Widespread misconception that breast milk can be replaced with artificial products without detrimental consequences

Biggest study ever of breastfeeding says breastfed babies are smarter, healthier and live longer than those fed formula

“There is a widespread misconception that breast milk can be replaced with artificial products without detrimental consequences,” said study author Professor Cesar Victora from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil. “The evidence outlined …, contributed by some of the leading experts in the field, leaves no doubt that the decision not to breastfeed has major long-term negative effects on the health, nutrition and development of children and on women’s health.”

Victora and colleagues’ analysis of data from 28 systematic reviews and meta-analyses – 22 of which were commissioned specifically for the Lancet report – indicates that breastfeeding not only has multiple health benefits for children and mothers, but also has dramatic effects on life expectancy.

For example, in high-income countries breastfeeding reduces the risk of sudden infant deaths by more than a third, while in low-and middle-income countries about half of all diarrhoea episodes and a third of respiratory infections could be avoided by breastfeeding. It also increases intelligence, and may protect against obesity and diabetes in later life, they say. For mothers, the longer they breastfeed the less chance they have of suffering from breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

 

研究:中國寶寶太依賴奶粉 深遠代價遠超奶粉錢

但相關學界部份最頂尖的專家研究所得的證據確切無誤地顯示,放棄母乳餵養對孩子的健康、營養吸收和發展都有長遠重大的影響,對母親的健康也一樣。

維多拉及同僚分析了28個系統性回顧及統合分析的數據──當中22個特別為《柳葉刀》的報告而委託進行。該分析顯示,母乳餵養不但對母子健康有許多好處,也有助延長壽命。

例如,在高收入國家,母乳餵養可減少嬰兒夭折風險逾三分之一,而在中低收入國家,母乳餵養可以減少約半腹瀉個案及三分之一的呼吸道感染病例。此外,母乳餵養還有助提高智力,也可能避免孩子日後患上肥胖症及糖尿病。對母親來說,母乳餵養的時間愈長,患上乳癌及子宮頸癌的機率就愈低。