A baby's nutrition during the first year of his life is extremely important and can have far-reaching consequences. Babies growth and motor and mental development is extremely important during this year. This development demands high quality, nutritious food.
There are still a number of differences between formula and breast milk. These differences are important factors in regards to a baby's health and development. A number of epidemiological studies have shown that breast milk has a positive affect on the baby's health, development and growth, while at the same time drastically lowering the baby's risk of chronic and acute diseases (such as types 1 diabetes, Crohn's disease, UC, lymphoma allergies, ear infections and more).
Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed a baby and it effects both the mother and baby. Breast milk contains all the necessary nutrients for an infant up to the age of six months. Any additional drinks or formula are unnecessary. From the age of four months, it is recommended to add iron supplements to your baby's diet.
The day after birth, most women will produce 100 ml. of milk. This amount will increase based on the needs of the baby. Colostrum 9the first milk) is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals, and low in fats and vitamin B. One of the most important components of breast milk is IgA, which protects the baby from bacteria which can cause infectious diseases. The amount of milk increases over the next two days, and with this increase, the components change (the fat content increases since the baby can absorb the fat).
Milk production is usually between 600-800 ml and can get up to 1000 ml a day if needed.
Breast Milk and the Immune System
Breast milk contains components which helps boost the baby's immune system. Breast milk contains a large amount of white blood cells which help store helpful bacteria and prevent infections. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop infections in the intestines and urinary tract.It has also been proven that ear infections are less likely to develop among babies who are breastfed. Babies also benefit from their mothers' immune system through breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding and Obesity
Breastfeeding prevents obesity among babies. There have studies that shown a connection between an overweight baby and an overweight adult. A baby who is breastfed can regulate the mount of milk he receives, whereas bottle milk is generally given in larger doses.
Other Advantages to Breastfeeding
Breastmilk is always available and is always at the right temperature for the baby.
Breastfeeding can also help calm a baby and strengthens the connection between mother and baby.
Breastfeeding is also a money-saver.
Breastfeeding also helps the uterus contract faster by decreasing the amount of bleeding. Breastfeeding can also help a woman lose weight (it takes 500-700 calories a day to produce the milk). Breastfeeding lowers a woman's chances of breast cancer.