Article Publish Status: FREE
Abstract Title:

[The benefits of breastfeeding and associated risks of replacement with baby formulas].

Abstract Source:

Rev Chil Pediatr. 2017 Feb ;88(1):7-14. PMID: 28288222

Abstract Author(s):

Paulina Brahm, Verónica Valdés

Article Affiliation:

Paulina Brahm


Breastfeeding is the nourishment designed by nature for the newborn and the infant; however its prevalence is nowadays not optimal. The aim of this article is to review the current evidence of the benefits of breastfeeding for children and society, and to elaborate the risks associated with the replacement of lactation with baby formulas. Breastfeeding is a protective factor for several infectious, atopic, and cardiovascular diseases as well as for leukaemia, necrotising enterocolitis, celiac disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. It also has a positive impact on neurodevelopment, improving IQ and reducing the risk of attention deficit disorder, and generalised developmental and behavioural disorders. Lactation can decrease the risk of sudden infant deaths syndrome by 36% and prevent 13% of infant mortality worldwide. Breastfeeding result in direct saving on the use of infant formulas and bottles, and indirectly on associated health costs, premature deaths, and quality-adjusted life years, among others. In addition, breastfeeding is environmentally friendly; it does not leave an ecological footprint in its production and consumption. The use of baby formulas and bottles have inherent risks, because they increase the risk of oral diseases, such as mouth breathing, malocclusion, alteration of bite, and tooth decay. Finally, the intestinal microbiota, oxygenation, and thermoregulation of infants are negatively affected by their use.

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