Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

March 2017

Department

School of Nursing

First Advisor

Paula Burnett

Abstract

This systematic literature review of health benefits of breastfeeding for infants serves to educate mothers about any potential developmental differences between breast-fed and formula-fed infants. Many factors go into a mother’s decision regarding feeding methods, but there may be gaps in knowledge that are important and significant between feeding methods. Breastfeeding vs. formula feeding has become a controversial social issue in our society. Other literature reviews as well as qualitative and quantitative studies were reviewed in order to clarify which method is better, specifically in terms of infant development and why. Analysis and review of data from these studies may clarify the answer to this question and may support the hypothesis that breastfeeding is more beneficial developmentally for infants than formula feeding. From this review, it can be concluded that the differences in development between breastfed and formula-fed infants are not significant, but there appear to be more benefits and advancements in infants who were breastfed, even for short periods. In yielding these results, it is possible that more mothers will choose breastfeeding and more healthcare providers, particularly nurses, will better educate about the differences and benefits of both methods. This may lead to healthier infant development in the future.

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