Breastfeeding Among Low Income Mothers

1682 WordsOct 3, 20147 Pages
Breastfeeding among Low-Income Mothers Introduction The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that a mother breastfeeds during her child’s first 6 months of life. After 6 months, the AAP advises that a mother should continue breastfeeding while incorporating solid foods into the baby’s diet. This nutritional combination should continue until the child is at least 1 year old (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2012). Additionally, the United States Surgeon General acknowledges the health benefits of breastfeeding and urges a culture of support (U.S. Surgeon General, 2011). According to the Surgeon General, breastfeeding is highly effective in preventing various diseases, infections, and illnesses (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011a). Breast Milk is Nourishing An exclusively breastfeeding mother’s mammary glands produce a total of approximately 750 mL of milk per day. Synthesized from substances in the mother’s blood, breast milk contains all necessary nutrients for a baby’s healthy development. For example, human breast milk consists of a specific combination of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins. Additional milk components include minerals, electrolytes, and water. The nutrient concentrations fluctuate as lactogenesis progresses. Changes in milk composition and volume are controlled by multiple hormones, including cortisol, insulin, and prolactin. Along with composition, the volume of produced milk changes throughout lactogenesis. The
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