Does Breastfeeding Prevent Bed-Wetting?

Researchers may have discovered yet another benefit of
breastfeeding for children. The association between breastfeeding
and bed-wetting was investigated because both have a relationship
to developmental progress in children.


Breastfeeding has been shown to result in improved visual,
cognitive, and neurologic development in children. This
association has been attributed (at least in part) to the
presence of essential fatty acids in breast milk. And children
who experience persistent bed-wetting tend to have more
developmental delays compared to controls in clinical studies.  


A study published in the July 2006 issue of Pediatrics showed
that children between the ages of 5 and 13 with bed-wetting were
breastfed for a significantly shorter period of time in infancy
(an average of 3 months less) than children enrolled in the study
who did not have bed-wetting. Another way of saying this is that
children who were breastfed for more than 3 months had
significantly less bed-wetting problems compared to children who
breastfed less than 3 months. The study took place prior to the
era of formula supplemented with the fatty acid DHA, which has a
preventive effect on developmental problems in children. 


The authors suggest that if further studies support their
findings, then “breastfeeding could be viewed as the first true
preventative approach toward bed-wetting.”


Barone JG, et al. Breastfeeding during infancy may protect
against bed-wetting during childhood. Pediatrics July 2006; 118
(1):254-259.

Avatar Written by Randall Neustaedter OMD

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