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Beginnings Guides Blog

Breastfeeding: Nature's Health Plan

Nature’s Health Plan (NHP) is simple. No application or exam required. No premiums.
NHP’s primary provision is an ancient, rediscovered wonder drug. It is universally available
without co-pays or restrictions. The wonder drug is a nutritionally balanced and delicious
food that both prevents and treats disease. Preparation time: zero. Through a process
perfected over millions of years, its dosage and composition are automatically and precisely
tailored to individual needs, even as those needs change. It can be taken anywhere, anytime.
There are no negative side effects. Multiple health benefits last a lifetime for mother, child
and society. Cost to produce and distribute: $0.00

The wonder drug is breast milk. Nature’s Health Plan is breastfeeding.

Women in every civilization on every continent have been producing breast milk since the
beginning of human existence. Still breast feeding keeps making headlines around the world.

Breast milk prevents SIDS*  In June, University of Virginia researchers made the headlines
with definitive evidence that that breast milk is a powerful protector against Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome. Results of 18 studies taken together demonstrate that infants who received
any amount of breast milk any time were 45% to 60% less likely to die of SIDS. Among babies
who were exclusively breast fed for six months, the chance of crib death* was reduced 73%.

Breast milk prevents childhood asthma**   Earlier studies suggested a link between
breastfeeding and reduced risk of childhood asthma. This week, Dutch researchers report clear
evidence of a “dose response”. In other words, more breastfeeding provides greater protection.
The researchers followed 5000 children for four years. Children who were never breastfed were
1.5 times more likely to develop asthma symptoms than those who were fed only breast milk for
six months or longer. Children who had breast milk for a shorter time or not exclusively also were
more likely to experience wheezing, shortness of breath and dry cough in their first four years.

First 6 months, Breast milk only!   Again, the recommendation of nearly every health organization
in the industrialized world is confirmed:  Exclusive breastfeeding – breast milk only- for the first
six months of life. That’s Nature’s Health Plan, affordable, effective protection against modern
diseases and extraordinary healthcare costs.  

“Breastfeed your baby” is a key message inBeginnings Pregnancy Guide andBeginnings Parents
Guide. Women who recalled hearing this message during pregnancy had significantly reduced chance
of delivering a low-birth-weight baby. Home visitors & prenatal care providers, start talking about
breastfeeding during  early pregnancy and keep talking about it.

 *SIDS: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, also called crib death. It is called a syndrome because the
cause is unknown. There are no symptoms. SIDS refers to the sudden death of an infant (under age 1)
that cannot be explained. Each year in the US, about 2300 infant deaths are attributed to SIDS.

** Asthma: an inflammatory disorder of the airways, which causes attacks of wheezing, shortness of
breath, chest tightness, and coughing. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001196/


References:

Breast-feeding May Shield Against Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (June  13, 2011) HealthDay. Available

Breast-feeding for 6 months or More Protects Against Asthma (July 21, 2011) European Lung Foundation
News Release. Available at Medline Plus until 10/20/11: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_114555.html 

This post was influenced by quotes about breastfeeding on www.quotegarden.com




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