Medical advantages of breast-feeding
Immunity/infection protection: infants who are breast-fed have been reported to have lower rates of otitis media and lower respiratory tract infections; also, fewer episodes of gastroenteritis.
There is a protective effect of breast-feeding on more severe eczema. However, there is no evidence that exclusive breast-feeding for four months or longer actually protects against eczema.
Breast-feeding does appear to be protective against childhood asthma.
However, a longer duration of total breast-feeding, rather than its exclusivity, has been shown to be protective against the development of non-atopic but not atopic asthma.
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): numerous studies have shown breast-feeding to be protective against SIDS.
IQ: studies have shown that breast-feeding has a positive effect on the child's general intelligence.
Obesity: neither total time of breast-feeding nor duration of exclusive breast-feeding has been shown to be associated with obesity in children. A meta-analysis, comparing breast-fed with non-breast-fed infants, found a 15% decrease in the odds of being overweight in childhood.
Diabetes: breast-feeding confers protection - both from future type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Breast-feeding has been suggested to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Moreover, it appears to reduce the risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer.[10]
Contraception: the lactation amenorrhoea method can be recommended to mothers if:
The child is up to 6 months old
The mother is amenorrhoeic
The child is exclusively breast-fed

Dr.Mohamed El Koumi | General Pediatrics | Infant Feeding | 2