The Benefits Of Breast Feeding

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During my maternity clinical experience I was able to be a part of the discussion encouraging mothers to breast feed their infants almost weekly. Before attending nursing school I had a limited understanding concerning breast feeding, but I had heard and learned that the benefits of breast feeding far outweigh any other source of infant nutrition. During this course and several other courses in the nursing program, the professors and guest lectures have all emphasized the vast physiological and emotional benefits that stem from breast feeding. I have decided to discuss the benefits of breastfeeding for the critical analysis paper because during my clinical rotations on the floor I noticed that breast feeding is always one of the main focal …show more content…
It is almost common knowledge that breastfeeding fosters many desirable outcomes for the nursing infant. Exclusive breastfeeding has been noted to be the most effective intervention in reducing and preventing infant mortality worldwide (Dhingra & Mathur, 2014). It is recommended, encouraged and most often expected of healthy mothers to breastfeed their children. Examples in nature explain to us that this is the natural course; this is how the human population feeds their offspring; human milk is for human infants. The purposeful and specific nature of breastmilk sets it apart from all other artificially created substitutes. Human milk is superior in that it provides so many long term and short term benefits to the infant, in every category of growth and health (American Academy, 2005). The benefits for breastfed infants are numerous, ranging from neurocognitive development to an increase in immune health. Findings have even suggested that this simple act reduces the risk of childhood malignancies (Lawrence, 2000). The milk itself adapts to the needs and development of the child. Enzymes within human milk can improve digestive health and act as a defense against microbes. The promotion of brain health and a noted association with the reduction of dyslexia and hyperactivity is linked with breastfeeding. Breastfeed babies are less likely to contract an infection, be diagnosed with asthma or be affected with allergic reactions (Dhingra & Mathur, 2014). There are even slight developmental advantages among the breastfed infant population as compared to those who have been formula fed (American Academy, 2005). By far the most notable positive association with human milk is the obvious decrease in infection disease. Diseases such as bacterial meningitis, urinary tract infection and diarrhea can become less severe and less frequent; some studies have associated decreased rates of sudden infant death

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