What Makes Breast Milk The Best Food Choice For Your Baby?
Created by Dr. Surbhi Saini Updated on Sep 02, 2018
Breast milk is the best nutrition you can offer to your baby. It has all the essential micro and macronutrients designed to cater to all your child’s nutritional needs in the first six months of life. In addition, breast milk helps to lay a strong foundation for a healthy future.
Takes Charge of Cognitive Development
A child’s brain undergoes a series of developments in the early years. Unlike the physical growth, the cognitive growth of a baby is not visible on the outside. Majority of the development of a child’s brain happens in the first 6 years and breast milk plays an important role during this period. Breast milk contains essential fatty acids, micro and macro nutrients in appropriate amounts for the optimum development of the child’s cognitive skills.
Some of the essential nutrients responsible for the brain development are DHA, ARA, and minerals like Iron, Choline, and Iodine. Here is a close up of the roles of these nutrients:
• DHA and ARA – For infants, DHA and ARA are important components of brain and vision development. Breast milk has both these micronutrients in optimum quantities for the cognitive development of the baby.
• Iron helps in the neurocognitive development and improves learning and memory in infants.
• Choline is an important nutrient essential for brain formation. Breastmilk is rich in Human milk is rich in choline compounds and contribute to the cognitive development of baby’s brain.
• Iodine deficiency leads to developmental delay in infants. Breastfeeding helps the infant to get moderate quantities of Iodine for the neurocognitive development of the brain.
Makes Digestion Super Easy
Breast milk contains whey and casein proteins in an approximately 60:40 ratio. Whey proteins are liquid and are very easy to digest while casein is tough for a baby to digest. At the time of birth, breast milk composition has close to 90% whey protein and around 10% casein. Gradually, the composition changes and it has about 60% whey and 40% casein. And later, the whey protein continues to drop until there's about the same amount of both later in lactation. Therefore, breastmilk is gentle on the stomach and doesn’t strain the immature developing organs of the baby due to this composition.
Proteins are complex in nature, hence they need to be further broken down for easy digestion. Breastmilk contains partially hydrolysed proteins meaning that they have been broken into small chain amino acids, thus, making it easy for the baby to digest.
Ensures Healthy Growth For Future
Breastmilk has many nutrients such as vitamins and minerals that help in the optimal growth of the baby. Moreover, breastmilk influences future growth too. It helps in building an early foundation of a healthy body and mind.
A lot of parents think that more protein means accelerated growth, however, over diet of protein may lead to obesity later in life. Breastmilk has the right quantity and quality of proteins so to ensure that the growth is optimum not only in the early years but also at later stages.
Building of immunity starts early! Breastmilk helps build the much needed defence mechanism in the body by protecting it from several viral and bacterial infections. Whey proteins in the breastmilk contain antibodies, lactoferrin, and lysozyme which support your baby fight off infections and diseases early on.
Breastmilk is undoubtedly the finest food choice for your baby. It takes charge of not only physical but also the cognitive development of your baby. It has the ideal combination of nutrients which are designed for easy digestion and changing nutritional needs of the child in those initial years. So, mommy, keep breastfeeding!
Disclaimer : "SHSH programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors.
Consult a doctor for queries about your or your child's health."
| May 28, 2019
you can breastfeed till your baby turns 3 especially during night. make your food more colourful like colourful veggies with dal and a cup of rice. each day introduce some thing new to your baby like kichdi a day for lunch or breakfast, idly for breakfast and roti with dal for dinner. when you introduce sweets kids will normally avoid having other food items. instead of sweets you can give alternate sweet tastes like jaggery, brown sugar (naatu sakara in Tamil) etc to overcome the sweet cravings in kids. have a healthy child and very all the best for your happy motherhood..