Essay Example on Breastfed babies have improved Immunity








Research suggests breastfed babies have improved immunity reduced risk of infectious diseases obesity type 2 diabetes in later life enhances mother baby bonding protects against breast cancer and assists with weight loss for the mother Stuhldreher 2013 Since 2001 the World Health Organization has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for six months Kramer 2012 WHO 2001 However worldwide it is estimated that only 34 8 of infants are exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of life Ssemukasa Kearney 2014 Furthermore much of the literature suggests there is an association between breastfed children having higher intelligence than non breastfed babies Studies show breastfed children tend to score higher on cognitive tests such as IQ compared to formula fed children Anderson et al 1999 Belfield and Kelly 2012 Deoni et al 2013 Kramer 2008 Kim et al 2017 Bernard et al 2017 conducted a French population based study which showed mild associations of children s IQs at 5 6 years of age with breastfeeding duration Huang Peters Vaughn Witko 2014 indicate that breastfeeding has an important association with test scores and that subsequent schooling and other experiences during adolescence do not eliminate the breastfeeding gap that appears in very early childhood Borra Iacovou

Sevilla 2012 found breastfeeding for four weeks is positively and statistically significantly associated with higher cognitive test scores Quigley Hockley Carson Kelly Renfrew Sacker 2012 suggest that breastfed children will be 1 to 6 months ahead of children who were never breastfed therefore they concluded that breastfeeding is associated with improved cognitive development particularly in children born preterm A prospective cohort study launched in 1982 in Brazil that recorded information about breastfeeding in early childhood found that breastfeeding duration was positively associated with performance in intelligence tests educational attainment and income at age 30 years Victora et al 2015 However in contrast Cesur Sabia Kelly Yang 2017 reported that the benefits of having been breastfed do not appear to extend to the labor market Additionally more recent research suggests there is no association between breastfeeding and intelligence particularly when other factors are taken into consideration Moreover some research states that previous studies may have overestimated the impact of breastfeeding on a child s intelligence Colen Ramey 2014 Jain Concato Leventhal 2002 A recent study by Cebolla Boado Jiménez Buedo Salazar 2017 propose that selection bias in research may be responsible for higher cognitive scores rather than breastfeeding itself They conducted a study in

China where breastfeeding is normative and found that when selection bias was controlled for there were no advantages obtained by breastfed children when compared with those who were not breastfed regardless of the duration of breastfeeding Other research argues whether the association with intelligence is due to breastfeeding itself or if other factors are responsible for example such as socioeconomic status parental intelligence or supportive parental behaviour For example Der Batty Deary 2006 reported that breastfeeding had little or no effect on intelligence rather maternal intelligence accounted for most effect In a systematic review and meta analysis Horta et al 2015 looked at 17 studies on the relationship between breastfeeding and intelligence In a random effects model breastfed subjects achieved a higher IQ and they found no evidence of publication bias However when the studies controlled for maternal IQ they showed a smaller benefit from breastfeeding Additionally a systematic review of 84 studies stated that most reports of breastfeeding on child s neurodevelopment is due to confounding factors for example mother s socioeconomic status and IQ Walfisch Sermer Cressman Koren 2013 Gibbs Forste 2014 found although breastfeeding has important benefits in other settings breastfeeding does not promote school readiness They suggested parenting behaviors that improve child cognitive development may be a more effective approach especially for disadvantaged children Alternatively Díaz Silva Cando Pilatuña Guerendiain Margni 2017 found that the duration of exclusive breastfeeding may be a key factor in cognitive development of preschool children but they acknowledged more studies are needed because other environmental factors could have been responsible for the results However some studies suggest breastfeeding is still linked to intelligence despite the difficulty posed by these alternative factors Luby Belden Whalen Harms Barch 2016 report that breastfed children have higher IQ s because they found there is an indirect relationship between breastfeeding and IQ through the development of gray matter volume even when taking confounding variables into account including mother s education

However as a limitation it is worth mentioning this study was a clinical sample and of small sample size Furthermore Huang Vaughn Kremer 2016 suggest rather than confounding factors be responsible it is possible that higher socioeconomic status and supportive parenting behaviours mean the likelihood of breastfeeding occurring is higher and therefore it is the breastfeeding that increases children's cognitive development Kanazawa 2015 showed that breastfeeding was significantly associated with child intelligence taking in account parental IQ and other potential factors such as parental education earnings and social class Fonseca et al 2013 found that children that were breastfed for six months or more had better performance in the general intellectual assessment even after adjusting for the main confounding factors Another aspect of research regarding breastfeeding is the association with postpartum depression 

Dias Figueiredo 2015 conducted a systematic review of breastfeeding and depression and found that breastfeeding duration is associated with postpartum depression in almost all studies They also reported that negative breastfeeding experiences can precede the onset of depressive symptoms Ali et al 2009 found difficulties with breastfeeding to be significantly associated with postpartum anxiety and depression Galler et al 2006 study found women with postpartum depression had more negative attitudes towards breastfeeding Watkins et al 2011 reported that women with negative early breastfeeding experiences including pain were more likely to have depressive symptoms at 2 months postpartum Haga et al 2012 conducted a study in Norway where breastfeeding is normative and women with higher self efficacy in breastfeeding had less postpartum depression compared to women

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