(RxWiki News) Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of seizures in babies for about a after they are born. What's more, the risk of having a seizure is reduced the longer a baby is breastfed.
For this study, researchers in Denmark observed nearly 70,000 Danish children born between 1997 and 2003. Mothers reported on their breastfeeding patterns at 6 and 18 months after their baby's birth. Using the Danish National Hospital Register, the researchers were able to determine if the babies experienced seizures as they grew older.
After observing the children through August 2008, the researchers found that breastfeeding was associated with a decreased risk of seizures. The researchers also found that the children who were breastfed longer had fewer seizures. For example, children who were breastfed for 3 to 5 months decreased their risk of seizures by 26 percent, while children who were breastfed for more than 13 months had a 59 percent lower risk of seizures after one year of life.
The authors conclude the protective effect of breastfeeding could be causal. However, more research is necessary.
Other recent studies have shown that the act and duration of breastfeeding provides many benefits for children, including increased muscle strength, fewer infections, and fewer growth problems. This Danish study adds to the growing body of evidence in support of breastfeeding.
The study appears in the Journal of Pediatrics.