Breastfeeding your baby can help develop a strong stomach, according to research published this week.
Experts at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill carried out a study in which they looked at how breast milk influences a baby’s diet throughout infancy, and published the results in the Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology journal.
The results revealed yet another benefit to breastfeeding, with experts finding that it can change how well a child can handle their food. It was found that not only did breastfed babies find it easier to transfer from liquids to solids, but they also possess 20 different bacterial enzymes that other babies don’t; these can help babies process new food types easier.
Lead study author Dr. Andrea Azcarate-Peril said: “We found that babies who are fed only breast milk have microbial communities that seem more ready for the introduction of solid foods.”
"The transition to solids is much more dramatic for the microbiomes of babies that are not exclusively breastfed. We think the microbiomes of non-exclusively breastfed babies could contribute to more stomach aches and colic,” he added.
With other benefits of breast milk previously well publicised, this will prove extremely interesting for parents and parents-to-be.