Essay - Breastfeeding Introduction Child Malnutrition is One of the Most Widespread...

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Child malnutrition is one of the most widespread problems the world faces until now. It has been associated to high rates of morbidity and mortality among children in the developing countries. Child ***** has been associated with a number ***** factors that can be addressed by the society. Some of these are poverty and the family's socio-economic status, availability of food ***** poor diet, immunization, and breastfeeding practice (Brenna, McDonald, Shlomowitz, 2003). In fact, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months could decrease mortality among children younger than 5 years old to 13% (UNICEF, 2007). South Asia has ***** highest morbidity ***** mortality rates among ***** younger ***** 5 years old: 70 million children younger than 5 years are from ***** Asia, and are unlikely to achieve their full growth and development (South ***** Breastfeeding Partners Forum, 2007).

Breastmilk may potentially contribute to the infant's physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Breastfeeding protects ***** infant from contracting many common childhood diseases such as chronic diarrhea, pneumonia; ***** autoimmune diseases, tooth decay, ***** ***** retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, *****; Brennan et al., 2003). It *****so facilitates development ***** the gastrointestinal tract while facilitating the absorption and digestion of fats, proteins, ***** carbohydrates found in foodstuffs (Gab*****, Niebyl, and Simpson, ********** Rakel ***** Bope, 2007). ***** also lowers the risk ***** cardiovascular ***** and obesity as these children become older. It strengthens maternal-*****fant bonding, an activity which is profoundly import*****t to a child's emotional development. It is also economically beneficial because it ***** free. Breastmilk contains sufficient nutrients and provides immunologic comp*****nts such as antibodies ***** are passively transferred from the mo*****r. The mother also benefits from breastfeeding as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. The mother is ***** protected from rapid involution of the uterus, breast ***** endometrial cancers, and diabetes (********** et al., *****).

Despite its well-founded benefits, breastfeeding rates remain low in *****l parts of the world. The *****troduction of breastmilk within 1 hour *****s low among South Asian countries. In Afghanistan, ***** is not introduced during the first hour of feeding; in fact, Afghan babies ***** given breastmilk only as early as 4 months old (World Health Organization [WHO], 2001; ***** Asia Breastfeeding ***** Forum, 2007). It has been found that 45% of mothers and infants breastfeed ***** children during the first 6 months (*****, 2007). *****re have also been incons*****tencies with regards ***** the right time supplementary solid foods should be introduced. In Bangladesh, it was found that the median duration of exclusive *****ing ***** 3.7 months with nearly 70% of the mothers introducing milk supplements prior to 6 months. Most mothers also exclusively breastfeed their ***** for over 30 ***** (Ramachandran, 2004). In India, breastfeeding practices were found to be almost similar to practices in Bangladesh and West Bengal, except ***** the ***** duration of exclusive breastfeed*****g was 5.3 months and lasted to the median duration of 25.4 months. Other studies have shown that breastfeeding rate decreased from 72% in the


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