A cost-analysis study has found that the lives of 900 babies and billions of dollars can be saved per year if 90% of US mothers took up breastfeeding.
Researchers at the Harvard Medical School.said that while many consider breastfeeding as a lifestyle choice, it is in fact a necessary process. Breast milk contains antibodies that can help newborn babies fight off infections as their immune system is not yet fully developed.
It is also thought that breast milk helps regulate insulin levels early on and reduces the risk of developing diabetes in future. The study said that breastfeeding can help prevent stomach viruses, ear infections, asthma, juvenile diabetes, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and even childhood leukemia.
The cost of treating these illnesses in kids is a whopping $13 billion, which can be saved if mothers start breastfeeding. "Hospital practices need to change to be more in line with evidence-based care," lead author Dr. Melissa Bartick, an internist and instructor at Harvard Medical School.
The details appear online on Monday in the journal Pediatrics.