The baby nursing from its own mother is the most common way of obtaining breast milk, but the milk can be pumped and then fed by baby bottle, cup and/or spoon, supplementation drip system, and nasogastric tube. Breast milk can be supplied by a woman other than the baby's mother; either via donated pumped milk (for example from a milk bank), or when a woman nurses a child other than her own at her breast — an ancient and storied practice known as wetnursing.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, with solids gradually being introduced around this age when signs of readiness are shown. Supplemented breastfeeding is recommended until at least age two and then for as long as the mother and child wish. Breastfeeding offers health benefits to mother and child even after toddlerhood. These benefits include a somewhat lowered risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), increased intelligence, decreased likelihood of contracting middle ear infections, cold and flu resistance, a tiny decrease in the risk of childhood leukemia, lower risk of childhood onset diabetes, decreased risk of asthma and eczema, decreased dental problems decreased risk of obesity later in life, decreased risk of autism, and a decreased risk of developing psychological disorders, particularly in adopted children. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child, or death from not being breastfed, when screened donor milk is not available.
Breastfeeding also provides health benefits for the mother. It assists the uterus in returning to its pre-pregnancy size and reduces post-partum bleeding, as well as assisting the mother in returning to her pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of breast cancer later in life.
Read more about this topic: Breast Milk
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Famous quotes containing the word benefits:
“While greedy good-doers, beneficent beasts of prey,
Swarm over their lives enforcing benefits ...”
—Robert Frost (18741963)
“When your parents are in political life, you arent normal. Everybody talks about the benefits, but I dont know what the benefits are.... But Id rather have that kind of mother than an overweight housewife.”
—Katherine Berman Mariano (b. 1957)
“One of your biggest jobs as a parent of multiples is no bigger than simply talking to your children individually and requiring that they respond to you individually as well. The benefits of this kind of communication can be enormous, in terms of the relationship you develop with each child, in terms of their language development, and eventually in terms of their sense of individuality, too.”
—Pamela Patrick Novotny (20th century)