Feeding is one paramount activity that not only allows a person to grow and live one more day but also protects the health of the one being fed in many ways. Children are one specific group of human beings whose nutritional needs continue from the womb to the real world through breastfeeding. Breastmilk is the only food that the born child is recommended to enjoy for the first six months of their living as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
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This is because mothers’ milk is composed of a varied balance of nutrients, water, and other vital minerals that a grown person would normally get from eating normal foods. Despite the proven need for breast milk by children, the rates of exclusive breastfeeding have continued to decrease in both socio-economically stable populations and the developing worlds (Hay & Bærug, 2019). Therefore, it is worth noting that exclusive breastfeeding is considered a policy guideline, recommended to all mothers except for a few contraindicated situations as advised by a qualified medical practitioner.
The breastfeeding activity confers great benefits to the infant by offering protection against gastrointestinal infections and accelerates the child’s growth by utilizing a surplus of over five hundred energy packs daily. The mother of the child also gets to benefit greatly from breastfeeding. Studies have shown that by exclusive breastfeeding, the mother’s chance of getting breast cancer is reduced, and her uterine contraction rate increases, thus reducing postpartum bleeding (Hay & Bærug, 2019).
Hay & Bærug, (2019) further note that in the United States, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends infants to be breastfed without any other foods or formulas for the initial six months of their lives. Besides, between the seventh-month to and the child’s first birthday, the child should continue breastfeeding while the mother introduces other foods gradually.
A healthy child is a healthy society, and children grow up to become the next generation of healthcare providers, politicians, teachers, lawyers, farmers, and legislators of tomorrow. A poorly breastfed child or a child who has not experienced the full benefits of breastfeeding will grow up malnourished, lack the mental capacity, experience delays in achieving milestones in life, and end up making lazy or poor performing employees or employers of the future. Without proper breastfeeding, the child’s immunity is drastically reduced. This opens up a door for all kinds of illnesses, which ends up being a cost burden to society through increased costs of medical care.
Therefore, it is important to make exclusive breastfeeding a priority by enforcing the promotion guidelines, offering patients the needed education and practice procedures for effectiveness, and discouraging mothers from the early inception of other foods to infants. Health education on proper breastfeeding techniques is an especially important intervention that should be targeted toward all mothers, especially first-time mothers.
This knowledge helps correct mistakes that can lead to other abdominal complications in the infant. In conclusion, pediatrics professionals must understand the need of their patients while observing the nutritional condition of the children before commencing any other medical interventions. This is because many pediatric conditions hail from inadequate nutrition, which compromises the immunity of infants. With a faulted immunity, the health deteriorates and leads to sicknesses and diseases among the infants.
Hay, G., & Bærug, A. B. (2019). The benefits of exclusive breastfeeding up to six months. Tidsskrift for Den Norske Legeforening. Web.