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 develop*****g countries. Child malnutrition has been associated with a number ***** factors that can be addressed by the society. Some of these are poverty ***** the family's socio-economic status, availability of food and poor diet, immunization, ***** breastfeeding practice (Brenna, McDonald, Shlomowitz, 2003). In fact, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months could decrease mortality ***** children younger than 5 years old to 13% (UNICEF, 2007). South Asia has ***** *****est morbidity and mortality rates among ***** younger than 5 years old: 70 million children younger ***** 5 years are from ***** Asia, ***** 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 *****, tooth decay, ***** growth retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, *****; Brennan et al., 2003). It *****so facilitates development of the g*****trointestinal tract while facilitating the absorption and digestion ***** fats, proteins, ***** carbohydrates found in foodstuffs (Gabbe, Nie*****l, and Simpson, *****; Rakel ***** Bope, 2007). It also lowers ***** risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity as these ***** 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 ***** free. Breastmilk contains sufficient nutrients and provides immunologic comp*****nts such as antibodies ***** ***** passively transferred from the mother. The mother also benefits from ***** as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. The mother is ***** protected from rapid involution of the uterus, bre*****t ***** endometrial cancers, and diabetes (Gabbe et al., 2007).

Despite its well-founded benefits, breastfeeding rates remain low in *****l parts of the world. The introduction 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 are 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 *****s ***** infants breastfeed ***** children during the first 6 months (UNICEF, 2007). There have also ***** inconsistencies with regards ***** the right time supplementary solid foods should be *****. In Bangladesh, it was found that ***** median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 3.7 months with n***** 70% ***** the mothers introducing milk supplements prior to 6 months. Most mothers ***** exclusively breastfeed their ***** for over 30 months (Ramachandran, 2004). In *****dia, breastfeeding practices were found ***** be almost similar to practices in Bangladesh and West Bengal, except ***** the ***** duration of exclusive ***** was 5.3 months and lasted ***** the median duration of 25.4 months. Other studies have shown that breastfeed*****g rate decreased ***** 72% in the


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