Moms With Asthma Can Breastfeed Their Babies Without Worry

Key Takeaways

  • Moms with asthma can breast feed their babies, as this practice may not increase the risk of asthma in children.

According to a new study, moms with asthma can breast feed their babies, as this practice may not increase the risk of asthma in children. In this study, the researchers followed up babies until they are 12-years-old with the aim of assessing the impact of breastfeeding in the development of lungs. Results of the study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine shows that babies who were breastfed had slightly better development of the lungs when compared to babies who were not breastfed. Moreover, breastfeeding by mothers who had asthma also conveyed protection from the disease to the children.

These results are in stark contrast to those published earlier which shows that breastfeeding may not be better for children who are born to mothers with respiratory disorders.  According to researcher Claudia E. Kuehni, MD, of the University of Bern’s Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine in Bern, Switzerland, the study has shown that breastfeeding improved some aspects in the development of lung function in children, especially in those born to mothers who had asthma. “This is a good news for many moms who have asthma and they can be encouraged to breast feed the babies," she adds.

In this study, researchers analyzed the data from 1,500 children who were enrolled for another child development study. They collected the breastfeeding history of the children from the parents and all the children in the study underwent lung function tests when they were 8-years-old and 14-years-old.

Analysis of data show that children who were breast fed for four months had significantly better measure in the lung functioning tests. Children born to mothers who had asthma and were breastfed had better scores in all the lung function tests.

Pediatrician Roya Samuels, MD, of Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, says that the results show that breast feeding is beneficial for the development of the lungs even when the mother has respiratory troubles like asthma. She adds that babies who are breastfed have a better overall health, with fewer infections like ear infections, respiratory illness and gastrointestinal problems. She adds that the study reassures the moms who have asthma that breastfeeding will provide considerable benefits to the child. She adds that the new study do not show any evidence for the theory that moms with asthma may pass on the hormones to the babies through the breast milk, which may cause inflammation and increase the risk of the disease in the child.