Dis­as­ters hit for­mula-fed ba­bies hard

Warwick Daily News - - NEWS - – Jackie Sin­ner­ton

NAT­U­RAL dis­as­ters hit for­mula-fed Queens­land ba­bies harder than those that are breast­fed.

In an Aus­tralian first, a study has looked at the health of ba­bies and tod­dlers fol­low­ing nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and found for­mula-fed in­fants face a much higher risk of sick­ness.

The re­search from the Uni­ver­sity of the Sun­shine Coast was based on a sur­vey of moth­ers im­pacted when al­most three-quar­ters of the state was hit by se­vere flood­ing and cat­e­gory five Cy­clone Yasi in the sum­mer of 2010-11.

Re­searcher and lead au­thor Dr Ruth Newby said chil­dren who re­ceived for­mula dur­ing these dis­as­ters were al­most 10 times more likely to visit med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers in the four weeks af­ter the emer­gency. Moth­ers strug­gled to pack up feed­ing equip­ment be­fore leav­ing their homes and re­ported be­ing un­sure if the for­mula they used was safe.

Breast­feed­ing had a pro­tec­tive ef­fect against sev­eral ill­nesses.

“Just over half of the moth­ers sought med­i­cal treat­ment for their chil­dren for a range of symp­toms from fever and di­ar­rhoea to ir­ri­ta­ble be­hav­iour, coughs and colds. Eight of the in­fants were ad­mit­ted to hospi­tal,” Dr Newby said.

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