If there is anything in the world that is a natural gift, then breast milk is one of them. There are numerous benefits regarding breastfeeding. Let us learn them one by one!
The benefits of breastfeeding
- The whey protein/casein ratio in breast milk proteins is best suited to the needs of newborns and preterm infants, guaranteeing complete metabolism of amino acids and not accumulating too much phenylalanine and tyrosine.
- In breast milk, the content of cysteine and amino taurine are relatively high, which is beneficial to neonatal brain growth and promotes mental development.
- The content of unsaturated fatty acids in breastmilk is high and easy to absorb. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus is appropriate. The main sugar is lactose, which is beneficial to the absorption of calcium. The total osmotic pressure is not high and it is not easy to cause necrotizing enterocolitis.
- Breast milk can enhance the ability of newborns to resist disease. Colostrum and transitional milk contain abundant secretory immunoglobulin A antibody (sIgA), which can enhance the resistance of the respiratory tract of newborns. Breast milk contains high levels of lysozyme and more macrophages that can kill pathogens. Lactose facilitates the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. Lactoferrin content is also high, which can effectively inhibit the growth and activity of E. coli, protect the intestinal mucosa, prevent the mucosa from being attacked by bacteria, and enhance the resistance of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Breastfeeding is fresher than milk powder and easier to digest. No milk powder nutrition is comparable to breast milk. The protein components in breast milk are reasonable, and their composition and proportion will change accordingly as the baby’s growth and needs change. This changes in synchronization with the growth of the baby to meet the needs of the baby in different periods, and is not replaceable by other milk substitutes.
- Enhance the maternal and child feelings, so that newborns get more maternal love, increase the sense of security, and help establish good interpersonal relationships in adulthood.
- Studies have shown that newborns who take breast milk have a much lower chance of suffering cardiovascular disease and diabetes in adulthood than those who do not.
- Breastfeeding is simple, convenient and timely in the method, and the temperature of the milk is appropriate, reducing the possibility of bacterial infection.
How long is it best to breastfeed?
Many mothers now choose to breastfeed. But as the baby’s age grows, breast milk will not meet the nutritional requirements of the baby. How long does breastfeeding work best for your baby?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF), babies generally have to be breastfed for at least six months.
Generally, 10 months after delivery, breast milk secretion and nutrients are reduced a lot, but the baby needs more nutrients at this time. If the breastfeeding time is too long, the baby has a risk of suffering from rickets, anemia, and other malnutrition-related diseases. At the same time, if the mother’s breastfeeding time is too long, it will cause atrophy of the endometrium, leading to irregular menstruation, poor sleep, loss of appetite, and excessive nutrient expenditure resulting in physical overdraft. Therefore, weaning the baby at the right time is very important for the health of both the baby and the mother.
For babies, breast milk is the best food, and breastfeeding is the most scientific way to feed! Breast milk contains all the nutrients the baby needs, is very easy to digest, absorb, and rich in amino acids and lactose and other substances that have a role in promoting in the infant brain development. However, the novice mother may not know what to pay attention to about breastfeeding. Here are some considerations of breastfeeding:
- Each time you breastfeeds, let your baby eat one breast until it is empty. Your baby may slow down, suck on the nipple for comfort, then let go of the nipple, or go to sleep with the nipple in his mouth.
- After emptying one breast, pat the baby on the back and change one breast to breastfeed.
- Some babies need to eat both sides of the breasts each time they feed, while others only need to eat one side. If your baby eats one side and then eats the other side, make sure your baby has enough.
- After eating the milk, the baby will show the appearance of full, relaxed and satisfied.
The right way to breastfeed
It’s believed every mother knows breastfeeding is good, but when you make up your mind to feed your baby with your own milk, do you know the right way to breastfeed? Do not think that carelessly plugging the nipple into the mouth of the baby is feeding method. When to breastfeed? What is the correct position for breastfeeding?…… These things should be taken into consideration.
Pay attention to sanitation
Before breastfeeding, moms must wash their hands and nipples using warm water, and then dry them with a hot towel, to prevent sweat or dirt and bacteria on the nipple from spreading to the baby through the mouth when sucking milk. In addition, before breastfeeding, gently press the breast to squeeze out the first few drops of milk, and then start breastfeeding.
The position should be correct
For the first few days after delivery, due to fatigue and weakness, mons can lie in bed to feed. After that, moms can sit at the head of the bed or in a chair with pillows supporting their back, and try to relax the whole body as far as possible to feed happily. Hold the baby with one arm, take the upper part of the nipple between the index and middle fingers, and press gently with the index finger, so that the nipple is slightly away from the baby’s nose, preventing the breast from blocking the baby’s nostrils and preventing too rushing milk that may cause choking and vomiting as the baby sucks fast.
Feeding time is fastidious
Many baby care experts say babies are fed every 2-3 hours for the first 3-4 days of life, about 8 times during the day and possibly 2-3 times at night. And when a baby reaches the age of three months, it is usually fed once in about four hours, five times during the day and 1-2 times during the night. It is recommended that the mothers should fix the feeding time to prevent loss of feeding or overfeeding. Also, it is important to note that mothers should not feed their babies as soon as they cry. Be sure to find out if the crying baby is hungry, peeing, or uncomfortable before taking the appropriate action.
Add complementary food
In general, even if you are breastfeeding, you can start feeding your baby with complementary foods at the age of 6 months. Complementary foods can provide a more diverse and complete range of nutrients, including calories, iron and vitamins, and even trace elements such as zinc and copper. Giving different types of complementary foods at different month ages can help your baby get used to a variety of tastes and avoid eating bias in the future.
Caroline Liu is a writer by heart and working at Cusabio, a biotech company engaged in research and manufacture of proteins, antibodies, enzymes, cDNA clones, and Elisa kits. She loves sharing articles about health tips and various diseases.