Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Shoes | 2010/12/07


Benefits of breast feeding

Hi Professor,

Some questions relating to breast feeding:

I was blessed to be able to breast feed my children exclusively for 5 months each, which I hoped would boost their immune systems. My 3 year old has Epilepsy, is that because it is genetic, as it is in my husband''s family or can it be due to a poor immune system?

My friend did not breast feed at all and her children are constantly on anti-biotics for some or other infection. Her two year old has had her tonsils out already. My son is four and has not yet had his out. Can this be due to me breast feeding him?

Thank you.

Expert's Reply



Epilepsy is very often an inherited condition. Your son has inherited his epilepsy from his dad's side of the family. Breast feeding will not protect against developing epilepsy.Breast feeding is indeed very important for the development of a normal and good protective immune system in babies and young children. So it is certainly fair to say that the fact that you breastfed your son certainly helped to develop his immune system and may explain why he was never troubled by repeated episodes of tonsillitis and other respiratory infections in the first four years of his life.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2010/12/08

Nobody shot down the bottle and nobody said bottle fed babies aren''t happy or healthy. Your being a bit over sensitive.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Pink | 2010/12/07

I have two happy healty bottle babies!
Please dont shoot the bottle down!

Reply to Pink
Posted by: Purple | 2010/12/07

One of the reported benefits of breastfeeding is that children (right up into their teens apparently) do get sick less often, and when they are sick, they tend to recover faster.

I breastfed for two and a half years and my son got sick for the first time at 13 months when he got a runny nose. Breastfed children do get sick, but in general (not every single case) it tends to protect them from a lot of illness.

It also has other benefits such as a child being less likely to be overweight when they get older, though obviously other factors come in to play, so if your child is forced to polish off huge plates of food and stops regulating their own intake according to hunger or eats junk all the time and doesn''t learn about nutrition they are going to be overweight even if they were breastfed.

While you are actually breastfeeding, if you get ill, your child tends not to get that illness as you pass the antibodies on through your milk.

Reply to Purple

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