Considered one of the most nutritious foods out there, breast milk is pure magical science that we should all study, especially mothers. It is recommended by the World Health Organization that babies feed on it exclusively in the first six months of life and that it can be present in their diet until the age of two. Adaptable to the baby’s sex and social environment, it can change its substances when your child is ill, giving the necessary antibodies for them to recover quickly.
Benefits of breast milk
Among the benefits are, its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral power in its composition containing 98% of energy source, essential for the absorption of minerals: calcium, iron among others, helps the growth of good bacteria and hinders the growth of bad bacteria. In addition to strengthening the immune system, rich in vitamins A, B1, B6, C, D, E, K, niacin and folic acid, it protects the intestinal and respiratory tract and has 90% of its antibody-producing compound. In addition, it prevents various diseases such as obesity, hypertension, malnutrition, diabetes, respiratory diseases, etc.
Breast milk also changes according to the baby’s development, as their nutritional needs change over time. In the beginning, as soon as the baby is born, colostrum is produced. Colostrum can even start to be produced weeks before childbirth; it is the first breast milk, quite consistent, yellowish or transparent color, and it has all the necessary nutrients for the proper feeding of the newborn.
Colostrum is essential for your child’s health!
It is the first food of our kind, the result of the evolution of millions of years. A study by the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, states that when drinking breast milk for the first time, the baby ingests more than 700 bacteria that will define its intestinal flora for years to come! It also contains a lot of proteins and antibodies that help the immune system, cleans the body, aids digestion, thus eliminating meconium, and decreases the risk of neonatal jaundice. Despite being low in production, it is very rich, and then milk production increases over time.
After 4 or 5 days of childbirth colostrum is transformed into transitional milk, which is a mixture of colostrum and mature milk, which has a more grayish color and appears to be a little watery. In fact, this happens because during the feeding, its composition changes, so, in the beginning, it is rich in nutrient and more concentrated, at the end, it has more vital fat for the baby.
Because of this coloring, many mothers who are unknown of how complete breast milk is, and may be concerned if it is enough to maintain or fulfill their child’s diet. When the mother breastfeeds for more than a year, her milk contains more fat and energy compared to milk at the beginning of breastfeeding.
How does the mother’s body know that the baby needs it?
Some scholars argue that it is due to the contact of the baby’s mouth with the mother’s nipple, so the woman’s body can identify what the baby needs. Babies who feed exclusively on breast milk have fewer respiratory diseases throughout their lives, and this is thanks to the milk being rich in fat that has short chain fatty acids, protecting the baby’s large intestine and helping its immune response. In addition, milk produced at night has substances that contribute to sleep, which is why many times, even when the baby wakes up at night to suck, they fall back to sleep quickly.