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Breastfeeding - Essay Example

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Breastfeeding, the feeding of human infants to his/her mother's breast, is one of the most important activities that a mother would give to her child. It provides the significant vitamins and minerals that are vital for the growth and health of an infant. It contains choline, biotin, chromium, copper, folate, iodine, magnesium, and all other minerals suited for infant growth (Prescott, 2003)…
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Breastfeeding
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Download file to see previous pages With the proper and important nutrients that a baby gets from breastfeeding, breastfed babies are also less prone to become overweight not only during infancy but also as they grow old as teenagers and adults (Benefits of Breastfeeding n.d.). Nutrients that balance hormonal secretions and other bodily functions lessen the proneness of infants to diabetes, heart diseases, eczema, asthma and other allergic disorders. It also boosts the infant's immune system making them less susceptible to infections. Enhancement in brain development is very much evident in breastfed babies as their visual organs and visual acuity develops faster than infant formula fed ones, providing them learning readiness as they grow older (Goodness of Breastfeeding).
Breastfeeding benefits are not only confined within infants. Even mothers can profit from breastfeeding. Dermer and Montgomery (1997) elaborate the benefits that this act gives to mothers in different perspectives. Physically, the sucking of babies on mother's breasts induces the release of oxytocin, which causes contraction of the uterus that protects mothers for post-partum haemorrhage, saving the mother from anaemia. Breastfeeding also reduces the possibility of obesity in mothers. Continued breastfeeding also has the tendency to delay the return of menstruation and ovulation. This fosters child spacing for couples. On the other hand, on the psychosocial level, breastfeeding provides a firmer and more stable bond between the mother and the baby. The unique power of touch promotes psychological and emotional intimacy. Because of this exclusive intimacy between the mother and infant, post-partum depression on the part of the mother and tantrums of the infant are greatly minimized. When it comes to economic aspect, breastfeeding reduces the cost of childbearing. It minimizes infant and mother's risk on diseases.
The benefits of breastfeeding have been taken into account by the UK government. The UK Department of Health has initiated series of programs in promoting breastfeeding. However studies show that despite the UK's campaign in breastfeeding awareness, there is only a minimal rate of success in this aspect (Ingram, 2006). UNICEF and UK government stated that only 69% of mothers breastfed at birth while only 42% breastfed at 6 weeks (United Kingdom Code Violations 2004 p.1). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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