Importance of Breastfeeding
Food is vital for child development, especially in the first year of life. Pediatricians emphasize the nutritional benefits of breastfeeding in the first six months of baby’s life. Breast milk is specially formulated for baby’s digestive system and is rich in antibodies, which are designed to fight against bacteria and viruses. In the course of child development, mother’s milk changes its composition to suit baby’s nutritional needs.
Breastfeeding should be continued even after the baby starts eating solid foods, usually at six months. Doctors believe that child health has won if the baby gets a mixture of breast milk and solid foods between 6 months to a year.
Although mother’s milk is considered the best option for the child’s health, not all mothers can/or will – to feed babies in this way. Option available is to use formula milk.
But while the formulas are created to mimic breast milk in terms of composition and nutritional value, they do not have all its qualities. The milk formulas contain vitamins, minerals and iron. Consult your doctor to find out which is the recommended formula for your baby.
Cow’s milk is not recommended for children under 12 months because it is difficult to digest and does not provide sufficient nutrients.
Breastfeeding is a learning process that takes time, for both you and your baby. Although in the first days of life the infant seems more interested in sleep than sucking, do not let this discourage you. The first days of breastfeeding are just beginning a great experience for you and baby.
First steps in breastfeeding are more difficult for some mothers than for others, but the joy it brings this experience is worth every effort.
In conclusion, breast milk is ideal food for infant feeding, covering all energy needs in the first six months of life.