This chapter focuses on the functional properties of breastfeeding and its role on the relationship mother/newborn. Human milk components make it an inimitable mixture and the optimal nutrition for newborns. Far from being only a source of nutritional elements, human milk has got a lot of properties, most of them yet to be discovered. It has been proved that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in developing countries could prevent 13% of the global childhood mortality. This explains why World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics are strongly requesting 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding in their guidelines. Breastfeeding provides a lot of physiological benefits for the child such as protection against infections, development of physiological gut microbiota (eubiosis), acid-base balance, optimal sleep quality. Its positive effect on neurobehavioral and cognitive development, especially of premature infants, is based on two potential mechanisms: the nutritional content of breast milk and the increasingly stronger mother-child bound, which indirectly involves cognitive growth. Breastfeeding has been associated with the reduced risk of children’s internalizing behaviors. Each of the behavioral changes that emerge postpartum is mediated by a vast array of neurochemicals, including oxytocin. Breastfeeding also reduces postpartum depression: the mechanisms involved are not understood, but it has been hypothesized that prolactin and oxytocin play an important role in this context. Their increasing levels are associated with a decrease in ACTH and cortisol levels. Endorphins seem also to be involved as the plasmatic levels double during breastfeeding, but no univocal results are coming out of literature. We performed a study evaluating types of feedings and incidence of post-partum depression in mothers as well as its influence on newborns temperament. At the 3rd month of life the exclusively-breastfed newborn showed a temperament more oriented to positive emotions and also showed ability to focus. Other authors did not demonstrate any effects on infant temperament or, on the contrary, they observed higher scores for negative affectivity compared to formula-fed infants.

Breastfeeding: Nutrition and Behavior.

M. E. Baldassarre
Conceptualization
;
A. Di Mauro
Writing – Review & Editing
;
N. Laforgia
Supervision
2015

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the functional properties of breastfeeding and its role on the relationship mother/newborn. Human milk components make it an inimitable mixture and the optimal nutrition for newborns. Far from being only a source of nutritional elements, human milk has got a lot of properties, most of them yet to be discovered. It has been proved that exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months in developing countries could prevent 13% of the global childhood mortality. This explains why World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics are strongly requesting 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding in their guidelines. Breastfeeding provides a lot of physiological benefits for the child such as protection against infections, development of physiological gut microbiota (eubiosis), acid-base balance, optimal sleep quality. Its positive effect on neurobehavioral and cognitive development, especially of premature infants, is based on two potential mechanisms: the nutritional content of breast milk and the increasingly stronger mother-child bound, which indirectly involves cognitive growth. Breastfeeding has been associated with the reduced risk of children’s internalizing behaviors. Each of the behavioral changes that emerge postpartum is mediated by a vast array of neurochemicals, including oxytocin. Breastfeeding also reduces postpartum depression: the mechanisms involved are not understood, but it has been hypothesized that prolactin and oxytocin play an important role in this context. Their increasing levels are associated with a decrease in ACTH and cortisol levels. Endorphins seem also to be involved as the plasmatic levels double during breastfeeding, but no univocal results are coming out of literature. We performed a study evaluating types of feedings and incidence of post-partum depression in mothers as well as its influence on newborns temperament. At the 3rd month of life the exclusively-breastfed newborn showed a temperament more oriented to positive emotions and also showed ability to focus. Other authors did not demonstrate any effects on infant temperament or, on the contrary, they observed higher scores for negative affectivity compared to formula-fed infants.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/204128
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