Breast milk is considered to be a unique source of food for babies that contains all vital nutrients that ensure the infant's health, growth, and development. Breast milk is a source of food that cannot be replaced with any other diet, as it contains multiple antioxidants that help in protecting babies against the harm caused by microorganisms. Breast-feeding is also a crucial source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and vitamin E, that aid in preventing or reducing oxidative damages to various body tissues.
There are multiple reasons to breastfeed your little one. Some of these reasons include the joyful closeness and bonding with your baby, the specific nutrition that only you can provide, the cost savings, and health benefits.
Following are the health benefits of breast milk for your baby
Your first milk is liquid gold
Your first milk (colostrum) is termed liquid gold because of its deep yellow colour. It is the first thick milk that you produce just after giving birth. This milk is very rich in nutrients and consists of antibodies to protect your baby from infections. Your baby can drink only a small amount of colostrum during each feed as the stomach of a newborn infant is very small that can hold only a small amount.
Your milk changes as your baby grow
By the third to the fifth day after birth colostrum changes into mature milk, which contains the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein to help your baby grow. It looks thinner compared to colostrum but has the right nutrients to fulfill your baby’s healthy growth needs.
Breastmilk helps in fighting diseases
The cells, hormones, and antibodies present in breastmilk help in protecting babies from illnesses. Breastmilk offers unique protection to meet your baby’s needs. As per the research breastfed babies have lower risks of getting:
- Ear Infections
- Childhood leukaemia
- Childhood obesity
- Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
- Diarrhoea and vomiting
- Lower respiratory infections
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alimoradi F, Javadi M, Barikani A, et al. An Overview of Importance of Breastfeeding. J Compr Ped. 2014;4(2):e14028.
- Your guide to breastfeeding[Internet]. Available at: https://www.womenshealth.gov/files/documents/your-guide-to-breastfeeding.pdf. Accessed on Aug 10, 2020.