Breastfeeding is a tool, gift, and experience that a lot of mothers disregard, overlook and dismiss. This paper is aimed at proving the significance of this vital act of love. Breastfeeding not only provides vital nutrients, it also fosters many health, economic and emotional benefits. The advantages of breast milk will clearly outweigh any inconvenience some may complain of.
Breast milk alone can provide all the nutrients a child needs until it is six months old with no other supplements needed. Human milk provides the perfect balance of nutrition, proteins, and hormones needed for a baby. It cannot be replicated by any other substance such as soy milks or formulas. Since breast milk is made specifically for the human infant, mother's milk is more easily digested than any foreign substances like infant formula, cow's milk or soy milk. Breast milk is a living substance, it will change as the baby’s nutritional needs change. There is no need to change it with age as you would with a traditional formula. Protein and essential fatty acids, such as DHA, that are found in human breast milk are perfect for assuring the best development for the central nervous system and brain. (llli.org 2007) There is no need for most mothers to introduce formula to their infants in order to assure health to their child. Formula is just an imitation of breast milk. I’m not sure why any mother would want to give their child such a cheap imitation when the best is available. It would be like wearing tennis shoes from Dollar General and throwing away a perfectly good pair of Louis Vuitton red stilettos.
Human breast milk also has been proven to increase a child’s intelligence. Research suggests that the IQ’s of breastfed babies were significantly higher than those of formula fed infants. DHA found in human milk has been shown to boost visual acuity and cognitive development. (llli.org 2007)
Additional health benefits also include but are not limited to: The brain, higher IQ’s are found in breastfed children. Cholesterol and other types of fat in human milk support the growth of nerve tissue. The eyes are helped. Visual acuity is higher in babies fed human milk. Even the ears stay healthier. Breastfed babies get fewer ear infections. The mouth palate is not disturbed as with some bottles. There is less need for orthodontics in children breastfed more than a year. There is improved muscle development of face from suckling at the breast. Subtle changes in the taste of human milk also prepares babies to accept a variety of solid foods. Throat surgeries are less likely. Children who are breastfed are less likely to require tonsillectomies. Respiratory systems are stronger. Evidence shows that breastfed babies have fewer and less severe upper respiratory infections, less wheezing, less pneumonia and less influenza. The heart and circulatory system reap benefits too. Evidence suggests that breastfed children may have lower cholesterol as adults. Heart rates are lower in breastfed infants. The digestive system sees fewer problems. Babies have less diarrhea, fewer gastrointestinal infections in babies who are breastfeeding. Six months or more of exclusive breastfeeding reduces risk of food allergies. Also, less risk of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in adulthood. The immune system is stronger. Breastfed babies respond better to vaccinations. Human milk helps to mature baby’s own immune system. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of childhood cancer. The endocrine system is boosted. There are reduced risk of getting diabetes. Kidneys do not have to work as hard. With less salt and less protein, human milk is easier on a baby’s kidneys. The appendix is healthier. Children with acute appendicitis are less likely to have been breastfed. The urinary tract sees fewer infections in breastfed infants. Joints and muscles hurt less. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is less common in children who were breastfed. Skin is...
Bibliography: Breastfeeding. April 5, 2013. Women’sHealth.gov. September 2013
Breastfeeding. August 26, 2013. CDC.gov. September 2013
Breastfeeding Answers. March 25, 2013. La Leche League. September 2013
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