Breast milk is the natural, unequalled high balance of carbohydrate, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals that is easier to digest and absorb by your baby. Colostrum, the breast milk produced immediately after delivery is the perfect first food for your baby as it is filled with antibodies and immunoglobulin A (IgA). Thus, breast milk, boosts immunity. The chances of infection like diarrhoea, cholera is higher in bottle feed babies as compared to breastfeed ones. Breast milk also ensures lesser chances of diabetes in children by as much as 30%, reduces risk of childhood cancers and heart disease later in life.
Breastfeeding also contributes to the health and well-being of mother. It helps space children and reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding women recovers faster and easier from childbirth as hormone such as Oxytocin help the uterus to return to normalcy quicker and reduces Postpartum bleeding. The benefits also extend to effortlessly losing the weight gain during pregnancy.
While breastfeeding is a natural act but it is also a learned behaviour. Motivation and right way of feeding baby so as to give support to mother for establishing and sustaining best breast-feeding practices is important.
Guide to Breastfeeding
Just like adults, babies too have their own individual eating patterns. Most babies fall into the routine of feeding once every 2 hours. “Watch the baby and not the clock”. Feed your baby on demand. One way to look whether your baby is feeding enough is to observe their output i.e. 5-6 wet diapers and 2 – 3 stools per day is an indicator of healthy baby. Also, better your child is latched on to your nipple, longer and adequately he or she will feed.
Breast Milk Vs Formula Milk
Avoid modern formula milk as it superficially contains the same amount of nutrition as breast milk. This is because breast milk is produced directly in the mother’s body, caters specifically to the requirements of the baby and contains antibodies that protect the new-born. Formula milk, on the other hand, contains no living cells, enzymes, antibodies, and hormones, which are essential for the all-round development of the child and for boosting his or her immunity. The breast milk is easy to digest and absorb as compared to formula feed, so frequent feedings are required. This is absolutely normal for your baby to feed frequently in the beginning because their stomach capacity is very less at birth