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Can Breastfeeding prevent Ear Infections?

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Can the simple act of breastfeeding prevent or avoid the painful, exhausting experience of ear infections in children? Possibly.

Breastfeeding, we all know, enhances the immune system of mother and baby. Inside our bodies lie antibodies, immunoglobulins, which serve to protect our body and fight off germs and illness. There are 5 of them; IgA, IgG, IgE, IgM, IgD and they all have a different function. IgA antibodies protects surface areas of the body from foreign invaders, IgG antibodies are the most common and fight viruses and infections, IgE antibodies are found in the lungs and skin and react to pollen and animal dander, IgM antibodies are the largest amount and are found in the blood and lymph and IgD antibodies are found in the smallest amounts in the belly.

Specifically in breast milk is the IgA antibody and millions of white blood cells looking to fight off infections and protect the babies’ body. So when you breastfeed your baby you supplement an immune system while the baby is still growing.

Breastfeeding can prevent ear infections in children in a number of ways;

Breastfed babies are fed in a more upright position. This allows little to no fluid accumulation in the middle ear, which leads to sever ear infections.

Breastfed babies have fewer colds and upper respiratory infections due to the enhanced immunity from the IgA antibodies. Colds and infections make breathing hard and let germs and bacteria remain in the head and throat.

Breastfed babies have fewer allergies, specifically respiratory allergies, which makes breathing and swallowing hard and leaves fluid accumulating in the head, ears and throat.

But the biggest and most amazing fact from breast feeding is what changes in the body. Breastfed children have a thymus gland 20 times larger than bottle-fed children. Inside the thymus gland the T-cells, responsible for immunity within the body, are generated and mature. When the thymus is compromised, the body truly suffers.

Breastfeeding is a wonder and wonderful. Protect little ears from infection with breastfeeding.

Murry, Michael T., Pizzorno Jr, Joseph E. Textbook of Natural Medicine. Third Edition. Copyright 2006 Elsevier Ltd.

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