Breast milk is God’s blessing to infant. Whereas infancy is the period of personality formation and physical and mental development and it is the most sensitive phase of baby’s development and evolution, we should be more careful about their nutrition and health. Breast milk provides nutritional needs of the baby and at the same time it provides their necessary immune materials. Therefore, no milk is better than breast milk for baby. Breast milk components vary from birth to end of infancy and includes 200 known components including 20 kinds of enzymes, hormones, defensive and other factors.
The advantages of Breast Milk Should Be Examined from Two Respects
- The advantages Related to Baby :
The only food for baby by the end of their 6th month is the breast milk which fulfills all needs of an infant. At the beginning of breastfeeding, a yellow nutrient substance, that is “Colostrum”, releases that is rich in various fatty acids, protein and immunoglobulin. Its yellow color is due to β-Carotene (Provitamin A). Feeding with colostrum is the most important step of an infant’s immunization and immunes them against many infectious diseases. Also, β-Carotene content of colostrum is of a laxative trait and stimulates excretion and helps to expel matters that cause infant’s neonatal jaundice.
Breast milk contains non-saturated long chain fatty acids that affect evolution of nervous and visual systems as well as improvement of infant’s intelligence quotient (IQ). Also, there are other nutrients in the breast milk, such as sialic acid that are effective in this connection.
Breastfeeding reduces risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, celiac disease and colitis. Risk of suffering from allergies is lower in infants fed by breast milk due to reinforcement of their immune system.
The other advantages of breast milk are its fat and protein; due to its higher quality, infant may less inflicted with digestive complications like bloating, vomiting and allergy. Feeding infants with breast milk causes controlling their appetite and calorie intake, as a result their less obesity. Because final milk fat is 2 or 3 times higher than the primary milk, it satisfies infant and prevents their overeating and obesity.
Another advantage of breast milk is its sufficient content of minerals and their proper proportion in the milk. Optimal ratio of calcium to phosphor in breast milk leads to better absorption of calcium and due to lactoferrin and intestine’s acidic conditions, iron content of breast milk can be absorbed better. Emotional relationship between infant and mother during breastfeeding positively affects mental and emotional development of the infant.
- The advantages Related to Mother :
Retraction of uterus after childbirth and its recovery to normal size occurs faster in mothers who breastfeed their infants. Feeding infants with breast milk during day and night delays menstruation that causes loosing less blood and prevents mother from anemia. Meanwhile, mother’s ovulation will be delayed and reduces possibility of early pregnancy.
Due to secretion of oxytocin (love hormone), mothers who feed their children with breast milk are happier, more confident, and less depressed.
Whereas mothers use the fat reserved during pregnancy for production of milk, during breastfeeding they lose more of their overweight and their organs recovers faster to the prenatal conditions. Possibility of breast, ovarian and cervical cancers as well as many other diseases is lower in mothers who breastfeed their children.