Benefits of Breastfeeding: Preventive for ADHD in Children

Benefits of breastfeeding: Heightened immunity of baby, and prevention of ADHD. Photo: "Mother Is Breast Feeding For Her Baby" by Jomphong, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Benefits of breastfeeding: Heightened immunity for baby, and prevention of ADHD in children. Photo: “Mother Is Breast Feeding For Her Baby” by Jomphong, courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Breastfeed your baby to boost the immune system of the newborn infant and prevent ADHD in children. That is the conclusion of a recently published study on the benefits of breastfeeding and ADHD prevention, by researchers at TelAvivUniversity.  Dr. Aviva Mimouni-Bloch of Sackler Faculty of Medicine, also head of the Child Neurodevelopmental Center in Loewenstein Hospital, along with associate researchers followed three groups of children:

  1. diagnosed children with ADHD
  2. siblings of those diagnosed with ADHD
  3. a control group not diagnosed with ADHD and with no genetic links to the disorder

The research concluded that there is a definite preventive link between breastfeeding and less likelihood of acquiring ADHD in children later in life. Children who were breastfed at the age of three months were three times less likely to acquire ADHD as compared with children who were bottle-fed at the same age.

Immunity Benefits of Breastfeeding

Colostrum is a form of milk produced in the mammary glands in women late in pregnancy. In addition to providing nutrition to the newborn colustrum contain leukocytes in large numbers, and these protect the newborn from harmful viruses and bacteria. Colostrum is high in carbohydrates, protein, antibodies, while being low in fat. It helps protect the infant from life-threatening illnesses like diarrhea. Government and non-government organizations educate mothers on the importance of breastfeeding babies rather than feeding them infant formulas.

Additionally, babies who are breastfed establish a strong emotional connection with the mother, which will help the baby cope psychologically as it develops as a child. This may be one of the reasons that children who are breastfed have a lower rate of acquiring ADHD as children.

For optimum health of the baby, health care should start at the onset of pregnancy. Regular prenatal medical services are vital for the pregnant women. In Third World countries where mothers live far from medical clinics and hospitals, roving midwives and health-care professionals should and often are, exerting great efforts to reach out to pregnant women.

In addition to prenatal care, nutritious foods that are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals supply excellent nutrition to the fetus. Vegetables, legumes, and fish are rich sources of protein and vitamins, affordable and nutritious, and pregnant mothers should give consideration to good nutrition during their pregnancy. Pregnant women should avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking illegal drugs as further preventive measures. Pregnant women should also be cautious with pharmaceutical drugs during pregnancy and while nursing, as pharmaceutical drugs pass through the mother to the fetus and through the mother’s milk to the baby.

Breastfeeding Benefits: Breastfeeding is good for the baby – not only physically but also psychologically.

In addition to contributing to providing immunity from disease to the baby, then, breastfeeding has also been proven to be effective in preventing ADHD in children later in life.  Although genetics plays a part in the development of ADHD in children, preventive measures decrease the likelihood of the child later acquiring the disorder, even for those children who are genetically predisposed. Breastfeeding is one such preventive measure that pregnant mothers should give careful consideration to.

References for Benefits of Breastfeeding: Preventive for ADHD in Later Life

Breastfed children are less likely to develop ADHD later in life, study suggests. (2013, July 22). Science Daily. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130722152739.htm

Breastfeeding Could Prevent ADHD. (2013, July 22). Tel Aviv University American Friends. http://www.aftau.org/weblog-medicine–health?&storyid4704=1206&ncs4704=3

Breastfeeding Overview. (2013, January). American Pregnancy Association. http://americanpregnancy.org/firstyearoflife/breastfeedingoverview.htm

Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Guidebook for Parents and Teachers. (2012). AYCNP. p. 15.

Rapley, G.  (2002, October 5). Keeping mothers and babies together–breastfeeding and bonding. RCM Midwives. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12851979

 

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