Debate Magazine

Creation: Babies’ Physiology is Designed for Breastfeeding

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

Virgin Nursing the Child, by Pompeo Batoni

Lecia Bushak reports for Medical Daily, April 21, 2016, that after breastfeeding rates dipped in the 20th century due to the advent of baby formula, in recent years they’ve begun to increase again — to the benefit of both infants and mothers.

And it just so happens that babies are physically designed to be breastfed.

video posted on Facebook by Amytime – The Healthy Breastfeeder, shows how:

  1. A baby’s tongue is large compared to the rest of the mouth, which increases contact with breast milk.
  2. A baby’s tongue is cushioned on either side by fat reserves in the cheeks — those famous baby or chubby cheeks. The fat pads in the cheeks allow the baby’s tongue to remain in place while sucking, and prevent the cheeks from sinking in.
  3. A baby’s upper airways are equipped to enhance breastfeeding. Specifically, the epiglottis  — a small flap of cartilage that covers the baby’s windpipe — prevents milk from going into the airway, and so directs milk instead to the esophagus.

Breastfeeding rates are likely increasing due to the myriad of evidence on how breastfeeding benefits both baby and mother, including:

  1. Research has shown that breastfeeding an infant for over six months is linked to an improved immune system, gut microbiome, and lower  risks of childhood leukemia, diabetes, obesity, and ear and gastrointestinal infections.
  2. One 2015 study found that babies who had been breastfed for over 12 months had higher IQ scores and made more money by the time they were 30, hinting that breast milk can enhance a baby’s brainpower.
  3. Mothers who breastfeed have reduced risks of depression, and breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding is also a great way for moms to burn off the “baby fat” acquired during pregnancy.

Finally, given the health benefits for both babies and mothers, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a press release that breastfeeding also lowers healthcare costs.

See also “Baby in womb protects mom from disease”.


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