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      Breastmilk as Agentic Matter and the Distributed Agencies of Infant Feeding

      Studies in the Maternal
      Open Library of the Humanities

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          Most cited references53

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          Breastfeeding in the 21st century: epidemiology, mechanisms, and lifelong effect.

          The importance of breastfeeding in low-income and middle-income countries is well recognised, but less consensus exists about its importance in high-income countries. In low-income and middle-income countries, only 37% of children younger than 6 months of age are exclusively breastfed. With few exceptions, breastfeeding duration is shorter in high-income countries than in those that are resource-poor. Our meta-analyses indicate protection against child infections and malocclusion, increases in intelligence, and probable reductions in overweight and diabetes. We did not find associations with allergic disorders such as asthma or with blood pressure or cholesterol, and we noted an increase in tooth decay with longer periods of breastfeeding. For nursing women, breastfeeding gave protection against breast cancer and it improved birth spacing, and it might also protect against ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes. The scaling up of breastfeeding to a near universal level could prevent 823,000 annual deaths in children younger than 5 years and 20,000 annual deaths from breast cancer. Recent epidemiological and biological findings from during the past decade expand on the known benefits of breastfeeding for women and children, whether they are rich or poor.
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            Breastfeeding and the use of human milk.

            Considerable advances have occurred in recent years in the scientific knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding, the mechanisms underlying these benefits, and in the clinical management of breastfeeding. This policy statement on breastfeeding replaces the 1997 policy statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics and reflects this newer knowledge and the supporting publications. The benefits of breastfeeding for the infant, the mother, and the community are summarized, and recommendations to guide the pediatrician and other health care professionals in assisting mothers in the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding for healthy term infants and high-risk infants are presented. The policy statement delineates various ways in which pediatricians can promote, protect, and support breastfeeding not only in their individual practices but also in the hospital, medical school, community, and nation.
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              Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices?

              Despite its established benefits, breastfeeding is no longer a norm in many communities. Multifactorial determinants of breastfeeding need supportive measures at many levels, from legal and policy directives to social attitudes and values, women's work and employment conditions, and health-care services to enable women to breastfeed. When relevant interventions are delivered adequately, breastfeeding practices are responsive and can improve rapidly. The best outcomes are achieved when interventions are implemented concurrently through several channels. The marketing of breastmilk substitutes negatively affects breastfeeding: global sales in 2014 of US$44·8 billion show the industry's large, competitive claim on infant feeding. Not breastfeeding is associated with lower intelligence and economic losses of about $302 billion annually or 0·49% of world gross national income. Breastfeeding provides short-term and long-term health and economic and environmental advantages to children, women, and society. To realise these gains, political support and financial investment are needed to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Studies in the Maternal
                Open Library of the Humanities
                1759-0434
                August 01 2018
                August 01 2018
                2018
                August 01 2018
                August 01 2018
                2018
                : 10
                : 1
                Article
                10.16995/sim.257
                ed6709b3-64b3-46c3-b3ae-f1593ac5fa88
                © 2018

                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

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