How does breastfeeding reduce the risk of otitis media (OM) in infants?

Updated: Mar 09, 2020
  • Author: Muhammad Waseem, MBBS, MS, FAAP, FACEP, FAHA; Chief Editor: Ravindhra G Elluru, MD, PhD  more...
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Breastfeeding protects young infants from OM and GI tract illness. A meta-analysis reported that breastfeeding for at least 3 months resulted in a relative AOM risk of 0.87 and a relative risk of recurrent AOM of 0.69. Breastfeeding for at least 6 months reduced the risk of AOM even further. The risk reduction probably results from transferred immunoglobulins, cellular elements, and many nonspecific components in mother's milk that, collectively, exhibit antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties.

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