Mothers who suffer from asthma should be encouraged to breastfeed according to new research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/03/us-breastfeeding-lungs-idUSTRE8120EF20120203. This article from Reuters claims that in the past evidence was inconclusive regarding the benefits of breastfeeding for asthmatic mothers, but I beg to differ. Breastfeeding is the preferred feeding method for infants especially those with family histories of allergies (asthma is an allergy). In fact this was one of my many reasons for choosing to breastfeed my own children. I suffered horribly from asthma my whole life; it was only in my 30s after having my children that my asthma improved (do to healthy living choices I made and improved medical treatment). I did not want the same experience for my little ones–breastfeeding reduces the risk of asthma and allergies and that was important to me.
Here is a quote from the article:
“I think the evidence is that breastfeeding increases lung volume, independent of if the mother is asthmatic or not,” said Dr. Wilfried Karmaus, who studies asthma at the University of South Carolina in Columbia and wasn’t involved in the new work.
“If the lung volume is increased, then you are less susceptible to get asthma,” he told Reuters Health. “It’s important even to tell asthmatic mothers to breastfeed their children.”