Promote and Support Breastfeeding Essay

Promote and Support Breastfeeding Essay

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Main Points
According to the American Dietetic Association, “exclusive breastfeeding provides optimal nutrition and health protection for the first 6 months of life and breastfeeding with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age is the ideal feeding pattern for infants.”1 Breastfeeding has many benefits to mother and baby.1 Infant and children mobility and mortality are greatly improved due to the promotion of breastfeeding as an important health strategy.1 The promotion of breastfeeding as a health strategy also works to improve maternal mortalities and reduce overall healthcare costs.1 Breastfeeding for the duration of the first year significantly improves an infant’s overall health and chances of survival.1 Benefits of breastfeeding span from improving family dynamic and maternal health to reducing health care costs and decreasing the impact on the environment.1 Breast milk is unique in that is perfectly tailored to meet and infants need and provide optimal nutrition.1 As experts within the field of nutrition Registered Dietitians should promote and support breastfeeding for its benefits to both mother and baby.1
Breastfeeding has many benefits to baby.1 Babies who nurse beyond 6 months of age see these benefits magnified.1 Babies that breastfeed see a decrease in morbidity and mortality rates as well as an improvement to overall health. 1 According to the American Dietetic Association, evidence shows that babies who are breastfed have a reduced risk of chronic and acute diseased.1 Some health benefits of breastfeeding include a reduced risk of the following: otitismedia, gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, sudden infant death syndrome, necrotizing enterocolitis, obesity, and hypertension.1 Babies t...

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...ofessionals play an essential role in promoting and supporting breastfeeding.1 RDs and DTRs are experts within the field of nutrition, and play an imperative role in the research of breastfeeding related topics.1

Nutrition Recommendations
Breast milk is the best source of optimal nutrition for infants.1 The ideal feeding patterns for infants is to breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of life and then to breastfeed with complementary foods from 6 months until at least 12 months of age or longer, this provides optimal nutrition and health protection for an infant.1 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 400 IU of vitamin D per day for children from birth and throughout childhood to prevent rickets.1 Exclusively breastfed babies need to supplement vitamin D due to insufficient vitamin D levels in breast milk and decreased exposure to sunlight.1

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