Baby bottles and formula seemed to come to the forefront just when society decided that breastfeeding was somehow not socially acceptable. And since then the debate has been on: to breastfeed or not to breastfeed? Well, new research suggests that the former is definitely beneficial when it comes to the life-long digestive health of your child.
We’ve heard many reasons why it’s best to breast feed our babies. The following report from Canadian researchers gives a new and important reason for doing so. It also reveals a new benefit from the milk itself.
Details of the Study
Canadian researchers reported on a probiotic found in breast milk that reduces or even eliminates painful cramping in the intestines. The report has been published recently in the FASEB Journal
and reports on a study with mice to show that a specific strain of Lactobacillus reuteri lessens the force of contractions in the intestines within minutes
. It’s a bacterium that occurs naturally in the intestines of many mammals including humans as well as in human breast milk.
This probiotic has also been shown to successfully treat symptoms of a wide range of gastrointestinal disorders. Some specific disorders it has been shown to relieve: constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, as well as other functional bowel disorders.
In this study, this bacteria was introduced into bits of small intestine from healthy mice. Added to a warm salt solution, the bacterium flowed through the hollow part of the intestine. Contractions were measured before, during, and after the fluid was introduced. The smooth muscle tissue relaxed in response to the flow of the liquid. Other Reasons to Breastfeed
Breast milk is the healthiest, most nutritious food for a baby unless the mother is unwell for some reason. It carries the mother’s immunity to the baby, makes the baby’s immune system stronger, and costs much less than other forms of food. There are also fewer SIDS deaths in breastfed babies.Overcoming the Stigma
The sensitivity to a breastfeeding mother in public is a problem. However, in some places, it’s being replaced by sensible measures to make the mother comfortable and the onlookers less embarrassed, a move in the right direction. There are laws on the books in most states that permit mothers to breastfeed their babies anywhere the mother is allowed to be. They don’t need to go to a special area unless they choose to do so.