Asthma is a lifetime affliction for some, but a dietary behavior that begins in the first days of life could have an impact on preventing it altogether. A new study found that babies who are breastfed in their first months are less likely to develop asthmatic symptoms as they grow up.
Only 8 percent of the infants in the study were not breastfed at all, yet it was this group of children who wound up displaying the most symptoms of asthma, including wheezing, coughing, and breathlessness. And though 92 percent of the babies were breastfed, just 21 percent of them were fed breast milk exclusively. The infants who were given milk solids and other alternatives to supplement their diets were also more likely to have asthma than the kids who drank only from their mother’s breasts.
A reduced risk of asthma is just one of only several benefits of breastfeeding that scientific research has recently uncovered. Breastfeeding has also been linked with preventing childhood obesity, improving a child’s academic performance, cutting the chance of the mother developing diabetes.