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Childbirth and Childrearing


Childbirthand Childrearing

Theimportance of childbirth and childrearing cannot be gainsaid as faras the development and sustenance of a society are concerned. Indeed,these two aspects form the foundation upon which the society isbased, in which case it is imperative that immense attention is givento them if any development is to be achieved. Needless to say, therehave been immense developments in these two aspects all in an effortto enhance the health of infants. It goes without saying that thereare variations regarding the attention that is given to these twoaspects in different countries mainly depending on the economicstability or health of a country. Indeed, western countries have beenseen as extremely advanced as far as safeguarding child health isconcerned as compared to African countries or less developed nations.This has seen the movement of individuals from western nationsintervening in childbirth and childrearing in Africa. There arevaried reasons as to why westerners have made this intervention.

First,the intervention has been aimed at disseminating informationpertaining to nutrition education. In Western countries, it is wellrecognized that the infant food industry makes one of the mostfundamental forces assisting in the production of immense improvementof child mortality and morbidity in the 21stcentury (Jelliffe, 1972). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said ofAfrican or less developed countries especially considering the lowincomes, poor sanitation and low education levels. Westerners haveintervened in child bearing and child rearing in an effort to enhancethe availability of less-expensive canned foods and enhance theenrichment of varied staples in an effort to improve their qualityand reduce child morbidity and mortality (Jelliffe, 1972).

Inaddition, westerners have intervened in childbearing and childrearingin African countries in an effort to demystify the essence ofprocessed foods. Scholars note that the term “tonic” food comeswith a quaintly medieval alchemist notion. Unfortunately, there havebeen variations with regard to the comprehension of these foodssubject to the economic wellbeing of the people concerned. Theaffluent see tonic foods as forming pleasant flavorings and comingwith little or no harm to the infants while assisting in thepsychological development of the same. However, the majority of theworld especially less financially stable sees these foods as adisastrous waste of financial resources in which case they tend toevade them (Jelliffe, 1972). These westerners aim at enhancing theknowledge of Africans about these foods and enhancing their intake ofthe same.

Needlessto say, these interventions have had different consequences for theAfrican mothers and children. First, the interventions have allowedfor immense improvement in child nutrition, which has, consequentlyenhanced their health. For a large number of African mothersespecially those who are in lower echelons of financial wellbeing,taking processed foods is considered disastrous to the health ofkids. Nevertheless, increased intervention and education of Africanmothers have allowed for enhanced intake of these foods.

Inaddition, the increased intervention of westerners in childbearingand childrearing has also enhanced the availability of these foods tomothers. This is especially through their influence on Africangovernments to subsidize foods, as well as make policies that wouldallow for the local production of high status and low cost weaningfood that is manufactured in collaboration with commercialenterprises.


Jelliffe,W.B (1972) Commerciogenic Malnutrition? NutritionReviews,Vol. 30, No. 9