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The Benefits of Breastfeeding Essay

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“Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers” Statement taken from the world health organization publication on the nutrition of exclusive breastfeeding.
The first years of life are the most crucial years for brain, immune system and overall physiological development. This is why, it is extremely important to achieve optimal nutrition standards in these early years. Studies have shown that having optimum nutrition in infancy can lead to profound benefits throughout the lifespan of the person. Breastfeeding is extensively recommended, as the best way to achieve the
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A lot of these problems seen in formula feed babies are due to the fact that the particular composition of the formula doesn’t suit their digestive system. Breast milk consists of the optimum proportions of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water. It is extremely digestible for a new-born baby because the milk is naturally refined to perfectly suit the baby’s digestive system. The milk also contains growth factors such as, epidermal growth factor (EGR) and insulin-like growth factor. The epidermal growth factor works by helping to prepare the lining of the gut to absorb the nutrients from the milk consumed. Insulin-like growth factor is believed to be one of the primary factors regulating early growth and development. Breast milk also contains essential fatty acids that are not present in most formula milk products. The two essential fatty acids present in breast milk are docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonis acid. Both of these play a vital role in optimal development of the central nervous system, intellectual and visual development in babies. Furthermore, one of the most prominent advantages associated with breast feeding over formula feeding babies is that, breast milk naturally changes composition to correspond to the stage of development of the infant. For example, colostrum is the name given to the first milk produced post-delivery. It has an abundance of white cells and antibodies, it also contains a
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