Earlier this year, 2012, Time magazine issued a cover page which featured an attractive 26-year-old mother, clad in trendy skinny jeans with sleekly muscled bear arms, breast-feeding her toddler son under the headline, ?Are You Mom Enough?? Jenifer Lopez, a famous Latina singer, resents breastfeeding "My mom didn\'t breast feed and I think that was the thing for me. You read and figure out what\'s the best thing for them "(Gaza, M). Beyonc?, a pop icon, was spotted breastfeeding her child Blue Ivy at a table in a restaurant. The world Health Organization recommends that mother?s breastfeed their children exclusively for six months with combination of solid food for two years; however, bread-feeding rates, one in three infants exclusively breastfed during the first four months of life, are relatively low in United Kingdom as compared to elsewhere in the developed world. The link between breastfeeding and positive health outcome is a known phenomenon which is easily proven; however the link between breastfeeding and better cognitive outcome is difficult to study, making it a controversial association. Child psychology research reports such as: Maria Lacovoc and Alumedna Sevilla, The Effect of Breastfeeding on Children?s Cognitive Development, Bhunyabhadh Chaimay?s Influence of Breastfeeding Practices on Children?s Cognitive Development Systematic Review, and N K Angelsena, T Vika, G Jacobsena, L S Bakketeig?s Breast feeding and cognitive development at age 1 and 5 years all presented evidence that there is some form of association between breastfeeding and cognitive development.
Cognitive development refers to how a person thinks, perceives, and gains understanding of their surrounding through learned factors and interaction of genetic factors. Information processing, intelligence, language development, memory and reasoning are all elements of cognitive development. According to the gale?s encyclopedia, cognitive development is the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. It was once believed that infants lacked the ability to form, and think about complex ideas and remained without cognition until they learned language. However, it is now known that babies are well aware of their surroundings and are interested in exploring their environment. From birth, infants are actively learning; they gather, sort, and process information to develop thinking skills as well as perception.
The primary goal of the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) is improving the health of mothers and their children. Protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding, with its many known benefits for infants, children, and mothers, is a key strategy toward this goal. According to the Pediatrics for Parents, about seventy percent of women breastfeed exclusively or in combination with formula at the time of hospital discharge. However, this rate drops about thirty perfect by the time the child reaches six months of age; mothers begin to use formula or solid food as alternative method of feedings to the baby?s diet. For mothers who choose to breastfeed, they do so because they feel that breastfeeding is one of the best ways to ensure that their baby development in the healthiest form. In addition, Breastfeeding is no only a natural way to feed a child, but it is cost-effective, and convenient. Breast milk is known to provide the ideal balance of nutrient for optimal growth and development, and it is easily digestible by infants; the breast produces colostrum, a thick yellow fluid that helps newborn?s digestive system develop and function properly. Furthermore, many common childhood illnesses can be prevented by breast milk; it contains antibodies that pass from the mother to the baby for protection.
?Breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from bacteria and viruses. Breastfed children have fewer ear, respiratory and urinary tract infections and have diarrhea less often. Infants who are exclusively breastfed tend to need fewer health care visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations resulting in a lower total medical care cost compared to never-breastfed infants (Breastfeeding Laws, 2011.).?
None of the antibodies such as Colostrum found in breast milk are found in manufactured formula, which means that formula doesn\'t provide the baby with the added protection against infection and illness that breast milk does. In addition, breast milk has larger amounts of lactose, a sugar found in lower amounts in cow\'s milk and research shows that animals whose milk contains higher amounts of lactose experience larger brain development (Perkins & Vannais). Moreover, severe conditions, such as sudden infant death syndrome, and childhood leukemia have been confirmed by researcher to have a