Beneficial Effects of Breast Feeding on the Neonate

Hossam E Fadel


For mammals, under natural conditions, the normal functioning of the mammary glands is a sine qua non for the preservation of the species and normal development of the offspring. Breast feeding by the mother or a wet nurse was the norm, well into the early part of the twentieth century. Then refrigeration, improvements in bottle and nipple design. and other technical develpments resulted in the wide use of modified cow's milk as a substitute infant feeding. In the developing countries of the third world, breast feeding is still an important and inexpensive source of protein and is most widely used method of infant feeding, Breast feeding is much less praticed in the western world. However, in recent years many beneficial effects of breast feeding are being rediscovered, and we are observing a resurgence in its popularity. Current estimates for the U.S.A. indicates that one fourth of week-old infants are breast fed and this drops to 5% by age of 6 months (Farnan 1974). The increased interest in breast feeding is mostly seenin the better educated middle class women. In 1971 it was estimated that 25070 of newborn infants frommiddle class families and less than 5070 of infants from lower income families are breast fed for any significant period of time. (2)


Breast feeding

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