A breast-feeding boost

USA -- A study of more than 16,000 Eastern European mothers offers some of the strongest evidence yet that breast-feeding makes babies healthier, according to research published Jan. 24.

Babies whose mothers participated in an intensive breast feeding program had significantly fewer intestinal infections and eczema.

Other studies have linked breast-feeding with similar benefits and many others, including fewer earaches, colds and asthma. But most, if not all of those studies were after the fact research: Doctors looked at data on babies whose mothers had or had not breast-fed them.

For this study, published in the Jan. 24 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), hospitals were assigned at random to institute a breast-feeding program.

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