Breastfeeding: Numerous Benefits For Mom And Baby

2801 words - 11 pages

Breastfeeding: Numerous Benefits for Mom and Baby

Abstract

If parents care so much about their child when she grows up, it should begin from the moment of conception. The benefits of breastfeeding aren't always in the first year; many of the benefits last a lifetime. However, many parents don't know how good breast milk is for a child. Nowadays, mothers blame their busy schedules and use it as an excuse to formula feed their baby. Breastfeeding does not only benefit the baby, but also the mother. The benefits of breastfeeding are so abundant, mothers shouldn't ever consider feeding their baby formula.

Breastfeeding: Nipple, Breast & all the Rest

Today, breasts have gained the image of a sex symbol. Society forgets the main purpose women were blessed with breasts. Breasts were initially created for feeding and nurturing offspring, commonly known as breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is more than a baby simply sucking on a woman's breast. It is the natural way of feeding offspring that women have been doing for centuries. Breastfeeding is a beautiful way of nurturing a baby, and it automatically creates a special bond between a mother and her baby. The benefits of breastfeeding out number all, if there are any benefits of formula feeding.

History of Breastfeeding

In 1700-1600 BC, breastfeeding was the only option. If human offspring was not breastfed, just like other mammals, it would not survive. There was no question as to, "Was the baby breastfed?" but, "Was the baby breastfed by its own mother, a relative, friend, or wet nurse?" A wet nurse was usually hired and employed to supply milk to babies born to the wealthy. A widespread of wet-nursing for the royalty and others who were born high in rank began during the Egyptian, Roman, and Greek empires, at about 600-500 BC. Up until the medieval period, upper class European women had wet nurses. Also at this time, breast milk substitutes like cow's milk and goat's milk sucked through a sucking horn, can, or pot became increasingly popular (Stuart-Macadam, 2002).

Between the late 1600s and early 1900s, it was more preferred that mothers nurse their own children. However, dry nursing, a mixture of flour, bread, or cereal with broth or water, became more popular since it was cheaper than hiring a wet nurse (Stuart-Macadam, 2002).

In the Post Industrial Revolution era, there were major differences in the way rural women fed their children compared to urban women. Rural women continued to breastfeed their children while women in the urban areas were more likely to substitute other foods early on. The infant mortality rates were some of the highest in these textile towns where "incidence of maternal breastfeeding between 0-3 months was a low as fifty percent. Interestingly, during the Manchester Cotton Famine (early 1860s) work in mills was greatly reduced and women were forced to stay home and nurse their babies." As a result, the infant mortality rates dropped dramatically...

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