Breast feeding is both, the birth right of a newborn and moral responsibility for a mother. It is mandatory to exclusively breast feed the baby for first 4 to 6 months. Until advised by the Doctor, no top feed in any form is recommended. Nature has designed the breast milk for various mammals differently to suit their newborns. So, the cow’s milk is best for its calf and in human beings, mother’s milk for its newborn.
Establishment of successful breast feeding is advantageous to both- Mother & Newborn.
Benefits of Breast feeding to Baby-
Mother’s milk is a complete food for the newborn. It contains all the essential components required for the appropriate growth and development of the baby. It is also rich in Vitamin A, B & D, Minerals etc.
It is free from contamination, adulteration and infections. Hence, it is safe.
The incidence of unwanted allergic reactions towards breast milk is less.
It is rich in protective maternal antibodies and hence offers passive immunity to the newborn.
It is available free of cost.
It is available at appropriate temparature and do not need any pre-treatment before consumption.
Mother’s milk is easily digestible as it is rich in special protein called Lactalbumin and has low osmotic load. As a result, it has no harmful effects on baby’s Gastro-intestinal tract, liver or kidneys.
Breast feeding helps in lungs expansion and development of jaws and teeth.
The tender mother-baby contact aids in physical, mental and emotional development of the baby and helps establish a bond between them.
The evidences prove that, the exclusively breast fed babies suffer less from malnutrition, obesity, asthama, pneumonia, adult onset diabetes or blood pressure etc.
Benefits of Breast feeding to Mothers-
Succesful lactation gives a sense of eternal happiness, pleasure and satisfaction to mothers.
During breast feeding, a hormone called Oxytocin is secreted from the posterior pituitary gland situated at the base of brain. It helps in milk expression to further aid breast feeding. It also causes involution of uterus and other genital organs to pre-pregnancy stage and reduces post-partum blood loss.
Lactational amenorrhoea (Absence of menses during breast feeding) works as contraception.
Successful breastfeeding offers mothers with protection against Breast, Uterine or Ovarian cancers.
Why cow’s milk is not preferred over Mother’s milk?
Cow’s milk is rich in protein called ‘Caesin’, which is not easily digestible.
It contains high quantity of Phosphates, which can chelate with calcium and magnesium in baby’s blood and their deficiency in blood may adversely lead to convulsions.
Cow’s milk is rich in sodium and has high osmotic load. Hence, it do not satisfy the thirst. As a result of which, baby may tend to overfeed and develop obesity.
The evidences prove that the incidence of respiratory and gastro-intestinal infections and allergic reactions is more common in top-fed babies.
The information is shared to create awareness towards Pregnancy and Childcare to reduce maternal and child deaths. Atmost care has been taken by the author to include the verified information from authentic sources. However, kindly discuss the same with your health care provider before implementation.