Breast milk is the best food for newborns and infants. The American Academy of Paediatrics recommends to breastfeed babies at least for one full year if possible. Others suggest even longer period of time. Breast feeding has a tremendous biological, emotional and cognitive developmental benefits for the baby and during first four months it is the best food for your baby satisfying all her nutritional needs. We have reviewed and tested several baby food types and none can match all the benefits of mother’s milk.
Breast milk contains these elements:
– 1-1.5% proteins
– 6-7% sugar
– 3-4% fat
– 0.2 % salts
– 88% water
Breast milk is easily digestible and that’s why your baby feeds every 2 hours or even more frequent at times. The necessary elements from breast milk are easily absorbed by baby’s body and thus they enhance body’s development and growth. Breast milk also contains biologically active elements of the immune system that protect baby from viruses and infections and make her stronger. This immunity that naturally gets passed on to the baby can be very critical for the baby’s health during the initial stages in order to fight flu and other common cold. Health benefits acquired during the first months of baby’s life last for the life time.
Another important benefit from breastfeeding is time and cost savings. Food is available at the right temperature and consistency whenever the demand is there and you don’t have to sterilize any bottles, measure, prepare, heat or wash. (Unless you are working and pumping out milk regularly to a bottle and then feeding). Most formulas are quite expensive and you will end up spending at least $30 per week for formula (that’s $120 per month!). In a year you would have spent over thousand dollars. We normally try to give the best for the baby and do not calculate on costs. But in this case you end up giving something better for the baby and at the same time save money.
Here are some facts about the breast milk:
– Breastfed babies are 3 times less likely to die from SIDS than formula fed babies.
– 80% of babies who are breastfed have normal weight compared to 43% formula fed babies.
– Children who were breastfed are twice less likely to get cancer in childhood.
– Breastfed babies are twice less likely to get ear infections.
– Breast fed babies even have better eyesight.
– They are less likely to have Vomiting, Diarrhoea, Pneumonia, wheezing, and Bronchiolitis
– Also breast fed babies are less likely to have Meningitis
And these are only a few benefits to mention. All these benefits are verified by several studies and by the American Academy of Paediatrics. Some moms as well as experts say neither a diaper bag nor any baby food but indeed breastfeeding is the biggest gift you can give to your child.
Here are a few facts and tips about breastfeeding:
– Mother’s milk is perfect for your baby thus if your infant is feeding well, you do not need to give any additional food until he is 4-6 months old.
– There is no need to give additional liquids because your child not only eats but also satisfies his thirst with breast milk alone.
– Alternating breast and bottle might result in worse latching and less breast milk. If you need to give something to drink in addition to breast milk give using a spoon or from a cup.
– Feed baby when he wants and shows sign of hunger. Initially newborn feeds up to 12 times per day. Later on frequency of feedings decreases to 7 times or so.
– Night feedings are important for your child because at night breast milk is thicker, has more calories and baby need it.