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Are breastfed babies less likely to get sick?

Research has shown that breastfed babies have a reduced risk of getting sick when compared to formula fed babies. Breast milk contains natural antibodies that help to protect the baby from bacteria and viruses that can cause illness.

It also includes substances such as protective proteins and immune cells that help to reduce the severity of illnesses. Studies indicate that children who were breastfed had a lower risk of ear infections, gastroenteritis, asthma and other infections.

Breastfed babies also tend to get fewer colds and flu throughout the year and are less likely to be hospitalized for lower respiratory tract infections. In short, overall, breastfeeding can provide certain protection against diseases, making breastfed babies less likely to get sick.