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The Health Benefits of Beastfeeding Essay example

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Human infants, at the time which they are born, are incredibly dependent creatures. Extensive measures must be taken to ensure that they are given the adequate nutrients they need in order to grow into a health, fully-functioning adult. The means in which infants receive these nutrients is most commonly through breastfeeding. The intimate relationship between mother and child that exists in the womb is maintained after birth through the act of breastfeeding. The choice of a mother to breastfeed her child has numerous, serious implications – for both herself and her offspring. The physiological consequences that breastfeeding has on mother and child are undeniable. Breastfeeding directly affects the physical development of an infant…show more content…
If a mother immediately suckles her infant after giving birth, signals are sent from the mammary glands to the pituitary gland. These signals cause the pituitary gland to leak significant amounts of oxytocin into the mother’s body. The release of this hormone causes the uterus to contract, causing the birth of the placenta to proceed with little complication. Because of this contraction and the procession of the placenta being delivered, the risk for potentially fatal post-partum bleeding is lessened, as well as acting as an aid in return the uterus back to a normal size. (CITE) Breastfeeding also acts as a natural form of birth control. It only seems reasonable that a mother’s body would use lactation as a signal to halt the process of ovulation – preventing a woman from becoming pregnant while she is still responsible for giving a substantial amount of her attention to a dependent child. This post-natal, temporary infertility is called lactational amenorrhea. If practiced correctly lactational amenorrhea or LAM is over 98 percent effective as a natural form of birth control. For its effectiveness to translate, though, breastfeeding must be the only source of nutrition for the child, and the mother must suckle at least every four hours during the day. LAM is most effective for the first six months post-partum. During this time, it is likely that the suckling mother will not have a menstrual
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