The trials of parenting are aplenty. There are so many decisions that need to be made before and after birth. The most pertinent among them is how to ensure the wellbeing of the baby.
Providing a safe and nurturing environment for the child is one crucial element, another being their diet. The dilemma most parents face is whether to bottle feed or breast feed the baby.
Making the choice to breast feed your child
While the matter of taking up breastfeeding is a personal choice, it should not be made casually. It is highly recommended to ponder over this decision, confer with the top Child Specialist in Islamabad if need be, to get to the decision of the dietary choice for the baby.
Following benefits of breast feeding can help parents decide the best option for their baby:
Expert guidelines call for it
The World Health Organization is very vocal about breastfeeding. It recommends breastfeeding for up to 2 years. So, even after the child is weaned, breast feeding should still be continued, as per international standards.
Similarly, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also suggests exclusively breastfeeding your child for the first 6 months. Likewise, other healthcare experts also second AAP’s guidelines.
Breast milk is perfect in composition
Breast milk has everything in the correct proportions that the baby needs in the first six months of life. The liquid density is also just right. The first milk, colostrum is thicker and nutrient rich. It suits to the digestive system of the newborn and provides the compete nutrient to the baby at that point.
The regular milk comes soon after, which accounts for the nutrients needs of the growing baby, suited to the digestive system then. It also has pleasant taste that appeals to the baby.
Breast milk contains antibodies
There are anti-bodies present in the breast milk that help to boost the baby’s immunity. Colostrum contains the very important IgA, which is required to keep the nose, throat and digestive system healthy.
Thus, breast fed babies are safer from the pathogens as opposed to the bottle-fed ones.
It protects baby from diseases
Breast milk is a prophylaxis for the baby, as it protects the baby from so many diseases. It decreases the risk of allergies and eczema in the baby. Moreover, breast milk is easier to digest for the baby, and thus eases the bowel movement. On the other hand, formula milk poses the risks of digestive issues like constipation, diarrhea etc.
It also lowers the risk of ear, nose and throat infections in the baby, the impact of which lasts beyond childhood. Breast milk also protects the baby against respiratory diseases as well. It has also been shown to make the vaccines more effective for the baby as well.
Babies who are breast fed are also protected against urinary tract infections, diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia etc. Breast milk is also linked with lowered risk of Crohn’s disease as well. It also helps to decrease the probability of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well.
Moreover, breast fed babies are less likely to be obese. Hence, the benefits of breast feeding are not limited to the babies, but it also has a profound impact on the health of the baby once they grow up, well into their adulthood.
Breast milk has lesser risk of contamination
Bottle feeding paraphernalia requires constant and extensive care. It needs to be washed properly, the water needs to be clean, it needs to be cooled down to the right temperature, storage ought to be proper as well.
Hence, this care out of the fear of contamination is not an issue for breast milk. It perfect to go!
Makes the baby healthy and smart!
Breast milk promotes healthy weight gain in the baby, and thus prevents them from developing obesity and similar weight issues.
Moreover, evidence has shown that breast fed babies are smarter than those who took formulae milk. Not only the close and intimate act of breast feeding helps the baby have emotional growth, the nutrient content also encourages cognition. The fatty acid in milk helps the brain grow.
However, breast milk is not an option for some babies. Those infants whose mothers are HIV positive should not breast feed the baby. Also, it is also not good with babies with galactosemia.
Moreover, some babies might also have allergic reaction to milk protein, so they require special formula. But this is not easy to identify and so if the baby is having problems digesting the milk, is being frequently sick, have digestive issues, it is best to consult the Best Child Specialist in Islamabad to diagnose the issue.