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 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 ***** 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 ***** the highest morbidity and mortality rates among children younger ***** 5 years old: 70 million ***** younger than 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; ***** autoimmune *****, tooth decay, ***** growth retardation (Bhandari, Bahl, Mazumdar, Martines, Black, and Bhan, *****; 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, *****; Rakel ***** Bope, 2007). ***** also lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and obesity as ********** children become older. It strengthens maternal-***** bond*****g, an activity which is pr*****oundly import*****t 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 mo*****r. The mother also benefits from ***** as it provides a natural contraceptive effect. ***** mother ***** ***** protected from rapid involution of the uterus, bre*****t and endometrial cancers, and diabetes (Gabbe et al., 2007).

Despite its well-founded benefits, breastfeeding rates remain low in *****l 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 hour ***** feeding; in fact, Afghan babies are given breastmilk only as early as 4 months old (World Health Organization [WHO], 2001; South Asia Breastfeeding ***** Forum, 2007). It has been found that 45% of mo*****rs ***** infants breastfeed their children during the first 6 months (*****, 2007). There have also ***** inconsistencies with regards ***** the right time supplementary solid foods should be *****. In Bangladesh, it was found ***** the median duration ***** exclusive breastfeeding was 3.7 months with n***** 70% of the mothers introducing milk supplements prior to ***** months. Most mothers also exclusively breastfeed their ***** for over 30 months (Ramachandran, 2004). In India, ***** practices were found to be almost similar ***** practices in ***** and West Bengal, except that the median duration of exclusive breastfeeding was 5.3 months and lasted to the median duration of 25.4 months. Other studies have shown that ***** rate decreased from 72% in the


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