A mother’s milk is the best source of nutrition for a baby. Exclusively breastfeeding your baby for the first 6 months of life is essential, as it keeps him healthy and is a source of growth promoting nutrients for an infant.
Breast milk plays a role in many functions for your baby. These include nutrition, cognitive development, growth, digestive health and immunity.
Here’s how the nutrients in breast milk influence your little one’s healthy growth and development:
The essential fatty acids in breast milk, like DHA and ARA play an important role in brain growth and cognitive development in the early years.
Breast milk is also a source of iron, another nutrient crucial for brain development in infancy. Due to the rapid brain growth that occurs during infancy, it is essential to breastfeed so that your baby receives all these nutrients for normal growth and development.
Nutrients For Appropriate Growth
Breast milk contains the correct proportions of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. With the right quantity and quality of proteins, it promotes healthy weight gain and helps reduce the risk of unhealthy weight gain and obesity.
Breast milk also contains other growth promoting nutrients like vitamin A, C and D, as well as minerals like iron, calcium and choline, which are essential for healthy growth and normal development during infancy.
Breast milk has the right quantity and proportions of protein. It contains digestible whey protein, as well as casein, which is tough to digest. With a higher proportion of whey than casein, breast milk is gentle on the baby’s tummy.
Breastfeeding the baby within an hour of birth, referred to as early breastfeeding, is ideal because the colostrum or the ‘first milk’ is rich in protective factors, helping your baby fight illnesses. Breast milk is also rich in antibodies that keep your baby protected from illnesses and infections during their early months.
During infancy, nutrition is a vital part of your baby’s health and normal growth, and breastfeeding is an essential component of this. You may worry that breast milk is not enough for your baby, or look for alternatives, but the best choice you make for your baby will be to breastfeed.
Disclaimer: All the information provided in the blog is for reference purposes only. Please do not consider this as a medical advice. Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme is for educational purposes only, in partnership with doctors. Always consult a doctor if you have any questions related to your own health or the health of your child.