Breastfeeding is beneficial for both you and your baby! Breast milk is a treasury of nutrients produced by the mom's body to meet the needs of a newborn. Some experts recommend breastfeeding over the first six months and advise to continue until baby's year 1, while others suggest a more extended period, until baby's year two or even longer. There are many good reasons to breastfeed, and here's why.
Breast Milk Basics Nutrition Composition
Human milk is a complex of nutritional and bioactive compounds packed primarily to support a baby's early development. It consists of macro and micronutrients and precious bioactive components. Mom's milk changes over single feeds and the lactation period, transforming in three stages:
- Transitional milk
- Mature milk
Colostrum, known as "liquid gold", is produced in the first several days after childbirth, thick and yellowish, since abundant in carotene, rich in protein and vitamin A. Colostrum provides primary immunization against viruses and bacteria and supports the baby's early digestion. Transitional milk is produced over the first two weeks after birth. It contains more fats and lactose and is higher in energy value when compared to Colostrum.
Mature milk begins to be produced about 10 to 15 days after birth. This stage of mother's milk is alive – it changes over each breastfeeding, starting with foremilk and ending with hindmilk (or' pre' and' post' milk). The difference is in the amount of fat, which increases over the feed.
Solid foods enter the menu when your baby is around six months old. However, mature breast milk would still provide about half of the baby's daily calorie needs and play a protective role simultaneously. It is packed with bioactive components, has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and stimulates the baby's immune system.
Breast Milk Nutrition Composition
Human milk comprises 90% water and contains complex carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, and additional bioactive elements. Lactose or milk sugar is the base carbohydrate in breast milk, while there are several lactose-based minor components. Lipids in mom's milk are essential for a baby's nervous system and brain development.
The fat (lipid) content in mother's milk makes up half of the little one's calorie intake from breastfeeding and is responsible for newborns' healthy and desired weight gain. Proteins in human milk play an essential role in producing needed enzymes, hormones, and antibodies. These proteins are easy for babies to digest.
Antibodies – immunoglobulins – found in human milk are a precious resource found only in mom's milk, passed to the baby. These elements provide natural immunization protecting newborns against all sorts of infections, common cold, diarrhea, and vomiting. The primary antibody in mom's milk is IgA (Secretory immunoglobulin A).
Hormones in human milk aid a baby's growth and regulate metabolism and various body responses. Enzymes play a role in immune support, aid digestion, and more. Scientists are actively researching hormones and enzymes' functions to learn how they affect newborns' health and aid development.
Human milk contains all necessary vitamins and minerals for newborns' growth and health. However, specific vitamins (D, B6, and folate, in particular) could vary depending on the mother's diet. For this reason, prenatal supplementation is usually recommended over the whole period of breastfeeding. Talk to your health care provider and discuss vitamin supplements.
5 Breastfeeding Benefits
Breastfeeding provides much more than food – it makes little ones feel loved, safe and cozy. It reinforces bonds between mother and child and encourages early socialization. Breastfeeding is direct social relation for newborns, and, as such, it is considered the basis of healthy psychological development in humans.
Breast Milk The Best Milk
Breast milk is loaded with everything a newborn needs until the sixth month of life – breastfeeding is recommended as exclusive over this period and is encouraged in the following months, up to even year 2. Its fantastic composition changes to fulfill all baby's needs.
Breast Milk Supports Immune System
Moms and babies share antibodies that cannot be found in formula. These valuable components are passed down from mother to baby through breast milk. Antibodies stimulate a baby's immune system and play a significant role in protecting newborns from bacteria and viruses in the earliest and gentlest stage of life.
Breast Milk Reduces Risk of Disease
Breastfeeding may reduce the risk for various illnesses and diseases, both long and short-term ones. These include gut infections, middle ear infections, respiratory infections and colds, SIDS, intestinal tissue damage, allergies, leukemia, bowel diseases, and diabetes type 1 and 2.
Breastfeeding May Boost Brain Development
The nutrient content of breast milk and direct social and intimate relation during the breastfeeding process have been associated with positive effects on brain development and reduced risk for behavioral and learning problems in kids.
Breastfeeding For Moms' Health
Breastfeeding could be beneficial to mom's health, as well as little ones'. It reduces the risks of developing serious diseases and conditions, such as ovarian and breast cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Breastfeeding Anytime Anyplace
One of the great benefits of breastfeeding is quite simple and practical. Breastfeeding offers a fantastic opportunity to feed your baby anytime and anywhere, which makes you and your little one relaxed and comfortable and helps you keep up to your usual routine even when traveling.
Breastfeeding vs. Formula Guide - birthinjurycenter.org/