Breastfeeding is commonly welcomed. It is considered that prolonged and exclusive breastfeeding (for six months) is equally healthy for mother and baby. Yet, it is curious to know what official statistics and scientists say about it. Researchers at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, studied 154 Mexican women and their babies. The study was aimed at discovering the real health effects of breastfeeding on infants under six months.
Is Exclusive Breastfeeding Enough?
The findings showed babies who were exclusively fed with mother’s milk for six months were less likely to have digestive infections. On the other hand, the babies who didn’t receive other baby food than their mother’s milk were more likely to suffer from the iron deficiency in the blood.
Breast Milk and Iron
The thing is that while breast milk is rich in biologically active substances and antibodies, it is poor in iron, even compared to artificial milk. The study found the link between low levels of iron in the blood in breastfeeding women and a higher risk of anemia in their babies. In poorer countries, like Mexico where the study was conducted, anemia among pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers is not an exception.
How to Prevent Anemia?
With balanced nutrition and consumption of multivitamins, anemia doesn’t threat breastfeeding women. Yet, it’s important to analyze your baby’s blood test results and not to delay introducing meat-based supplemental feeding for six-month-old babies.