What is Breastfeeding ?
The two vital considerations for the the infants are Breastfeeding and avoidance of infection. All the babies, regardless of the type of delivery , should be given early and exclusive Breastfeeding upto 6 months of age . Exclusive Breastfeeding means giving nothing orally other than colostrum and breast milk . Each 30 ml of breast milk gives 20 calories
Advantages of Breastfeeding
Composition of Breast Milk :
- Breast milk is an ideal food with easy digestion and low osmotic load .
- Carbohydrates : Mainly lactose , stimulates growth of intestinal flora , produces organic acids needed for synthesis of vitamin B .
- Fat : Smaller fat globules , better emulsified and digested .
- Proteins : Rich in lactalbumin and lactoglobulin , less in casein .
- Minerals : low osmotic load , less burden on the kidney .
- Protection against infection and deficiency States
- Vitamin D promotes bone growth , protects the baby against rickets .
- Leukocytes prevents growth of infective agents .
- Lysozyme,lactoferrin , interferon – protect against infection.
- Long chain omega -3 fatty acids – essential for neurological development .
- Immunoglobulins IgA , IgM , IgG protect against infection .
- Supply of nutrients and vitamins
Breast milk is a readily available food to the newborn at body temperature and without any cost.
Breastfeeding acts as a natural contraception to the mother .
Additional advantages are :
- It has laxative action .
- No risk of allergy .
- Psychological benefit of mother – child bonding .
- Helps involution of the uterus .
- Lessens the incidence of sore buttocks , gastrointestinal infection and atopic eczema.
- The incidence of scurvy and rickets is significantly reduced .
Breastfeeding is very important because it’s the best start for your baby. So follow your maternal instincts and your baby’s demands to make your breastfeeding experience a successful and enjoyable one!
Do read about more breastfeeding Series in another part here
Refrence : DC Dutta’s Textbook of Obstetrics