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

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Child malnutrition is one of the most widespread problems ***** world faces until now. It has been associated to high rates of morbidity and mortality among children in the develop*****g countries. Child malnutrition ***** 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 ***** 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 children younger ***** 5 ***** old: 70 million ***** 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 ***** the infant's physical, cognitive, and emotional *****. Breastfeeding protects the infant ***** contracting many common childhood diseases such as chronic diarrhea, pneumonia; developing autoimmune diseases, tooth decay, and growth retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, *****; Brennan et al., 2003). It also facilitates development of the gastrointestinal tract while facilitating the absorption and digestion ***** fats, proteins, and carbohyd***** found in foodstuffs (Gabbe, Nie*****l, and Simpson, 2007; Rakel ***** Bope, 2007). ***** also lowers the risk of cardiovascular ***** and obesity as *****se children become older. It strengthens maternal-*****fant bonding, an activity which is profoundly import*****t to a child's emotional development. ***** is also economically beneficial because it is free. Breastmilk contains sufficient nutrients and provides immunologic comp*****nts such as antibodies that are passively transferred from the mother. The mother also benefits from breastfeeding as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. ***** mother ***** also protected from rapid involution of the uterus, breast and endometrial cancers, and diabetes (Gabbe et al., 2007).

Despite its well-founded benefits, breastfeeding rates remain low in all parts of ***** world. The introduction of breastmilk within 1 hour *****s low among South Asian countries. In Afghanistan, breastfeeding is not introduced during the first hour of feeding; in *****, 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 *****5% of mothers ***** infants breastfeed their children during the first 6 months (*****, 2007). There have also ***** incons*****tencies with regards ***** ***** right time supplementary solid foods should be introduced. In Bangladesh, it was found ***** the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding ***** 3.7 months with nearly 70% of the mo*****rs introducing milk supplements prior to 6 months. Most mothers also exclusively breastfeed their ***** for over 30 months (Ramachandran, 2004). In India, breastfeeding *****s were found to be almost similar ***** practices in Bangladesh and West Bengal, except that the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 5.3 months and lasted to the ***** duration of 25.4 months. Other studies have shown that ***** rate decreased from 72% in the


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