There isn’t a more natural, intimate, and bonding-creating moment between a mother and her baby than when it is time to breastfeed your newborn. Nursing is the most natural and safest way you can feed your baby.
You will often products imitating breast milk, but the reality is that it can never be duplicated, only imitated. Nowadays there is a very wide variety of trendy and expensive baby formula in the market but none of them are capable of meeting the nutritious levels of breast milk.
Many women in today’s World see their breastfeeding being influenced by several factors like advertising and family and social pressures. But, nature is wise in many ways, and looking to it is always a good source of knowledge, look for example at newborn animals like Horses, they stand up as soon as they are born, fish start swimming the moment they are born too, calves grow quickly, but our babies are so helpless when they are born and they are completely dependent on the parents to cover all their needs. So, as you can see newborn animals have way different biological characteristic than newborn humans.
For that reason is why we have to take care of our babies during the earlier months of their life. It almost looks like nature would want mothers and babies to carry on an everlasting bond of emotions and a nurturing connection outside of the womb. The method for that is nursing.
Leaving Mother Nature aside, let’s talk about the nutritional facts of breast milk and why it is so superior.
To begin with, it contains two essential fatty acids which are Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Arachidonic Acid (AA) and they are crucial for the proper development of your child’s brain and eyes. The “Colostrum” which is the first milk after birth contains antibodies, proteins, minerals, and vitamins A, E, and B12.
Through breast milk, a mother can also provide her baby with extra antibodies, coming directly from the mother, giving the baby’s immune system a boost against fighting infections.
Babies aren’t normally allergic to breast milk and it actually helps to reduce possible future food allergies. It also helps to reduce the risks of your baby suffering from colic or gas, because breast milk is easily digested.
A breastfeeding baby will experience little to none cases of constipation, diarrhea, or spitting up. The proper nursing of your baby creates an intimate bond between mother and child.
Naturally nursed babies tend to develop a stronger jaw and proper teeth formation and they tend to get fewer ear infections.
The Iron found in breast milk gets easily absorbed by the baby as well as other vital nutrients, minerals, and vitamins which get transferred from the mother via the breast milk.
To the date, there is no scientific way to accurately duplicate breast milk anywhere in the World. Breast milk is perfect to feed your baby at any given time and it is always at the right temperature.
As all babies are different there is no way to quantify just how much breast milk they need between feedings, there are many factors that determine their intake, like higher activity levels, a growth spurt, or being born prematurely. One thing is for sure, your baby will let you know when they just had enough or when they need more.
Although you are not going to be breastfeeding your baby all the way through kindergarten, you should know that the longer you do the more benefits it will bring the baby. Doctors recommend you nurse your baby for at least a couple of years.
Photo credit: Visual Hunt