First 1000 days are very crucial for a baby’s growth & development. Thus, nutrition received during this time period makes an impact on overall growth.
Breast milk is a natural source of the finest nutrition for babies. It is undoubtedly the most important food source for babies and that is the reason most health authorities emphasize breastfeeding. It has been recommended that for the first 6 months babies should only be on breast milk and after 6 months weaning food to be introduced in conjunction with breast milk.
Breast milk has all the required nutrition that a baby’s body demands and is sufficient for babies for the first 6 months. After delivery mothers secrete yellowish sticky fluid which is called Colostrum. It is a rich source of protein & antibodies. Colostrum, the first milk is also known as the first vaccine to a baby. Colostrum continues to secrete for 2 to 4 days and later transitional milk comes for weeks followed by regular breast milk.
Health benefits of breast milk
Some of the benefits to baby & mother,
- Contains required nutrition & antibodies. It helps to build an immunity to fight against infections.
- It reduces the risk of many diseases. Like celiac, allergies, asthma, ear infection etc.
- Contains adequate fat and carbs which promotes healthy weight gain.
- Studies suggest that breast milk plays a vital role in brain development.
- Breast milk is always at the right temperature.
- During sickness, babies feel better and safe by having breast milk.
- Breast milk creates an emotional bonding between mother & child. And skin to skin contact regulates the baby’s body temperature.
- To mother – breastfeeding helps in uterus contraction, promotes natural way of weight reduction and lowers the risk of depression in mothers.
First 6 months breast milk is sufficient for a baby and after 6 months weaning/complementary food can be introduced in conjunction with breast milk. We recommend & encourage you to learn about breastfeeding positions and plan yourself to get familiar with it well in advance.
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