Date of Last Revision

2019-04-29 14:15:12

Major

Nursing RN/BSN Akron

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2019

Abstract

The topic of the long-term impact of breast milk and alternative foods on the health status of children continues to be a focus of discussion and research. The aim of this systematic review was to describe and appraise evidence about the effects of breast feeding on health outcomes in children four years and older. Seventeen studies about on infant feeding were identified using Google Scholar and scholarly databases through The University of Akron. Google Scholar, CINAHL, and MEDLINE PLUS methods of searching were utilized, incorporating keywords, i.e., “breastfeeding” AND “cognitive development;” “obesity,”, “intelligence,”, and “immune system.” Based on appraisal of seventeen research reports, children, 4 years and older, who were breastfed during infancy, had improved outcomes compared to those who used alternative food. Specifically, children who were breastfed for longer than 6 months were more likely to have lower body mass index, protective factors against the risk for diabetes, increased scores of several intelligence tests, and healthier mental health assessments. Each study was critically appraised based on sample size, validity and reliability, and general findings compared to current research. Based on the analysis, it is recommended that nurses strongly promote breastfeeding for a minimum of the first six months of infants’ lives.

Research Sponsor

Christine Graor, PhD, RN

First Reader

Sheau Huey-Chiu, PhD, RN

Second Reader

Diane Lorenzen, MSN, RN

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