Longer breastfeeding better for baby. (The Beat).
Sometimes more really is better. In a presentation at the 2002 Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting, Caroline Chantry of the University of California at Davis described an analysis of data from a national survey of 2,277 children aged 6-24 months. After looking at rates of pneumonia, wheezing, and recurrent colds and ear infections, Chantry and colleagues found that babies who were fully breastfed for six months--that is, they received formula on a less than daily basis--had a fivefold reduced risk of pneumonia during the first two years of life and a twofold reduced risk of recurring ear infections over babies who were fully breastfed for only four months. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the WHO, and the U.S. Surgeon General, among other authorities, recommend breastfeeding for at least the first six months of life.