It’s no secret that multiple studies show breastfeeding has all sorts of positive health benefits for infants. But for the first time ever, The Journal of Pediatrics looked specifically at a link between breastfeeding and seizures in children, or epilepsy. While seizures aren’t too common, estimates indicate that 1 out of every 100 U.S. children and teens have at least one febrile or other seizure during their childhood, although most outgrow this condition.
This new study found that babies who were breastfed for just three months had lower seizure risk, decreasing from 1 in 100 down to 1 in 135. If they were breastfed for six months, it went down to 1 in 150 and if they had a full nine months of breastfeeding, it went down to 1 in 200.
In many ways this study makes sense because we know that malnutrition, or a lack of nutrition, during early development can be linked with seizures. Finally, we know that breast milk is pretty close to perfect nutrition, so it is encouraging to know that there is another possible benefit.
It’s just another great reason to hold off on formula, start breastfeeding, and don’t be in any hurry to stop. We strongly encourage it!