusively, breastfeeding reduces the risk of infectious diseases in infants in developing countries and in industrialized countries.
* Disease prevention is critically important to individual and public health. Breastfeeding is well known to provide immune protection and prevent various diseases in the perinatal period. Human breast milk is also accepted as the best nutritional source for the neonate and infant, and it provides other widely accepted benefits to the mother and child. Breastfeeding provides unsurpassed natural nutrition to the newborn and infant. Human breast milk also contains numerous protective factors against infectious disease and may influence immune system development. Premature cessation of breastfeeding could lay the groundwork for later dysfunction in the immunologic controls necessary to prevent autoimmune disease or hypersensitivity reactions.
* Our experimental intervention increased the duration and degree (exclusivity) of breastfeeding and decreased the risk of gastrointestinal tract infection and atopic eczema in the first year of life. These results provide a solid scientific underpinning for future interventions to promote breastfeeding.
* Breastfeeding is a child’s first inoculation against death, disease, and poverty, but also their most enduring investment in physical, cognitive, and social capacity.