Breastfeeding offers protection against Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
Two studies conclude that children are less likely to develop Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis if they are nursed for a long time. With increasing breastfeeding duration, this effect can even be intensified.
"With breast milk, the child receives important antibodies that protect it from infectious diseases," explains Dr. Monika Niehaus, pediatrician and member of the expert panel of the professional association of pediatricians (BVKJ) in a press release. Breastfeeding children, for example, leads to a lower risk of diarrhea. This is a possible explanation for the positive effect in relation to inflammatory bowel diseases, which are favored by such gastrointestinal infections in infancy.
Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for the child
If only breastfeeding is carried out in the first four to six months of life, this can also reduce the child's risk of developing otitis media, allergies, neurodermatitis and bronchial asthma. According to pediatricians, breastfeeding is even associated with a reduced risk of obesity and overweight.
Mothers also benefit from breastfeeding
According to the BVKJ pediatricians, mothers who have breast-fed their babies for up to six months are less likely to develop diabetes. It also reduces the risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer and getting high blood pressure.
Possible obstacles to breastfeeding
"Medications or anesthesia are not necessarily an obstacle to breastfeeding," said Dr. Never. In most cases, mothers could breastfeed immediately when they are awake enough to put on their baby. If nursing mothers are required to take medication, they should seek advice from a doctor about which medication to stop breastfeeding or which medication to follow. "It is often sufficient to take a medicine at the time of breastfeeding, so that it is not yet contained in breast milk and has already been broken down by the next breastfeeding," advises Dr. Never.
Protection against inflammatory bowel diseases
The two studies that conclude that breastfeeding has many health benefits and that it protects against inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease have recently appeared in the specialist magazines "Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics" and "JAMA Internal Medicine". (vb)