The Physical and Psychological Impact of Breastfeeding on Mothers and Infants Although breastfeeding is older than civilization itself, it is very much a delicate topic in this country. We often hear magazines, news anchors, medical professionals, and all kinds of people comment on how much better breastfeeding is for an infant’s immune system, but these same people turn around and run breastfeeding through the gauntlet of public opinion and societal norms. It is common for mothers who bottle feed to be shamed while mothers who breastfeed are shamed for when and how they choose to do it (Jansen and de Worth, 2008). Such a normal, necessary thing, but our society is still fiercely debating about appropriateness of
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The woman’s name is Mallory Smothers and along with a side by side comparison of pumped breast milk that was two completely different colors, she explained how an immunology study supported the finding that a woman’s “body will actually change the milk's immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby's particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies.” Another physical benefit of breastfeeding is the impact it has on the development of allergies in the child later in life. Studies show a drastically reduced development of atopic or allergy related issues in individuals who were breastfed.
Individuals were studied up to 17 years of age and were shown to experience the long term benefit of lower rates of allergy related eczema, food allergies, and respiratory allergies
(Saarinen & Kajosaari, 1995).
Along with immune system benefits for the baby, breastfeeding provides benefits to the overall health of mothers in both shortterm and longterm ways. While not known by the general population, the aid of breastfeeding in losing weight gained during pregnancy is well known short term benefit among parents and medical professionals. Conversely, there are a variety of lesser known short term effects of breastfeeding, most of which directly concern the mother’s reproductive system. Faster contraction of the uterus back to its original shape, as well as a chemical reaction of breastfeeding that acts a