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The Benefits Of Breastfeeding For Baby And Mother

2274 words - 10 pages

According to Article 24 in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, every child is opted to the utmost attainable standard of health. (United Nations, 1989) From the day of childbirth and up to the age of two is the most critical period of time of the advancement of good health including good growth, as well as cognitive and behavioral development. The most effective way to promote optimal growth for a child is through feeding, more specifically through breastfeeding. Despite obvious precautions, such as a mother who has HIV or some other disorder that can be transmitted through fluid, breast milk is far superior to formula feeding. It is the most nutritional and beneficial way a mother ...view middle of the document...

Prolactin, known as the “milk- producing hormone,” is released from the pituitary gland. Endocrine functions, the release of hormones, work hand in hand with the anatomical aspect of the breast. The breast itself is made up of glandular tissue, connective tissue, lymph, blood, nerves, and fatty tissue. Fatty tissue and connective tissue provide protection and support, respectively. Blood in the breasts play an important role of bringing nutrients to the breast tissue, while lymph helps eliminate all the waste. Within the fatty and glandular tissue lies a complex branch- like structure that begin with milk ducts, forming into ductules, and ending in sacs called alveoli. The alveoli are the cells within the breast that produce milk, in response to the hormone prolactin. Once the baby is ready to be fed a hormone called oxytocin is released, which causes small muscles in the breast to contract and push the milk through the milk ducts. The nerves in the breast cause them to be more sensitive, so that when suckling occurs there is milk let down.
The act of breastfeeding can ultimately be seen as the deliverance of the utmost support for the beginning of a new immune system. In other words, infants receive the most essential protection from solely their mother’s milk. (Mead, 2008) During the first week of lactation, the composition of breast milk tends to alter. Immediately following parturition, the mammary glands of the breast creates milk in which differs from mature milk, called colostrum. (States, 1991) Colostrum is known to have a distinct yellow color, due to carotenoids, which once congested become Vitamin A. Vitamin A has been seen to reduce viral gastrointestinal and respiratory infections in infants, such as diarrhea and the measles. (Koletzko, 2000) Colostrum is also a huge factor in the growth and function of the digestive system. During days 4-7 post partum is when rapid changes in breast milk occurs and finally after 21 days the breasts contain mature milk mostly consisting of carbohydrates, fat, and protein. (States, 1991)
Also known as macronutrients, carbohydrates, fat, and protein have been said stimulate the growth rate of children for the first three years of life. (Stahl, 2013) Proteins are one of the primes features of human milk that make it exceptional for babies. The low volume in protein allows for the appropriate growth rate, while providing enough for the development and protection of vital organs. (Sears, 2013) Lactoferrin is a main protein in breast milk that destroys pathogens and has also been said to reduce inflammatory responses. (Victora, 2003) This is extremely crucial for a newborn, since it has yet to be introduced to contaminants. Most importantly about these proteins are the amino acids that make them up. Studies show that the amino acids cysteine and taurine are present in large amounts. (Suave, 2005) Taurine cannot be reproduced from differing amino acids making it substantial for the deliverance to the...

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