Recently, experts looked deeper into the effects breastfeeding has on the amount of bacteria resistant to antibiotics in an infant’s gut and the brain development of premature infants.
The University of Helsinki found that babies breastfed for at least six months have less antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their gut compared to infants breastfed for a shorter period.
Researchers investigated this type of bacteria in relation to breastfeeding and found three important conclusions.
- Breastfeeding seems to protect infants from resistant bacteria.
- Antibiotic treatment of mothers during delivery increased antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the gut of infants, and can be found six months post-delivery and post-treatment.
- While mothers pass on bacteria resistant to antibiotics through breastmilk, breastfeeding has still been proven to reduce the amount of resistant bacteria in an infant.
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In addition to protecting infants from resistant bacteria, the University of Edinburgh found that premature infants who were breastfed most often had better brain development, compared to those who are formula-fed or breastfed less often.
Through more education and research, experts hope to increase the number of exclusively breastfed babies around the world.
More on these studies here.
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