An unrivaled formula (+ Infographic)
The mother´s milk is the most adequate and natural for the baby during the first months of life and it adapts in each moment to his necessities. It provides nutrients which he needs for his correct growth and development, adapting itself to his digestive function perfectly.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the Spanish Association of Pediatrics and other prestigious entities recommend exclusive alimentation with breast milk up to 6 months and then progressively complement it with other foods up to 2 years old or more.
Types of milk
The colostrum: (Milk from the first days). It contains a high amount of proteins, vitamins and immunoglobulins (defense cells) that pass into the blood through the bowel of the newborn.
Colostrum is enough to feed the newborn, since her/his stomach is very little and his/her necessities are satisfied with few amounts and in more frequent shots (approximately 8 to 12 daily servings).
Proprieties and Importance
1. Rich in antibodies; it protects against infections and allergies.
2. High amounts of IgA, lactoferrin, lymphocytes and macrophages.
3. A lot of white blood cells.
4. It protects against the infection.
5. Purgative; it eliminates the meconium.
6. It helps to prevent jaundice.
7. Growth factors; it helps to mature the bowel.
8. pH=7,45 that favors the gastric emptying.
9. High density in low volume.
10. Rich in vitamin A, it reduces the severity of the infections.
11. It prevents eye disease.
It is the milk that is produced between the fifth and tenth day after the childbirth approximately, it has a higher content of fat, lactose and water-soluble vitamins than the colostrum and, therefore, it supplies more calories to the newborn, adapting to his necessities as the days go by. This intermediate composition milk varies until reaching the composition of mature milk.
Mature milk is secreted by the mammary glands, from the tenth day after the childbirth onwards. It is the mother´s milk itself. It alone provides the child with all the nutritive substances and calories that this one requires for his normal development and growth during the first six months of life, and it is recommended up to two years old or more, together with complementary feeding.
Lactation must be on demand, always that baby asks for it and the time that he wants.
• A rigid schedule must not be followed, each baby has a different rhythm. The quantity of milk will be increasing during the first days until it gets to regulate and adapt to the food needs of the baby.
• During the day it is even more advisable that the baby stays sucking the time that he wants, and it is very common that shortly after putting him to the breast he falls asleep, waking up a short time later to go back to sucking, sometimes half asleep. It is advisable take off the clothes to suck because the excess of heat makes him sleepy, stimulate him with caresses for him to continue sucking. Do not count the minutes, give him the breast until he wants no more and after offer him the other one though he will not always want it.
• Remember that the milk changes it composition throughout the shot, at the beginning it is more ¨watery¨ and at the end it is fatter; allowing this final milk that baby is full. It is one of the reason so it is frequent that during the first month one breast is enough in each shot. The convenience of giving one or both breast each time is something that must be individualized according to quantity of milk and baby´s necessities, but what is important is that the breast are frequently empty since if there are milk remains, in addition to producing a unpleasant sensation of breast pain, the milk production can decrease. Since in most cases the baby sucks from both breast, it is recommendable that in each shot the order be reversed, that is to say, to begin with the breast that was finished the previous time (the one that is least empty), since in this way we can be sure that at least in alternate shots, both breast are completely emptied.
• It is advisable facilitate the belch after the shot, for which it is enough keep the baby upright and leaning on your shoulder giving him a soft massage on the back (it is not necessary give him pats). If the shot has been serene, without swallowing air, it is probable that he does not need belch, so after two minutes, do not insist anymore.
The pain is a sign of wrong grip, it must be corrected so that it does not cause more problems. Consult with a lactation expert.
For the baby:
• It favors the secretion of the growth hormone and an optimum brain, physiological and immunological development.
• It protects against a big number of diseases: diarrhea, respiratory infections (colds, bronchiolitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, otitis, etc.). The mother´s milk coats the baby´s bowel protecting it against the pathogens.
• It decreases or delays the onset of immune-type problems: allergies (atopic dermatitis, asthma), leukemia, and chronic intestinal diseases.
• It prevents diseases in the adult age: diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, coronary artery disease, cancer.
• It is associated with the cognitive and emotional intelligence. Breastfeeding transmits to the baby affective safety and this affects his self-esteem and his empathy towards the needs of other people in the future.
• It decreases the risk of sudden death, overweight and obesity, celiac disease (gluten intolerance), of the harmful effects of environmental contaminants, child abuse.
• The mother´s milk is always prepared and at the right temperature, presenting at all times perfect hygienic conditions.
For the mother:
• It helps recovery after the childbirth. The hormonal stimulus causes the uterus to contract more rapidly (afterpains), it decreases the loss of blood in the days after the childbirth and it improves the possible anemia. It favors weight and silhouette recovery.
• It reduces the need of insulin in diabetic mothers and it normalizes the metabolism of the mothers who have had gestational diabetes.
• It decreases the risk of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip and spinal fractures due to osteoporosis in postmenopausal.
• The breast-feeding develops a close maternal-filial affective bond, providing the baby with comfort, affection and safety, and helping the mother in her personal growth.
• The election of breastfeeding represents a considerable economic saving in familiar budget, not only derived from the price that will not be paid for artificial milk and accessories as baby bottles, but also the lower consumption in medical consultation, hospital admissions and medicines.
• It contributes to the care of the planet, decreasing the ecological footprint: it does not generate waste and it is sustainable.
Dangers of artificial feeding
For the baby:
1. It interferes with the affective bond.
2. More diarrhea and respiratory infections.
3. Persistent diarrhea.
5. Deficiency of vitamin A.
6. Higher probability of death.
7. More allergy and milk intolerance.
8. Higher risk of some chronic disease.
10. Lower scores on intelligence test.
For the mother:
1. She can get pregnant sooner.
2. Higher risk of anemia, ovarian cancer and breast cancer.
For what reason should we stop breastfeeding?
Child with Galactosemia. It is a rare hereditary disease. In it, the baby cannot digest the galactose. It is one of the sugars that forms the lactose, along with the glucose. Then it accumulates in the body. And like that, it produces damage in several parts of the body. It is detected with the newborn metabolic screening which is done in the neonatal heel prick.
Mother infected with human T-cell leukemia virus. This virus is transmitted from mother to child at the moment of birth or during the breastfeeding.
It is a type of dynamic (fast-growing) T-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma caused by the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1). It is characterized by lesions in the bones and skin, high calcium concentrations and enlarged lymph nodes, spleen and liver. It is also called ATLL.
Mother´s infection by HIV. It is known that AIDS virus goes through the mother´s milk. There are secure alternatives for breastfeeding in this cases.
Mothers, you have the necessary food for the growth of your children will be optimum and healthy. Give them as much milk as they want, start now!!!