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In this essay I will be looking at why women choose not to breastfeed their babies, and why the UK has one of the lowest rates for breastfeeding.

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Introduction

WHAT FACTORS ENABLE OR PREVENT AN INDIVIDUAL FROM MAKING HEALTHY CHOICES Introduction In this essay I will be looking at why women choose not to breastfeed their babies, and why the UK has one of the lowest rates for breastfeeding. The current WHO (World Health Organisation) definition of health, formulated in 1948, describes ?health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity?. At that time this formulation was groundbreaking because of its breadth and ambition. It overcame the negative definition of health as absence or disease and included the physical, mental and social domains. We could argue that the WHO definition of ?complete? physical in relation to wellbeing is that it is unintentionally telling us the requirements for complete health ?would leave most of us unhealthy most of the time?. Different people look at health in different ways. It can depend on their culture, environment, religion, or age group. When we look at health, all physical, emotional, intellectual and social aspects should be considered because they all affect our health equally. ...read more.

Middle

Sudden infant death syndrome 5. Childhood leukaemia 6. Necrotising enterocolitis Health benefits for infant 1. Higher IQ 2. Reduced incidence of hypertensions, cardiovascular disease, allergies and Crohn?s disease 3. Lower cholesterol The quality of a mother?s milk may be compromised by smoking, alcoholic drinks, caffeinated drinks, marijuana, heroine, and methadone. The use of social drugs by a minority of pregnant and breastfeeding mother?s is a fact of life. Breastfeeding is the only way to feed an infant for that infant to be able to achieve optimum growth, health and mental development. Drug-using mothers need to know how their drug habit will impact on their baby and their lactation and how artificial formula will affect them and their baby. Informed decision-making, which achieves the best outcome for both baby and mother, is the goal. Unfortunately these drugs are all drugs of addiction to varying degrees, so the ?easy? solution of ?just give it up? isn?t as easy as we would like it to be and may not be an option at all for some mothers. It?s not a black and white issue ? there?s no ?one answer fits all? solution. ...read more.

Conclusion

The highest incidences of breastfeeding were found among mothers aged 30 or over (87%), those from minority ethnic groups (97% for Chinese or other ethnic group, 96% for Black and 95% for Asian ethnic group), those who left education aged over 18 (91%), those in managerial and professional occupations (90%) and those living in the least deprived areas (89%). NHS 2010 survey Concluding comments It is clear from the evidence that breastfeeding is essential in reducing health inequalities in mothers and infants in the UK. Despite this, mothers continue to face barriers that either discourage them from commencing breastfeeding or lead to early cessation of breastfeeding. Healthcare professionals need to be aware of the challenges mothers face in society and be equipped with the knowledge and skills to support them to overcome these barriers and confidently to provide consistent information to manage these challenges as they arise. Ref maria pollard There is a wealth of information available to both mothers and healthcare professionals, therefore they need to use this information for their advantage and not ignore the fact that breast is best. Maybe mums are getting the message, as the NHS breastfeeding statistics are higher now than they have been in 2005, so hopefully we will have more children with high IQ?s and less children with obesity problems. ...read more.

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