Monday, May 25, 2009

Breastfeeding Benefits

Just for your baby. As cow’s milk is best for young calf, your wife’s breast milk is best for your baby. Breast milk contains about a hundred ingredients that aren’t found in cow’s milk. It contains proteins and anti-bodies that cannot be synthesized in the laboratory. The composition and nutrients in breast milk adjust to the needs and capacity of an infant. For example, breast milk from a mom who had a premature baby is different from someone had a normal term; also different for the first month than at the second or even third.

It strengthens immune system. Breast milk contains anti-bodies that can help boost a baby’s developing immune system. Breast milk is the preferred first line of defense for infants against sickness rather than prescription medication. Though a baby may be sensitive to something a mother has eaten (like when my wife unknowingly used bagoong for sour mango), breast milk in itself is practically tolerated well.

Easily digestible. A baby’s digestive system is very sensitive to external nutrients because of its still-developing nature. The choice of milk can either gratify or cause discomfort to a baby. A mom’s breast milk is designed for her baby rather than for a young calf. Its fat and protein composition are easily handled by the baby than those coming from cow’s milk. Same is true with its micro-nutrient contents which are easily absorbed by the baby than its counterpart from cow’s milk. Breast milk is also less likely to cause intestinal discomfort like constipation and colic disorders to babies.

It’s safe. Unless you are sick, into drugs, or simply do not observe personal hygiene, you can be sure that your breast milk is not spoiled, contaminated, or otherwise improperly prepared.

It’s cheap. No need to buy powdered formulas that usually cost more than your week’s meal. There is also a risk than the formula you bought is not tolerated well by your baby hence, a waste of money. This is not true for breast milk. Just eat sensibly and your breast will do the rest.

Stronger mother-baby bond. You probably knew this by heart that breastfeeding further strengthens the bond between a mother and her baby. There’s cuddling, eye contact, and baby-babbling involved during breastfeeding. Though the same experience can be enjoyed from bottle feeding, it takes more of a conscious effort since you are more likely tempted to entrust feeding to someone else or to a trusty supporting pillow.

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