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Health Benefits of Nursing

Nursing in Developing World

Health Benefits of Nursing
Human health is a unification of body and spirit.

In Brazil, where medical care isn’t readily available, an artificially fed baby is 14 times more likely to die than an exclusively breastfed baby, and at least four times more likely to die than an infant receiving both mother’s milk and formula. In Pakistan, a largely Muslim country, advocates for nursing are very outspoken.

Developing countries, however, have another concern with the increase in formula-fed children. Exclusive nursing actually helps to curb overpopulation by postponing the return of a woman’s menses following childbirth. It is more successful in preventing conception than all other forms of contraception combined.

Many countries are worried that their already overpopulated lands will be even more strained in the future. In Africa, nursing prevents an average of four births per woman; in Bangladesh, it prevents an average of 6.5.

A study in Chile found that none of the exclusively nursing women became pregnant within six months of birth, compared to 72% of non-nursing women. Also, when survival rates are higher, as they are with breastfed children, birth rates naturally tend to be lower.

There are other concerns that Western nations, developing counties and all Muslims share. One is the issue of ecology and waste.

The Qur’an (7:31) says, “Eat and drink, but waste not by excess, for God loves not the prodigals.” 

Bottle-feeding is an example of food waste and the waste of other natural resources.

The Qur’an (20:8 1) also says, “Eat of the good things We have provided for your, sustenance, but commit no excess therein.” 

Human milk is the ultimate in renewable resources. It is there as soon as the baby arrives in the quantity that the baby needs for as long as the mother and baby want it.

In 2001 the soluble protein C14 was found which stimulates the development of B immune cells.
In 2001 the soluble protein C14 was found which stimulates the development of B immune cells.

Formula Challenges

In contrast, the formula requires production in factories under strict hygienic situations. Also transportation by truck or plane to its destination, and the use of a large number of packaging materials. A vast amount of natural resources are required for its production.

For example, soybeans (used for soy formula) are a high-input crop. Therefore, it requires the use of a lot of pesticides, fertilizer, and land, which can create pollution. To top this off, the formula is often beyond the budget of many mothers who may, out of ignorance, try to dilute or mix it with other fluids.

Human milk requires no transportation, only a little more food for the mother, and can stand covered in a clean container for up to six hours without becoming contaminated – even in warm climates. Its production creates no waste to be disposed of.

Typically, mothers (particularly Muslim mothers) given the correct information and the proper support naturally choose to nurse their children. It is primarily because of misinformation, the greed of formula manufacturing companies, and the disintegration of many cultures that this very natural tendency is repressed.

When society encourages mothers to honor the guidance set forth in the Qur’an, they usually make “the ultimate choice” in nourishing their children.

This article is from our archive, originally published on an earlier date, and highlighted now for its importance

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About Dr. Karima Burns
Dr. Karima Burns has been counseling as a Home-path for over 9 years. From the U.S. she is a doctor in Naturopathy, a Master Herbalist, and teaches with inspiration from the Waldorf school. She uses art, health and education to heal others.