Women > Breasts > Breastfeeding And Your Baby
Breastfeeding is a feature of our human design whereby new born babies get
the nutrition, immunity and nurturing required to carry them into a healthy
adult life as nature intended. In the womb, mother and child co-exist in
harmony, the mothers body programmed to meet a growing babies needs
and the babies body programmed to digest mothers milk.
can be health problems which undermine the natural breast feeding
process. In many communities, cows milk was successfully used as a
substitute for a mothers milk although many babies do have an
adverse reaction to it, however today's supermarket or
re-constituted milk has had much of it's food value removed in
processing and should not be used as a breast milk substitute.
Sometimes the child of a mother who could not feed would be shared
among other nursing mothers, or a wet nurse would help out. In some
cultures wet nurses were slaves or as today, many are employed
allowing mothers freedom to work or pursue a lifestyle choice.
The advent of food
formula's do provide a valuable alternative when a mother cannot
breastfeed, however a
mothers breast milk is the most complete
and compatible baby food as it has the optimal balance of nutrients
needed for a child's growth and development. Breast milk is easier
to digest than formula and breastfed babies are less likely to
become obese throughout their lifetimes than those on alternate
contains antibodies that help combat diseases and protect against
viruses, a breastfed child will have more protection from diseases
and the common early childhood problems such as diarrhea, vomiting,
eczema, ear, gastrointestinal and respiratory infections.
Breastfeeding supports a bond between baby and mother, the physical contact helps newborns feel secure,
warm and comforted, and has a calming and relaxing effect on the
mother. During breastfeeding, baby’s sucking stimulates the
mothers brain to manufacture chemicals that calm and produce a sense
of well-being promoting maternal behaviour.
The World Health Organization along with numerous health organizations in many
countries strongly support breastfeeding.
Baby and Intelligence
The link between breast-feeding and brain development has been well
established in recent years, but the reasons for it remain
controversial. Some researchers believe the link is based on the
fact that well-educated, wealthier women breast-feed far more than
poor and less educated women. Consequently, breast-fed children will
be found to test better for all the reasons that wealthier children
from high social classes test better on standardized tests.
But others believe there are chemicals in breast milk that encourage
brain development, and that those chemicals are now absent in
formula. In particular, extensive research is under way into the
effects of several Omega-3 fatty acids - docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
and arachidonic acid (AA) - that are prevalent in breast milk but
absent in infant formula.
It is possible that a
breastfed child will have a higher IQ with an increase in
intelligence for each additional month the child is breastfed.
Recent studies have found that breastfed infants tested more than
five IQ points higher than formula fed infants. A study published in
the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that breastfed
infants tested 5.2 IQ points higher than formula fed infants.
A comprehensive study involved 11 different studies of over 7000 children.
Anderson's group weighed and subtracted 15 factors from
their study, such as maternal smoking and education, birth weight,
birth order and family income. After all these factors were
removed, the researchers still found that breast-fed babies tested
3.1 IQ points higher than formula-fed babies! (American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition).
A Perfect Food
environmentally friendly and has no monetary costs other than a
feeding mother may need to eat a little more than average, and as over 600 calories a day are burned by
breastfeeding, women who don’t supplement with formula find it
is easier to lose weight gained during pregnancy.
Breast Milk won an award as the ‘Cleanest
Greenest Food’ as it is a food product that
is healthy, locally produced and doesn’t need advertising ploys to
convince children to eat it.
In some cultures
breastfeeding is discouraged or even outlawed in public depriving a
child of it's heritage and human rights.
The fetish ideology coming from the mostly religious moralists that defines the
body as a sin oppose any baring of the flesh in public. This has caused problems
for many mum's as illustrated in the right image.
We all need to fight against this bigotry and social injustice. Women should
have the rights to breast feed anywhere that their child is hungry.
Breast feeding part two
Journal of Clinical Nutrition