Breastfeeding is a vital component in baby health and nutrition, and it also plays a role in the mother and baby bond. In the first year, an infant needs optimal nutrition to support the rapid growth and development that occurs. For all this development, the most important nutrient required by the growing body is Protein. Proteins are essential for the development of various tissues and cells, muscles, bones and organs. It also helps your baby’s body grow in a healthy manner. Not consuming enough protein can lead to stunted growth and development.
Breast milk has essential fatty acids and nutrients in appropriate amounts for the optimum development of the child’s cognitive skills. These include fats like DHA and ARA, and minerals like Iron, Choline and Iodine, which are essential for early brain growth and cognitive development.
Protein And Healthy Growth
Until the age of 6 months, the WHO recommends exclusively breastfeeding your little one, as it provides them a perfect blend of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and vitamins that are needed for their healthy growth and development.
At the same time, an excess of protein can be unhealthy as an excessive protein intake has been associated with unhealthy weight gain and a risk of obesity. Breast milk helps avoid this risk, as the protein content in breast milk is of the quality and quantity that your little one needs at each stage.
Impact Of Protein On Digestion
Protein is tough to digest, and a baby’s developing system needs suitable protein in the right quantity. Breast milk contains whey and casein proteins in an approximately 60:40 ratio. Whey is more digestible and casein is tough for a baby to digest, but the protein ratio in breastmilk is suited for an infant, and is thus gentle on the stomach. An excess of protein can put a strain on the baby’s developing organs. So your little one needs the right quality of proteins, and in the correct quantity for healthy growth and development.
Protein And Immunity
Protein of the right quality can help support your baby’s immune system, by protecting from several viral and bacterial infections. They can also create an environment in the baby’s digestive system that supports the growth of good bacteria, which can further protect against infections.
The vitamins, as well as antibodies, present in breast milk also play a role in the development of immune functions.
The Best Option
Breast milk has a changing composition through the course of lactation, depending on the baby’s feeding patterns. Other than changing to suit a baby’s nutritional requirements, breastfeeding also protects him from several illnesses. Breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to a baby - one that ensures health through optimal nutrition.
Produced specifically for your little one’s needs, it is the best option for your baby, and it’s ideal if you breastfeed him at least until he attains the age of 2 years.
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.