Breastfeeding has a long list of demonstrated benefits, including a lower risk of diarrhea, skin rash, respiratory infections and a type of deadly gastrointestinal disease. Now, new research affirms that warding off asthma symptoms still belongs on that list.
Researchers in the Netherlands used questionnaires to assess the breastfeeding history and asthma symptoms in more than 5,000 preschool children. The children who had never been breastfed were more likely to wheeze, cough, have shortness of breath and have persistent mucus than children who were breastfed for six months. The children who were breastfed for only short periods of time were more likely to have wheezing symptoms at 1, 2 and 3 years of age. The results were published in the European Respiratory Journal on July 20.