Breastfeeding Infant Revealing Olfactory Bulb : The olfactory bulb in the brain (highlighted in the image) conveys chemical information about odors to the cerebral cortex. There is a strong relationship between memory and the emotional dimension of food. Memory is embodied, often recalled via the sensations of taste and smell. One major emotion that is constantly linked with food is that of love, particularly maternal love.
Breastfeeding is feeding of infants or young children with breast milk from female breasts (i.e. through lactation). The sucking reflex enables babies to suck and swallow milk instinctively. Some mothers express milk to be used while their child is being cared for by others by hand or by using a breast pump.
Globally, inadequate nutrition is an underlying cause of the deaths of more than 2.6 million children and over 100,000 mothers every year.
Many health groups, such as World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF support 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding and continued partial breastfeeding for extended periods.
Breastmilk offers benefits for both mother and baby. It is easy for the baby to digest, which promotes more frequent eating due to faster digestion. It may decrease risk of diabetes and celiac disease. Benefits for the mother include: better uterine shrinkage, decreased risk of breast cancer, and decreased risk of postpartum depression. It may also be a bonding experience for mother and child, and can be less expensive than infant formula. Controversially, decreased risk for obesity in adulthood and improved cognitive development have been mooted.
Consensus holds that breastfeeding is beneficial and superior to infant formula in most circumstances. Formula feeding is associated with more deaths from diarrhea in infants in both developing and developed countries.
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