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Breastfeeding gives baby a fighting chance

Cape Town 140806- Mercia Osarumwense brestfeeding her baby Victory. The department of Health has made a call to the companies to organise private rooms for the breast feeding mothers. Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Sipokazi/Argus

Cape Town 140806- Mercia Osarumwense brestfeeding her baby Victory. The department of Health has made a call to the companies to organise private rooms for the breast feeding mothers. Picture Cindy waxa.Reporter Sipokazi/Argus

Published Jun 5, 2015

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London - Breastfeeding babies for at least four months wards off the effects of pollution which could harm their development, says a study.

Researchers in Spain are looking into how tiny particles in the air and nitrogen oxide from vehicles and factories affect very young babies. These can impair the development of the brain and nervous system and newborns are particularly vulnerable.

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Early findings by University of Basque Country researchers showed breastfed babies appear to have been protected, and infants with the lowest concentrations of pollutants in their blood developed more quickly. These babies had generally been breastfed for at least four months. About 638 pregnant women and their babies were monitored.

They live in a region of northern Spain where there are 11 steel factories and a major motorway running through.

In Britain, the NHS says 82 percent of new mothers start off breastfeeding, but this drops to 55 percent after six weeks. Just one mother in 100 does it for six months, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Other research has shown breastfeeding protects babies from infections and allergies and may even boost IQ.

Daily Mail

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