Summary of Key Idea from Studies
The myriad of benefits of breastfeeding are documented extensively in the literature. There are several beneficial factors of breast milk over formulae milk. The consumption of breast milk during first 6 months of life is a determining factor in infants normal health and immunity development. Breast milk is the principal source of passive immunity in infants. Via breast milk, Immunoglobulin A is transmitted into the blood stream of infants, and providing active protection from microbes from secretary fluids. The consumption of breast milk has also been shown to reduce the mortality rate among the new born babies. The breast milk also acts as an important source of vitamins and is easily digestible. Based on various factors discussed within the context of previous studies and the current paper, it is suggested that breast milk helps in imparting passive immunity to infants during their initial developmental period. It remains against this background that the current study is designed for effective exploration of breast milk immune factors against formulae fed milk. Apart of immunologic benefits, breastfeeding also helps the new born child to develop a connection with his or her mother via skin to skin contact happening during breast feeding.
Summary of the Study Designs Used
Limitations of Studies Reviewed
The critical analysis helped the researcher in identifying the research limitation of the previous work and the choice of the research methodology. The literature review is lack of the support of the relevant literatures. The researcher has focused on the several immunological benefits of the breast milk over the formula milk. However, there are no significant indications of the allergic outcomes of the formulae ilk over breast milk. The researcher could not obtain more information from the literatures. There are different literatures available that the researcher could not access due to some issues. The comparison in between the breast milk and the formulae need the in depth support of the literatures.
Implication of Studies Reviewed
Breastfeeding and Passive Immunity
Breast milk is an important source for passive immunity that provided protection against several micro-organisms after birth. The most common kind of infection from which the newborn get shielded upon breastfeeding are gastrointestinal (GI) infections. Newborns, during first few months after birth are extremely susceptible to infection and therefore benefit greatly from passive immunity and probiotics obtained via breast milk. Passive immunity enables the newborn to temporarily acquire the mother’s immunity and thereby gaining the ability to fight deadly infections such as Escherichia coli and Shigella. This temporary reinforcement allows the newborn’s immune system and GI tract to develop and mature into a functional and effective system. Such immune barriers are extremely crucial up to 6 months of age. By the end of sixth month, the infants are capable of sustaining an independent immunological defense system apart from the acquired immunity. On the other hand, the majority of the formula-fed infants develop GI infections. This is due to the fact that, newborn’s gastrointestinal tract is not fully developed and body’s natural microbiota has not been strongly established within the intestines to fight against the invading bacteria. Moreover, the formula-fed infants lack probiotics which is exclusively found in breast milk, making them twice prone to bacteria infested stool when compared to breast-fed infants and hence, more susceptible for developing a normal flora disturbance (Ardeshir et al., 2014; Munblit et al., 2017).
Breastfeeding and Immunoglobulin
Breast milk is the most importance source of nutrients and antibodies during the first six months of life. The major immunoglobulins that are passed through breast milk include Lactobacillus bifidus, lysozymes, lactoperoxidase, lactoferrin, and transferrin. These immunoglobulins temporarily enhance an infant’s immune system and capacity to fight against the threatening foreign invaders. L. bifidus make up 90 to 95 percent of the gut flora found and is beneficial in preventing opportunist bacterial infection in the GI tract. Lactoperoxidase, the natural bactericidal, is secreted from the mother’s mammary glands into the milk, while lysozymes provide innate immunity by destroying the bacterial cell wall lipoprotein. Lactoferrin on the other hand, is a multifunctional protein that serves aids in the development of immune protection in the secretory fluids within an infant’s body which include tears, saliva, and nasal secretions. These secretory fluids provide first line defense against foreign invaders and are therefore very practical in maintaining good health. Transferrin is a main transfer protein that binds to iron and carries it to various places throughout the body. Iron in turn binds to oxygen which enhances cell performance throughout an infant’s body thereby positively influencing growth, development, and immune system functionality. Immunoglobulin A is the one of the most important immunoglobulin that gets passively transferred through the breast milk. It allows infants to become less susceptible to allergies and foreign agents until the sixth month postpartum. However, research suggests that breast milk’s protection varies depending on the mother’s allergies (Ardeshir et al., 2014; Munblit et al., 2017).
Breast milk is made up of “protein (whey and casein), fat and lactose” which are easily digested by a newborn’s underdeveloped GI tract whereas the components of formula are not. Formula takes longer to travel through the GI tract thereby increasing the occurrence of flatulence, vomiting, and constipation. Delay in digestion also makes the newborn susceptible to several allergic diseases (Maayan-Metzger et al., 2012). Formula milk contains foreign proteins, which are not readily absorbed in the infant’s underdeveloped GI tract. It is suggested that newborns are not able to absorb foreign proteins that are found in products such as milk because a newborn’s intestine is underdeveloped at birth. The absorption of these proteins requires the formulation of fatty calcium fatty acid soaps that are readily available in early life. The result of poor absorption at times results in the formation of hard stools or diarrhea, fool smelling stools, and GI discomfort. Increased flatulence presents as air bubbles within the GI tract that can be very distressing to the infant and therefore may cause a formula fed infant to cry more with frequent discomfort than a breast-fed infant.
Breast milk acts an important source of vitamins and nutrients. The important vitamin ingredient found in breast milk are vitamin A, D and E. iron, It also contains iron and other trace minerals (Ballard & Morrow 2013). Thus, with breast-feeding, the nutritional intake required of a healthy growing newborn can be successfully met based on a supply and demand method.
Breastfeeding has been shown to prevent 13 % of deaths in children under five years of age who live in a low income country. Difficulty in keeping non-human milk products free from contamination is one of the major reasons behind high mortality rate among the infants in the developing countries in the 20th century. The use of unpurified water to prepare formula milk will lead to the breakdown of diarrhea like an epidemic. Such epidemic reflects the potential threats of formula milk on newborn’s health. Breast milk on the other hand is produced and stored within the breasts until the baby is ready to feed thereby, reducing the chance of infection and increasing the milk’s beneficial properties (Maayan-Metzger et a., 2012).
Nursing Practices in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding has several benefits both for mother and baby according to the latest report published by the World Health Organization in 2012. The WHO states that breastfed infants receive optimal nutrition and are less prone to childhood sickness such as bacterial infection, bacterial disease such as pneumonia and other infected or allergic disease such as diarrhea, and diabetes. Breastfeeding is considered to be the most effective way to decrease risk of gastrointestinal infection in neonate. Breastfeeding is also known to decrease risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and other forms of infant mortality. The benefits of breastfeeding are most profoundly experienced when the baby breastfeeds with skin-to-skin maternal and baby contact. Skin to skin contact results in the establishment of the stabilized body temperature. It also regulates the breath rate, heart rate, and blood sugar levels of infants and can familiarize the baby with mom’s bacteria which helps prevent allergic diseases (Maayan-Metzger et al., 2012).
Breastfeeding enhances the relationship between a mother and her child by improving bonding. Once again, skin-to-skin contact that happens during breastfeeding improves the vital signs of the infants after birth. Many of the significant health benefits of breastfeeding is not related to the composition of human milk, but depends on the close contact between the mother and her baby during nursing. Breastfed babies have enhanced control on the amount of food they consume and the exact time of meal. This can be regarded as a part association between reduced obesity rates among the breastfed infants.
Ardeshir, A., Narayan, N. R., M?ndez-Lagares, G., Lu, D., Rauch, M., Huang, Y., ... & Hartigan-O’Connor, D. J. (2014). Breast-fed and bottle-fed infant rhesus macaques develop distinct gut microbiotas and immune systems. Science translational medicine, 6(252), 252ra120-252ra120.
Ballard, O., & Morrow, A. L. (2013). Human milk composition: nutrients and bioactive factors. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 60(1), 49.
Maayan-Metzger, A., Avivi, S., Schushan-Eisen, I., & Kuint, J. (2012). Human milk versus formula feeding among preterm infants: short-term outcomes. American journal of perinatology, 29(02), 121-126.
Munblit, D., Treneva, M., Peroni, D. G., Colicino, S., Chow, L. Y., Dissanayeke, S., ... & Warner, J. O. (2017). Immune Components in Human Milk Are Associated with Early Infant Immunological Health Outcomes: A Prospective Three-Country Analysis. Nutrients, 9(6), 532.