Its concern of every parent that everything is sorted out for their baby’s future. We plan for their future before they are even born and in some cases even before their conception! Such is our human nature. However like for other things in our life we do look for shortcuts, a path of least resistance. Be it modern lifestyle, pressure to get back to our jobs, social pressures or simply family traditions almost every new Mom & Dad ponder about alternatives of breast feed . But despite all human technological and scientific advances the breast milk remains the best “AMRIT” for our babies . Here in this article I will present the scientific evidence supporting my claim, get to know about the reasons why breast feeding is essential for your baby:
- Your breasts make milk which is tailor made for your baby: Like babies come in different sizes, weight and gestation, so does your milk. The human body configures the breast milk as per your baby’s requirement eg Mothers of Preterm babies have higher protein content .
- Human Milk is the first Probiotic for your baby: by the process of breast feeding the mother introduces the good bacteria into sterile guts of their babies which form a healthy MICROBIOME in their tummies which keep bad bacteria at bay.
- Breast Milk is easiest to digest : All Formula feeds are made taking the reference of human milk. But as they say a copy is a copy , it can never replace the original. Hence breast milk remains the ideal fuel for the delicate tummy of your baby
- Breast Milk contains many additional proteins, lipids and live cells which confer innate, passive as well as active immunity to you baby. Meaning, less infections and hence better growth and development.
- Breast fed babies have earlier neural maturation as compared to Formula fed babies. This has been proven objectively in many studies.
- Breastfeeding also protects you baby against allergies, asthma and eczema
- Breastfed babies have been found to have better cognitive abilities as well as higher score on IQ and Baileys’ scale as compared to non breast fed controls
- Breast milk has also shown to improve acuity of vision
- Breast fed babies have lesser incidence of some cancers.
- Preterm babies who receive breast milk have lower incidence of serious morbidities like Necrotizing enterocolitis, Retinopathy of Prematurity and also better Neurological outcomes than their weight and gestation matched formula fed controls.
- Longer duration of breast feeding is associated with lower incidence of Obesity
- Multitudes of benefit for mother:
- Protection from breast , endometrial, and ovarian cancer
- Promotes Post partum weight loss
- Gives an Emotional high and promotes bond between mother and baby
- Has been shown to help in child spacing.
The list of these scientifically proven benefits can go on and on. But the bottom line is the Breast feeding is the single most Important and fruitful Systematic Investment Plan you can buy for your baby and its absolutely free, natural and god gifted.
Dr Jaskaran Singh Sawhney
MBBS, MD (Paediatrics), FIAP(Neonatology), POC (USG and ECHO)
Consultant Neonatology & Paediatrics
Motherhood Chaitanya Hospital, Sec 44 Chandigarh