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Breastfeeding is the best protection from infectious diseases when children go back to school

Posted on 01-10-2018

Breastfeeding is a very effective protective measure against diseases that prevail among children of school age, says Hospiten Rambla, Maria Asuncion Gaspar Guardado, who recommends it as an exclusive way to feed babies during the first 6 months of life given the benefits it has both for the child and the mother.

"With the beginning of the school year and autumn, children are exposed to infectious diseases, especially viral and of the respiratory tract, due to the immaturity of their immune system and that they have fewer resources to heal than an adult," says the specialist , who adds that breastfeeding helps to prevent ‘flu, bronchiolitis, head colds, rhinitis, pharyngitis and laryngitis, among others and reduces the severity of symptoms in case of infection.

The period from September to May becomes very complicated for parents who live with sleepless nights, coughing, vomiting, mucus and loss of appetite. Nothing is 100% effective, nor is there any vitamin supplement to prevent this type of infection, especially in younger children, children under 3 years of age and, especially, children under 12 months. In fact, the younger the child, the more likely they are to fall ill. For example, an infant younger than 6 months who suffers from bronchiolitis will be left with a greater predisposition than other children to suffer recurrent episodes of respiratory infections with wheezing in the first years of life.

Maria Asuncion Gaspar states that breastfeeding has other beneficial effects for the child, insofar as it reduces the risk of suffering from atopic dermatitis, allergy, asthma, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, among other diseases. In addition, there is also less chance of death in the first year of life.

Dr. Gaspar points out that with breastfeeding there is a lower risk of the mother suffering postpartum hemorrhage, fracture of the spine and hip post menopause, a lower rate of ovarian and uterine cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, anxiety and depression, as indicated by the Spanish Pediatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO.

The pediatrician also points out that it would be of great interest if in our country there were measures in place to maintain exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, as already demanded by scientific societies (Spanish Pediatric Primary Care Association). "Every professional who is dedicated to the care of children is working hard to achieve this, at all levels: education for pregnant parents, favoring the early start of breastfeeding from the first minute of life, support groups and constant monitoring by the pediatrician within the program of the healthy child”, adds the pediatrician who also reflects that “breastfeeding is cheap, good for the baby and hygienic, it is available 24 hours a day, at the right temperature and is produced by half of the population".

The Hospiten Group is an international healthcare network committed to providing a service of the highest quality, with 50 years of experience, which has twenty private medical-hospital centers in Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Jamaica and Panama, and more than one hundred ambulatory health centers, both their own and associated under the Clinic Assist brand. The group is chaired by Dr. Pedro Luis Cobiella and attends annually more than 1,700,000 patients from around the world, and has a staff of more than 5,000 people.