what are the benefits of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding – Benefit Children and Women Around the World

Breastfeeding is one of the most important life-changing events in the lives of modern parents. Two mid-20th-century Korean girls breastfeeding their first babies while concurrently working at the hospital. The history and social context of breastfeeding relate to changing legal, medical, and social attitudes towards breastfeeding, the simple act of providing a child the breast milk directly from the mother’s breast to her mouth. In western society, breastfeeding has become almost routine and acceptable, even desirable for some couples. However, some cultures have always rejected or at times prohibited breastfeeding babies.

Three main cultural groups traditionally breastfeed their children

First, Asian-Americans. Many Asian cultures prohibit or strictly regulate the breastfeeding of babies. This is because most Asian families place great importance on the mother’s ability to feed their children. Asian women often work long hours away from home where they are unable to breastfeed. In these instances, most Asian women have taken it upon themselves to become wet nurses or enlist the aid of a family member to help breastfeed the child.

The second group of mothers

who have historically breastfed their infants is the European-American women of the late 18th century. At this period, there was little difference between the bottle-fed infant formula and the breastfeeding milk. There were only a few cases of milk allergy in which both mother and infant suffered from an allergic reaction to the milk. For this reason, the European-American mothers adopted a wet nursing technique that involved expressing the milk using a formula made from goat’s milk. By the end of the 1800s, the majority of European Americans were bottle-feeding their infants.

The third major group of mothers who adopted breastfeeding

were the Jewish-Romanian women of the late 19th century. Theodor Seuss Geisel, a Jewish writer, became the advocate of breastfeeding for these three groups. Theodor Seuss Geisel encouraged mothers to express milk in public places such as the grocery store, supermarket, and department store. The “Gesta latte” was the first published book on breastfeeding to be adopted by a European-American family.

A fourth group that has adopted breastfeeding

is the world war ii generation of mothers who were born in the United States and who are part of the booming Latinas/ Asians/ Africans/Indian population. This fourth group has been overlooked and underestimated by the medical profession. In fact, until recently, there have been no recorded cases of a baby being breastfed in the United States until the 20th century.

As you can see, the benefits of breastfeeding

are not limited to the world war ii generations of European and American mothers. It is also developing countries such as those of the east and south pacific that have yet to fully realize the incredible benefits of breastfeeding. The world continues to benefit from the contributions of these mothers. These moms have shown through their actions, that if the mothers are given a choice, they will breastfeed.

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