Effects of human breast milk in general health and development of infants

Vanesa Guia, Nafisa Omar Abdallah Youssef, Kolfinna Hjálmarsdóttir & Thessa Nanninga

Studenteropgave: Basisprojekt


Human breast milk is the highest recommended feeding choice for infants’ health and development around the world. Current state of the art shows human milk as the only source of food with the ability to adapt to each individual’s needs. The following report explores human breast milk and its effect on the health of infants and their mothers. It aims to find out the positive and negative effects of breastfeeding for the recommended period of time.
A three months research period took place, where articles, books, experimental, and observational studies related to human breast milk and alternatives were collected. Human, formula and cow milk were preferred, and broken down into the different levels of composition. Each component was analyzed by its function in development, antibacterial properties, and effects in health. This was done by classifying them into categories and comparing them to each other. For those with similar compositions, such as human and cow milk, they were classified by their levels of concentration instead. Results showed that exclusively breastfeeding infants on the first six months of life will keep them healthy, and lower the risk of disease development in the future. There were more positive than negative effects on health found by the end of the research period. Due to its dynamic properties, breast milk will adapt to the baby’s need, even when premature. It also enriches the intestinal flora of infants, providing them with good bacteria that stimulates immune development and digestion. Breastfeeding has the best outcome in protecting the infant against diseases and infections both in developed and industrial countries. Mothers who chose to breastfeed may experience breast sagging. Though, there are not many negative effects associated with human breast milk, less than 40% of the population in developed countries choose to exclusively breastfeed their infants for the first few years of life. This might be due to babies unable to latch during lactation, absence of biological mother, or risk of transferable diseases. Replicating the composition of breastmilk on formula milk can be further researched in the future.

UddannelserBasis - International Naturvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Bachelor
Udgivelsesdato17 dec. 2019
Antal sider37
VejledereFatima AlZahraa Alatraktchi