Helpless the lives of generations to come. Low birth

infants are dying every minute in developing countries. Infants need attention,
care, and most importantly nutritious food. Babies are unable to get their own
food, take care of themselves, or tell you what they want or need. Children
around the age of two months to one year are considered infants. About half of
the world’s population is affected from undernutrition and micronutrient
deficiencies. (Ahmed
and others 2012) There are many causes of
undernutrition in pregnant women, but they almost all relate back to one
overlying problem- gender inequality. It is still crazy to think there is not
equality among all people in this day’s society. In developing countries, women
are constantly falling behind men in health care, having access to food, and
education. (Ahmed
and others 2012) Women in developing countries do
just as much work, if not more, than the men. Females should have the right to
food just as men do. The same right goes to infants as well. Infant girls are
predestined to have a rough time getting the nutrients they need from day one.

Undernutrition is a vicious cycle,
once undernourished, it is unlikely that women will improve their eating
habits. With that being said, infant girls that suffer from undernutrition from
birth will most likely continue to suffer from undernutrition throughout the
entirety of their lives. Not only is it important for infants to get enough
nutrients, it is also important to give adolescent girls plenty of nutrient
packed food. In developing countries, marriage usually happens around age
sixteen and conception happens shortly after marriage. (Ahmed
and others 2012) Pregnancy is an extremely
important time to nourish the fetus. The most intricate, important development
happens in utero. Undernourished women may not gain enough weight during
pregnancy, which in turn leads to a greater chance of mortality than their
healthy counterparts. (Ahmed
and others 2012)  Undernourished fetuses grow up to be
undernourished children and undernourished adults. Undernutrition is handed
down from generation to generation because there are not changes made to their
nutrition over their lifetimes. (Ahmed
and others 2012) It is a cycle that needs to be
broken before birth or shortly after to improve the lives of generations to

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Low birth weight sets the infant up
for a life full of struggles. If a child experiences low birth weight within
their first two years of life, they may become shorter adults, have lower
attendance rates in school, and reduced income as working adults. (Ahmed
and others 2012) There are many other health
related risks throughout the infant’s life if he or she was born at low birth
weight; some of these risks include higher risk for hypertension, diabetes, and
coronary heart disease. In many cases, low birth weight could be prevented by
providing better nutrition to the mother during pregnancy. 

Essential fatty acids cannot be
made by the human body; therefore, we must take them in through our diet.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are two of the most important essential fatty acids
to get out of our diet because they bring in alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic
acid. These two acids are essential in the development of the brain and retina,
especially in unborn and young infants. (Huffman
and others 2011) For infants, the main place they
get alpha-linolenic acid and docosahexaenoic acid is from their mother’s
breastmilk. The best way to feed an infant for at least the first six months of
their life is just breastfeeding. (Ssemukasa
and Kearney 2014) Breastfeeding can prevent up to
13% of deaths of children under the age of five. (Ahmed
and others 2012) Breastmilk has many nutrients for
growing infants that other foods cannot provide. These nutrients promote
healthy growth and increased development of their immune systems. (Ssemukasa
and Kearney 2014) 
After the first six months of exclusive breastfeeding, mothers can introduce
nutrition packed foods while continuing breastfeeding up to age two. (Ssemukasa
and Kearney 2014) Breastfeeding and complimentary
feeding after six months help to promote adequate intakes of essential fatty
acids and docosahexaenoic acid in developing countries. (Huffman
and others 2011)

            It is not morally acceptable that
there is plenty of food in this world, but people are still starving. The fact
that all humans do not have the same access to food is heartbreaking. We feed
more food to animals than we do to the poor in developing countries. Many
people in developing countries are extremely hard working, but still do not
make enough money to provide food to their families. Why do we not give
everyone access to nutritional food? We as a society are a highly innovated
group of individuals who can get anything done when we work together and want
to fix a problem. Dying, undernourished infants are a problem. These children
are our future. We are killing off our future from the very start of their
lives. All people have a right to food, and we need to work together to make it
accessible to all people.

            While there is no one simple fix to
undernutrition of mothers and their infants, there can be a start to help fewer
infants face mortality. Breastfeeding promotion, increasing access to
nutritious food, and promoting healthy weight gain for pregnant women can all
help this situation. Starting in 1967, the United States developed a fortified
blended food that contained high protein and micronutrients. (Perez-Exposito
and Klein 2009) Food aid from the U.S. has saved
millions of lives already. As a society, we can continue to help developing
countries get the information they need to have happy, healthy babies along
with happy, healthy mothers.