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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

When a child is born, a mother can choose to breastfeed her infant or to use an alternative source of nutrition such as formula. To choose properly, the mother must be informed about the pros and cons of each method of feeding. This paper will elaborate on the process of breastfeeding and present some of the benefits that are conferred to both infant and mother through the act of breastfeeding, benefits that formula does not provide. Breastfeeding positively affects infants in both the short- and long-term by providing protection from infectious diseases, fostering the psychological bond with their mothers, and increasing cognitive development later in life. In addition, mothers benefit from choosing to breastfeed their infants by having a quicker delivery of the placenta, retaining less weight postpartum, and having a decreased risk of breast cancer. In conclusion, this paper will show that while formula does contain essential nutrients for infants, it does not provide the protective and curative benefits that breast milk does.

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