Which Milk is Best for Newborn Baby and Infant?
Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht Updated on Sep 19, 2019
Did you know that breastmilk is tummy-friendly which makes it the best choice of milk for your baby? Did you know, meeting the required nutritional needs of your infant is crucial in the first year of his/her life as it is the phase of rapid growth and development? Read this article from our expert to understand what makes breastmilk so perfect for your baby.
Why Is Exclusive Breastfeeding Advised for 0-6 Months Babies?
The high-energy requirements of around 110 kcal per kg body weight of your infant in the first six months, is easily matched by your breastmilk. Infants need the right quality and quantity of proteins and your breastmilk does the needful. It is tummy-friendly and has growth nutrients which help in the overall growth of your baby.
High Protein Requirement - So, parents, this high protein requirement is met by breastmilk from a well-fed mother. Breastmilk also provides the right type of whey proteins, which is gentle on the immature digestive tract of your baby. Whey proteins also help in faster gastric emptying in your infant; hence making breastmilk more easily digestible, minimizing any symptoms of colic, indigestion, reflux or digestive discomfort in your tiny tot. Breastmilk has amylase, which helps in faster gastric emptying too.
Fat Requirement - In fact, the fat requirement of your baby is also met by your breastmilk and in the right proportion (5-6% of total energy requirement) of essential fats. Your newborn also needs enough iron as the stores of hemoglobins/he is born with is used up soon. Your breastmilk, though not a rich source of iron, contains sufficient amounts of bioavailable iron to meet the needs of your exclusively breastfed infant for the first 3-4 months.
Calcium Requirements - Similarly, the calcium requirements of your baby are met by your breastmilk alone. Did you know, the absorption of calcium is much better than cow’s milk (although the amount of calcium present in your breastmilk may be less than that of cow’s milk)? Your infant also has requirements of Vitamins like vitamin A, B complex including folic acid and vitamin B 12, vitamin C and more. All these vitamins are present in breastmilk is more or less adequate amounts to meet your infant’s early growth needs. [Read - How Much Calcium Intake for Babies & Toddlers?]
Vitamin C Requirement - Breastmilk also provides enough vitamin C to your baby as it is not destroyed by heating, which happens in the case of cow’s milk. The gastric juice of your breastfed baby is more acidic, which helps in destroying any microbes entering his/her stomach and also promotes better absorption of calcium and iron. Again, lactose present in your breastmilk helps better absorption of calcium and iron and aids in softer stool formation. [Read - Why Does Child Need Vitamin C?]
How Can Breast Milk Cause Disturbance?
But there are conditions in which breastmilk nutrition gets disrupted. Read here
- C-section delivery
- Nipple soreness
- Postpartum engorgement of the breast
- Conditions like breast abscess and mastitis
In such cases, mothers tend to resort to cow’s milk. But, cow’ s milk doesn’t h a v e tummy-friendly and growth-promoting nutrients. Cow’s milk has 3-times more protein quantity – higher casein. Casein forms a tough, hard-to-digest curd. Cow’s milk has a low Calcium Phosphorous ratio, which leads to hard stools. Also, cow’s milk has low iron, zinc, and other nutrients. So instead of cow’s milk, mothers should look at more suitable alternatives, which helps in the overall growth and development of the baby
Disclaimer: SHSH program is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Consult a doctor for queries about your or your child's health.
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