Consideration 8 - Disease and death associated with infant formula use.

This is from the American Academy of Pediatricians Policy statement on breastfeeding.

“Respiratory Tract Infections and Otitis Media

The risk of hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections in the first year is reduced 72% if infant’s breastfed exclusively for more than 4 months…. The severity (duration of hospitalization and oxygen requirements) of respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis is reduced by 74% in infants who breastfed exclusively for 4 months compared with infants who never or only partially breastfed.

Any breastfeeding compared with exclusive commercial infant formula feeding will reduce the incidence of otitis media (OM) by 23%. Exclusive breastfeeding for more than 3 months reduces the risk of otitis media by 50%. Serious colds and ear and throat infections were reduced by 63% in infants who exclusively breastfed for 6 months.

 

Gastrointestinal Tract Infections

Any breastfeeding is associated with a 64% reduction in the incidence of nonspecific gastrointestinal tract infections, and this effect lasts for 2 months after cessation of breastfeeding…

It has been calculated that more than 900 infant lives per year may be saved in the United States if 90% of mothers exclusively breastfed for 6 months. 24 In the 42 developing countries in which 90% of the world’s childhood deaths occur, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and weaning after 1 year is the most effective intervention, with the potential of preventing more than 1 million infant deaths per year, equal to preventing 13% of the world’s childhood mortality…

Because rates of obesity are significantly lower in breastfed infants, national campaigns to prevent obesity begin with breastfeeding support.34,35 Although complex factors confound studies of obesity, there is a 15% to 30% reduction in adolescent and adult obesity rates if any breastfeeding occurred in infancy compared with no breastfeeding….

The large, randomized Promotion of Breastfeeding Intervention Trial provided evidence that adjusted outcomes of intelligence scores and teacher’s ratings are significantly greater in breastfed infants.” http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/104/1/119.full#sec-7

Colic affects 10–40% of children. “Infantile Colic: Recognition and Treatment”. American Family Physician. 92 (7): 577–82. PMID 2644744

” The meta-analysis of studies involving nearly 8,700 babies found that 34 per cent of Canadian babies met the criteria for colic at three to four weeks of age.” Journal of Pediatrics

” Approximately 6% aged 0-2 years have a food allergy.”

Gupta, R, et al. The Prevalence, Severity and Distribution of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States. Pediatrics 2011; 10.1542/ped.2011-0204.