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 developing countries. Child malnutrition ***** been associated 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 ***** 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 *****est morbidity ***** mortality rates among ***** younger than 5 ***** old: 70 million children younger ***** 5 years ***** from ***** Asia, and are unlikely ***** achieve their full growth and development (South ***** Breastfeeding Partners Forum, 2007).

Breastmilk may potentially contribute to the infant's physical, cognitive, and emotional *****. Breastfeeding protects the infant from contracting many common childhood diseases such as chronic diarrhea, pneumonia; ***** autoimmune *****, tooth decay, and ***** retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, 2003; Brennan et al., 2003). It *****so facilitates development of the gastrointestinal tract while facilitating the absorption and digestion of fats, proteins, ***** carbohydrates found in foodstuffs (Gab*****, Niebyl, and Simpson, 2007; Rakel and Bope, 2007). It also lowers ***** risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity as these ***** become older. It strengthens maternal-***** bond*****g, an activity which is pr*****oundly important to a child's emotional development. It 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 ***** as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. ***** mother is ***** protected from rapid involution of the uterus, bre*****t and endometrial cancers, and diabetes (Gabbe et al., *****).

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 ***** ***** 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 ***** been found that *****5% of mothers ***** infants breastfeed their children during the first 6 months (UNICEF, 2007). *****re have also been incons*****tencies with regards to ***** right time supplementary solid foods should be introduced. In Bangladesh, it was found ***** the median duration ***** exclusive breastfeeding was 3.7 months with n***** 70% of the mo*****rs introducing milk supplements prior to ***** months. Most mothers ***** exclusively breastfeed their ***** for over 30 months (Ramachandran, 2004). In *****dia, breastfeeding practices were found to be almost similar to practices in ***** and West Bengal, except that the median duration of exclusive ***** was 5.3 months and lasted to the ***** duration of 25.4 months. Other studies have shown that breastfeed*****g rate decreased ***** 72% in the


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