Breastfeeding refers to the process by which a woman feeds her newborn baby with natural milk from her breasts. It is the natural and biological way of feeding the young ones.
From the early days of existence, this is the tradition that lactating mothers employ. However, from the beginning of the twentieth century, this tradition is dying not only in the United States of America but in all parts of the world. Instead of breastfeeding, women with newborn babies are opting for chemical formulations as a replacement for breast milk. In these cases, newborns feed from a bottle with a rubber at the top, which replaces the natural way of feeding. This trend is on the rise, which is worrying. This paper highlights short term and long term effects of breastfeeding for both the mother and the child. In addition, the paper discusses the practical considerations about breastfeeding that all mothers should know.
Breastfeeding provides all nutrients that a newborn baby needs and in the right proportions. A complete nutrient content promotes normal growth in a child. In the long term, the right proportion of breast milk enhances maximum development of a child’s body organs. This is in contrast to the artificial formulations that substitute breast milk. It is true that the artificial mixtures contain almost all nutrients. However, there is no guarantee that artificial formulations contain a naturally balanced variety of essential nutrients. As a result, such formulations may contain little or extreme amounts of a certain nutrient. This is dangerous as it may result to stunted growth or abnormal body features.
It is important for all mothers to note that breast milk is always at the right natural temperatures. There are no cases that can arise where a baby may suffer injuries as a result of hot milk. Similarly, breast milk is never too cold to cause infections in a baby’s respiratory system. In contrast, artificial formulations do not have standard and fixed temperatures. During a cold day, the chemical formulations also become cold. This may lead to various cold infections such as bacteria in the food system of a child. When the artificial formulations are heated excessively, they may cause injuries such as mouth burns to a newborn baby.
More importantly, breast milk offers better strengthening of a baby’s immunity compared to the artificial formulations. This is because breast milk originates from the natural foods that a mother eats. Notably, the breast milk remains fresh throughout the breastfeeding period. Artificial formulations, on the other hand, comprise of modified nutrients that may become incompatible with a baby’s immunity system.
A mother who opts not to breastfeed her young one may also experience problems. Women’s bodies have a biological cycle from the production of breast milk to the feeding of a baby. This milk production cycle has a time frame. Failure to breastfeed a newborn baby may result to clogging of milk in the breasts. This may result to instant pain. In the long run, stagnation of milk in the breasts may lead to serious infections that may need surgery. Some of the infections may include bacterial as well as fungal infections. Treatment of such infections is expensive and time consuming. Unless a mother has a serious infection or disease that can be transmitted through breastfeeding, breast milk is the healthiest for any child. Therefore, it is essential for a mother to breastfeed her child for her own health and her baby’s.
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