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 ***** has been ***** with a number ***** factors that can be addressed by the society. Some of these are poverty ***** the family's socio-economic status, availability ***** food and poor diet, immunization, ***** 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 and ***** rates among children younger than 5 years old: 70 million ***** younger than 5 ***** ***** from ***** Asia, ***** are unlikely to 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 from contracting many common childhood diseases such as chronic diarrhea, pneumonia; developing autoimmune *****, tooth decay, ***** ***** retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, 2003; Brennan et al., 2003). It also facilitates development of the g*****trointestinal 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 diseases and obesity as *****se children become older. It strengthens maternal-***** bond*****g, an activity which is profoundly important to a child's emotional development. ***** is ***** economically beneficial because it is free. Breastmilk contains sufficient nutrients and provides immunologic comp*****nts such as antibodies that ***** passively transferred from the mother. The mother also benefits from ***** as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. The mother ***** also protected ***** rapid involution of the uterus, breast ***** endometrial cancers, and diabetes (***** et al., 2007).

***** its well-founded benefits, breastfeeding rates remain low in all parts of ***** world. The *****troduction of breastmilk within 1 hour remains 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; South Asia Breastfeeding Partners Forum, 2007). It ***** been found that *****5% of mo*****rs 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 *****. In Bangladesh, it was found ***** the median duration ***** exclusive ********** was 3.7 months with nearly *****% of the mo*****rs introducing milk supplements prior to 6 months. Most mothers also exclusively breastfeed their ***** for over 30 ***** (Ramach*****ran, 2004). In India, breastfeeding practices were found ***** be almost similar to practices in Bangladesh and West Bengal, except that the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 5.3 months ***** lasted to the ***** duration of 25.4 months. Other studies have shown that breastfeeding rate decreased from 72% in the


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