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Breast feeding

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Author: Emma

Breast feeding is the natural method for feeding a human infant. It should be commenced as early as possible after the child birth. Breast feeding is acceptable in all social situations, even a busy marketplace. However, breastfeeding women often keep their breasts covered when not feeding, fearing the lactating breasts are very susceptible to airborn illness. Breast feeding is something that is entirely new, for you AND your baby. It's going to take a little while to get used to it, and it may take a little while before you settle into your routine.

Breast feeding is a necessity for the newborns. Rich in fat, water, protein and sugar, a mother's milk helps in the proper growth and development of the baby. Breast feeding is the greatest and the best gift any mother can give her child. Yet, the world over, there are millions of infants deprived of this benefit.

Babies need to be breast fed early, within an hour after delivery, exclusively, for the first six months of life, and after six months the breast milk must be combined with appropriate complementary foods for two years or more. However some of our traditional practices on breastfeeding are inconsistent with all of these. Babies usually do some non-nutritive sucking. Babies can do fine without breastmilk. A friend of mine died five days after her baby was born, leaving her husband and child to fend for themselves.

Infant growth is rapid and a continuous supply of nutrients is required. The infant's energy needs can be supplied by an average intake of 100-120 Kcal/Kg/day in the first four months, decreasing, as growth slows, to about 100 Kcal/Kg/day for the last six months of the first year. Infants who nurse are not drinking formula, which is a perfect medium for bacteria if it's not refrigerated and if it is reconstituted with contaminated water, as is typically the case in nonindustrialized countries. And if infants are exclusively breast-fed during the vulnerable first six months of life, they're also not taking in contaminated food. Infants are the most vulnerable.

Breastfeeding also burns calories and helps shrink the uterus, so nursing moms may be able to return to their pre-pregnancy shape and weight quicker. In addition, studies show that breastfeeding helps lower the risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and also may help decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding my baby in New York City was not so bad for me. I would typically find a safe, but not too secluded spot in my favorite park next to a church (one of those progressive, arty churches). Breastfeeding is much easier when you are a PHILLIES PHAN!!! Ahhh, my baby will be able to tase world-champion breastmilk .

Bottle-feeding is more expensive than breast-feeding as well. Bottle milk given in the first few days can reduce both the baby's hunger and the mother's milk. Bottle-feeding pumped breast milk is more likely to interfere with establishing a breast-feeding routine in the first few weeks. A supplemental nursing system allows the baby to feed at the breast while getting a supplement.

Studies in Uganda, Tanzania and Durban show that bottle-feeding results in higher cases of infant mortality than with those solely breast-fed for the first six months of infancy, even if the mother is HIV positive, says Professor Coovadia. Providing free formula then poses some serious dangers. Studies conducted in Western countries have shown that bone loss associated with pregnancy and breast-feeding is recovered after weaning. However, it is not clear whether recovery takes place after repeated pregnancies followed by prolonged periods of breast-feeding; especially in developing countries where nutritional intake is comparatively low. Studies have also linked artificial feeding to increased risk for obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and necrotizing enterocolitis. Mothers benefit as well, and a history of breastfeeding has been associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and of breast and ovarian cancer.

Studies have shown a 15-35% reduction in breast cancer among women who have lactated for 3-24 months. In addition, women who were breast-fed experienced a reduction in breast cancer of 24%.

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