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 ***** developing countries. Child ***** has been ***** with a number ***** f*****ctors 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 the highest morbidity ***** mortality rates among ***** younger ***** 5 ***** old: 70 million children younger than 5 years ***** from ***** Asia, and are unlikely ***** achieve their full growth and development (South Asia Breastfeeding Partners Forum, 2007).

Breastmilk may potentially contribute to the infant's physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Breastfeeding protects ***** infant ***** contracting many common childhood diseases such as chronic diarrhea, pneumonia; ***** autoimmune dise*****es, tooth decay, and ***** retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, 2003; Brennan et al., 2003). It also 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 ***** risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity as these children become older. It strengthens maternal-***** bond*****g, an activity which is pr*****oundly important to a child's emotional development. ***** is ***** 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 breastfeeding as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. ***** mother is also protected ***** rapid involution of the uterus, breast ***** endometrial cancers, and diabetes (Gabbe et al., *****).

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


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