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Why You Should Not Introduce Cow’s Milk Before Your Baby’s First Birthday

Breast milk is like liquid gold for your baby as it contains all the necessary nutrients which help in the overall growth and development of the baby. It is rich in proteins, antibodies, essential carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals which promote the development of a strong immune system.

Newborns have to be nursed only with breast milk because unaltered cow milk could pose health problems. Factually speaking, The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that- ‘babies shouldn’t be given cow’s milk during infancy’.

Here are 4 reasons why you should think twice before you give cow’s milk to your baby:

1.Nutritional deficiency

A study was conducted on Nutrition in 1992 by American Academy of Pediatrics Committee which concluded that babies who drank unpasteurized and unprocessed cow’s milk suffered from a chronic deficiency of Iron, Vitamin E and Linoleic Acid. Anaemia is one of the most predominant health concerns amongst newborns and it is associated with the consumption of cow’s milk.

2. Overnutrition

Cow’s milk can have adverse effects on the baby’s body. It can either lead to lack of nutrition or overnutrition. Though it is super nutritious, it’s unfit for a newborn’s consumption. Due to the high levels of sodium, electrolytes and potassium, it might do more harm than good for the baby’s kidneys.

3. Allergic Reactions

If babies are given cow’s milk early in life, they can also develop milk allergies! Cow’s milk contains complex proteins which are difficult to digest and increase the chances of an allergic reaction.

4. Whey and casein ratio:

According to NCBI, the whey to casein ratio of breast milk is approximately 35:65 whereas the whey to casein ratio of whole cow’s milk is 19:81. Higher level casein makes the milk harder for the baby’s immature digestive system to digest. Breast milk contains both the proteins in adequate amount, thereby benefiting the baby without giving rise to any digestive issues. 

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

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.


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