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The Nutritional Advantages of Breastfeeding Essays

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Any infant enters the world completely relying on their mother, whether it’s to provide security, comfort, or their first meal. Breastfeeding, although pretty self-explanatory, is the act of a woman feeding a baby with milk from her breast. It is recommended that a baby be breastfed for the first time within an hour of their birth and exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life (Belsky, 2012). However, there is a stigma attached to breastfeeding in some areas of the world, especially the United States, so a common alternative is formula. There are many benefits not only the infant can gain from being breastfed, but also benefits the mother can obtain from providing this nutrition for her child. This paper will discuss…show more content…
There is a wide array of benefits as a result of breastfeeding that specifically help a child survive and develop from the time they are born and throughout all stages of life. The more recognized and examined benefits during infancy and toddlerhood include, but are not limited to, increased intelligence, decreased risk of getting ear infections, lowered risk of Sudden Infant Death syndrome, better resistance to common illnesses and allergies (stronger immune system), lower risk for childhood onset diabetes, lower risk for asthma and eczema, increased cognitive development, higher IQ, and increased social maturity.
The benefits listed above that affect a baby/toddler, up to two years old, physically include the lowered risk for ear infections, Sudden Infant Death syndrome, asthma and eczema, and a stronger immune system. Regarding middle ear infections, there was a study that compared infants that were only fed formula and infants breastfed only. The results showed that those who were formula-fed experienced a greater risk of about 70% for developing an ear infection (Scariati et al., 1997). SIDS is one of the more worrisome risks to watch out for with a new baby because it is still not completely understood how it occurs. With results supporting breast milk’s part in reducing the risk for SIDS, a case study looked into sixty-three unexpected infant deaths and separated them into one of three categories; nineteen infants suffered from SIDS,
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