The Relationship Between Ear Aches and Breastfeeding: Children may suffer from more ear aches if they weren't breastfed.
The ear is connected to the throat (more specifically, to the pharynx) through the Eustachian tube. This tube allows the ear to easily drain excess fluids and waste into the pharynx. The Eustachian tube should be at a slightly inclined angle to facilitate the drainage. Babies' tubes are not fully developed at birth; they develop over the course of their infanthood. If the tube doesn't grow at the correct angle (remaining slightly horizontal instead), it will be harder to drain the fluid in the ear. Excessive fluid in the ear creates a moist environment and bacteria thrive in this kind of setting. When a bacterial overgrowth is experienced in the ear, an ear infection (or ear ache) occurs.
In order for the Eustachian tube to grow at the right angle, a baby should be breast fed. The position of the baby's head while feeding off the nipple helps align the Eustachian tube at the correct angle. Unfortunately, when babies feed from bottles or synthetic nipples, their heads are not maintained in the optimal position for perfect ear tube development.
(Yet another reason to add to the growing list of "Reasons Why Breastfeeding is Important").
Enjoy your holiday Monday!