The benefits that are derived by breastfed babies include less morbidity from gastrointestinal infections and reduction in respiratory tract infections and atopic dermatitis. Besides being an economical means of providing adequate nutrition for the baby the mother derives the benefit of reduced risk for breast cancer, particularly so, when the breastfeeding is extended for a longer period of time. (1).nbsp.
In spite of this worldwide recommendation for breastfeeding babies, there is a wide disparity in the breastfeeding of babies in the developing world and in the developed world. In the developing countries, the knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding and the skills for breastfeeding has been retained in the societies. Hence the practice of breastfeeding remains a dominant feature of mothers in the societies in developing countries. In contrast in the developed world mothers choose to breastfeed their children as a fulfillment of motherhood and not for the benefits that breastfeeding provides babies, because they are less conscious of the benefits that accrue. This has caused the rates of breastfeeding among mothers in the developed world to be significantly lower than the breastfeeding rates demonstrated by mothers in the developed world. This is reflected in the reduced practice of breastfeeding of babies in the United Kingdom. (2).
In spite of all the efforts to encourage and enhance breastfeeding in the United Kingdom, the stark reality is that nearly one-third of the mothers choose to give babies formula feed from the very beginning after birth and by the time the baby is four months three-fourths of the mothers have their babies on formula feeds. (3). The Millennium Cohort paints an even more dismal picture showing that in the case of exclusive breastfeeding after four months from birth the percentage drops to three percent and at six months exclusive breastfeeding is less than one percent. (4). These figures make for poor comparison with countries in Europe itself.nbsp.