Support and Promote Public Breastfeeding
At any given time of day, a newborn baby is being brought into our world; in fact, there are about 12,343 newborn babies every day. Our earth’s population is growing at a faster pace every year, and each year there are more and more children that are not getting the proper nutrition that is needed. A large contributing factor to this issue is the decreased popularity of breastfeeding by mothers. Based on my extensive research, I have found that most of the world respects and supports public breastfeeding, or breastfeeding at all, with the exception of some countries such as Germany, Malaysia, China, India and even here in the United States. Public outlook and opinion seems to be the deciding factor of whether a mother breastfeeds or not in a certain region.
In early 2008, Cambridge University conducted a survey that showed in the United States only 61% of children zero to three months old were being breastfed, 48% of children from three to six months old, and a shocking 31% of children from six months to a year old. In that same study, research showed that the percentage of mother’s breastfeeding dropped dramatically while in a public setting. (Sherma, 2008) It is evident that mothers in the United States are not breastfeeding as much as they should and that they are effected by public opinion, thus causing an even lower breastfeeding rate than normal. The problem with a lower breastfeeding rate is that the young children will not be getting the proper nutrients that are vital for early child development and health. The United States is faced with a complex issue today that has a simple answer; for more mothers to breastfeed their children there must be more public support from the government and communities. Once mothers begin to feel more comfortable and socially accepted while breastfeeding, the numbers of breastfed children will increase. The importance of breast milk to a newborn child can be life or death. When babies are first born they are extremely susceptible to infection, illness and disease. Mothers early breast milk is called colostrum and is commonly referred to as “liquid gold.” According to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department “…[C]olostrum is the thick yellow first breast milk that you make during pregnancy and just after birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and antibodies to protect your baby. Although your baby only gets a small amount of colostrum at each feeding, it matches the amount his or her tiny stomach can hold. (HHSA 2010)” After the mother stops forming colostrums, they form what is called mature milk. This milk is made approximately three to five days after birth, and has a special mixture of protein, sugar, fat and water needed to help your baby grow. This milk is a bit thinner than the colostrums but is still an amazing source for the antibodies and nutrients the newborn will need. This breast milk is also unique as it fights off disease. With the help of the cells, hormones and antibodies breast milk fends off illness from the newborns. Colostrum’s nutritional value and protection for a newborn child is something that cannot be matched by baby formula. Baby formula companies make several claims that they are better than breastfeeding due to ease of use and accessibility, but the truth is that breast milk is always better for your child (unless the mother has a medical condition). The Draw backs of baby formula are countless. According to the NRDC: Health concerns for the formula-fed infant include the risk of contaminated water, potential contaminants in bottles and nipples and contaminants in the formula itself. In many parts of the world, water is polluted with high levels of microorganisms that can cause diarrhea and other serious infectious diseases. Even in developed countries, contamination of water supplies by parasites (cryptosporidium and giardia) and bacteria (such as e coli) can be very dangerous for an infant...
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