• Mother's breast milk

Mother's breast milk

Breast milk is the ideal food for your little one.

WHO recommends mothers worldwide to exclusively breastfeed infants for the first six months to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, they should be given nutritious complementary foods and continue breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond.

Breast milk promotes sensory and cognitive development, and protects the infant against infectious and chronic diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding reduces infant mortality due to common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea or pneumonia, and helps for a quicker recovery during illness. These effects can be measured in resource-poor and affluent societies.

Breastfeeding offers health benefits to mother and child even after toddlerhood. These benefits include a 73% decreased risk of sudden infant death syndrome, increased intelligence, decreased likelihood of contracting middle ear infections, cold and flu resistance, lower risk of childhood onset diabetes, decreased risk of asthma and eczema, decreased dental problems, decreased risk of obesity later in life, and a decreased risk of developing psychological disorders, including in adopted children.

Breastfeeding also provides health benefits for the mother. It assists the uterus in returning to its pre-pregnancy size and reduces post-partum bleeding, as well as assisting the mother in returning to her pre-pregnancy weight. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of breast cancer later in life. Lactation protects both mother and infant from both types of diabetes.

What is in breast milk?

Carbohydrates: Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in human milk. It accounts for approximately 40% of the total calories provided by breast milk. Lactose helps to decrease the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the stomach, which improves the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Fats: Human milk also contains fats that are essential for the health of your baby.  It is necessary for brain development, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and is a primary calorie source.  Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) which consist of DHA & AA, are needed for brain, retina, and nervous system development.  They are deposited in the brain during the last trimester of pregnancy and are also having proven benefits in reducing allergic diseases and developing your baby’s immune system.

Proteins: Human milk contains two types of proteins: whey and casein. Approximately 60% is whey, while 40% is casein. This balance of the proteins allows for quick and easy digestion. If artificial milk, also called formula, has a greater percentage of casein, it will be more difficult for the baby to digest. Approximately 60-80% of all protein in human milk is whey protein.  These proteins have great infection-protection properties.

Nucleotides: Nucleotides are the building blocks of our genetic material (DNA & RNA). They are naturally present in mother’s breast milk, which support proper weight gain and head circumference development. Nucleotides also have proven benefits in reducing frequency, severity and duration of diarrhea episodes which is very common during early months of life.

Prebiotics (GOS): Galactooligosaccharides are natural fibers present in mother’s milk, these fibers are the natural nourishment of the beneficial bacteria in your baby’s small guts, these bacteria are very important as it protects against harmful ones. Prebiotics GOS induce softer stool consistency and more comfort. Your little angel will not suffer constipation, gases or colic.

Lactoferrin: inhibits the growth of iron-dependent bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.  This inhibits certain organisms, such as coliforms and yeast, which require iron.

Secretory IgA: also works to protect the infant from viruses and bacteria, specifically those that the baby, mom, and family are exposed to.  It also helps to protect against E. coli and possible allergies.  Other immunoglobulins, including IgG and IgM, in breast milk also help protect against bacterial and viral infections.

Lysozyme: is an enzyme that protects the infant against E. coli and Salmonella. It also promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora and has anti-inflammatory functions.

Vitamins: the amount and types of vitamins in breast milk is directly related to the mother’s vitamin intake.  This is why it is essential that she gets adequate nutrition, including vitamins.  Fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, are all vital to the infant’s health.  Water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid are also essential.

 

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