Research Paper on Breastfeeding

2264 Words Dec 2nd, 2012 10 Pages
What are the Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding?
Researched Evidence that Identifies Benefits of Breastfeeding to the Child, the Mother, and the Entire Family

What are the Benefits of Extended Breastfeeding? Throughout most of human history, breast milk has been the one food that infants have thrived on. Breastfeeding is recognized throughout the world as the preferred method of feeding infants due to its health benefits and nutritional quality. Recommendations by leading health organizations echo the importance of breastfeeding by setting forth guidelines. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,” breastfeeding should be continued for the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually
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An infant who is breastfed receives added health benefits compared to a child who is formula fed. In the first few days after birth, the breast milk is comprised of protein, vitamins A and E, and antibodies which help protect the infant from infection. After the first few days, the mature breast milk contains fats and cholesterol, which are essential for the growth and development of the infant’s nervous system, eyes, and brain. It also contains micronutrients calcium and magnesium, which are beneficial to the infant’s growth (Thompson et al., 2010). Because of all the healthy components to breast milk, there is significant research showing that children who are breastfed have reduction in diseases, healthier bodies and mouths, and long-term health benefits as well.
Research has shown that one of the greatest benefits is a reduction in Type 1 and 2 diabetes. It has been shown that children than develop diabetes have had little or no consumption of human milk. It has also been revealed that children who were fed cereal before four months of age are at a greater risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. Infants who are exclusively breastfed also show a reduction in Chron’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Hodgkin’s, leukemia, and some childhood lymphomas as lifelong conditions. Because human milk allows for longer maturing of the infant’s stomach, there are fewer incidences of asthma and allergies (Ryan, 2012).

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