The Nutritional Advantages of Breastfeeding

2230 Words9 Pages
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 those advantages a child will experience from the time they are born to eight years of age and the advantages a mother might experience while providing for her newborn child.
Breast milk is a newborn child’s primary source for nutrition since they are unable to consume and digest regular food. This milk can be fed to an infant through direct nursing on the mother’s breast or pumping milk from the breast in advance and feeding with a bottle. If a mother is unable to supply her own milk there are other ways of obtaining nutrition for her baby, including donated milk from other mothers through a milk bank or hiring a wet nurse (a woman who breastfeeds a child other than her own). It is recommended that an infant should be solely breastfed the first six months of their life, and then increasingly introduced to solid foods as they develop (Cernadas et al., 2003). Once a child begins eating solids it is then recommended that the mother continues to breastfeed in conjunction with regular meals until at ...

... middle of paper ...

...astfed for at least eight weeks had lower anxiety, lower muscle tension, lower intense sensation seeking, lower suspicion, lower social acceptance, lower impulsiveness scores, and higher socialization scores (Sjögren et al., 2000).
Ultimately, breastfeeding appears to be one of the most influential parts of infancy that can greatly affect an individual’s future. It is not just the act of breastfeeding either, as I have pointed out, these impacts can vary based on duration of breastfeeding as well. Whether or not a parent agrees with the idea of breastfeeding, the facts and evidence to back them up do not exhibit false information. Breast milk is the most natural way to feed a child and has been completely engineered to cater to their very specific needs. While there are formulas used to replace a mother’s milk, there is no way that nutrition can be replicated.

More about The Nutritional Advantages of Breastfeeding

Open Document