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What Does Breast Milk Contain Which Makes It The Perfect Nutrition


When it comes to deriving the best nutrition for a healthy development, breast milk is the ideal source of nourishment for every baby. This is because breast milk is specially produced by the mother’s body to meet her baby’s nutritional needs. Breast milk is highly recommended for babies till at least the first 6 months of life not only because it is easy to digest for their developing bodies but also because it helps build their immune system (according to a report issued by WHO). 

Breast milk contains everything that is essential for the human body to develop brain, bones and muscles. It provides whole nourishment to the body and it protects kids from illnesses and diseases. If you’re wondering up to when you should continue to breastfeed, the answer is pretty simple - you must continue to breastfeed for as long as possible even after your baby is introduced to solid food.   

What’s so great and special about your breast milk? What makes it the best choice for babies? Here’s what your breast milk is composed of:

1. Water

The breast milk is composed of 90% water. Since the human body is such that it needs water for all the basic necessities, water becomes a prime ingredient in your breast milk. Studies show that it keeps your baby hydrated, regulates the body’s temperature and keeps the organs secured.

2. Proteins

They’re the bodybuilding nutrients which also look after the damage and repairs in the body. The proteins present in your breast milk are very easy for your baby to digest. The most important protein in your breastmilk is lactoferrin which helps in moving iron through the body.  Breast milk contains partially hydrolyzed proteins, i.e., proteins that have been broken down into its constituent amino acids. These partially hydrolyzed proteins help prevent allergies in babies. It also helps your baby fight against infections and protects the intestines. Breast milk contains just the right level of proteins which prevent obesity.

3. Fats

Fats make up about 4% of the breast milk and they provide energy to your baby for the daily activities. They also provide the body with cholesterol, essential fatty acids such as DHA as they’re necessary for the development of your baby’s brain, vision and nervous system. Lipids also help in maintaining the baby’s weight as he grows

4. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the powerhouse of the body. The main carb which is present in your breast milk is known as ‘LACTOSE’ (milk sugar). This lactose helps in softer stool formation. There are more carbohydrates in breast milk than cow’s milk.

Oligosaccharides are the other type of carbs found in breast milk. They help in promoting the development of healthy bacteria to protect the baby’s digestive system and helps in overcoming infant diarrhoea.

5. Antibodies

Immunoglobulins (IgA)  are the antibodies that are found in breast milk. They help in fighting off germs which cause illnesses. Your breastmilk is like your baby’s lifesaving fluid which contains all the necessary antibodies to keep various infections at bay. Immunoglobulins coat your baby’s intestines and lungs and prevent any action of germs on them.

6. Vitamins

Vitamins have a vital role to play in the development of your baby’s body. It helps in the promotion of healthy bones, skin and eyes. They prevent serious illnesses like scurvy and rickets.

Now that you are aware of what goes into your breast milk, you must have understood how important your breast milk is for your baby. A mother’s milk is the best food you can give to your baby. It contains just the right amount of nutrition your baby needs. Also, if you are unable to provide breast milk, opt for the closest available substitute for it.

Note- This blog has been reviewed by Tinystep Medical Advisory Board

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.

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