Why babies only drink milk and the importance of breast milk for their growth
A newborn’s digestive system is delicate, which is why milk is the main source of nutrition in his first six months.
Your little one counts on milk to supply energy and essential nutrients for growth and development. Its nutritious components develop the brain, eyes, digestive system, immune system, heart, bones and more.
Exclusive breastfeeding – or expressed breast milk – is recommended for at least six months. But if this doesn’t work out, formula milk can be an adequate alternative or supplement.
Infant formulas are mainly divided into three categories: cow’s milk-based, soy-based and specialised formulas for babies with certain medical conditions. Cow’s milk-based infant formula is the most common type. It mimics the composition of breast milk, with adjustments made to the levels of carbohydrates and fat, and fortifying it with additional vitamins and minerals. Soy-based formula is a good option for babies who are lactose-intolerant as it does not contain lactose and animal proteins. Specialised formulas are made for babies with specific medical conditions and should only be given after parents have sought medical advice.
Always check with your doctor regarding suitable milk formulas, especially if your baby has a medical condition.
Breast is best, but why?
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The benefits of breastfeeding extend to you, too. Here’s why:
- Early suckling helps the womb contract faster and reduces post-birth blood loss
- It acts as a natural contraceptive
- Breastfeeding burns calories
- It reduces the risk of breast and womb cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis
Clear the Way
Successful breastfeeding starts before your baby is born. You may wish to choose a “Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)” hospital which provides a supportive environment for breastfeeding, by allowing 24-hour co-rooming between baby and you so you can better understand baby’s feeding cues and at least one hour of skin-to-skin contact with your newborn right after birth, which takes advantage of your baby’s early alertness to kickstart breastfeeding.
Frequent latching (every two to three hours) is the best way to boost milk supply – the more your baby feeds, the more supply is generated. As you prepare to return to work, be sure to start expressing and storing milk two weeks prior.
And of course, if you ever run into problems, don’t hesitate to seek advice from a lactation consultant or fellow helpful mommies!
🥛 The amount of breast milk a mum produces has nothing to do with her breast size.🥛 There are different types of breastmilk depending on the stage of lactation – from colostrum during the first few days, to mature milk produced from 20 days after birth.
🥛 Breast milk at the beginning of a feed is called foremilk (it’s more watery), while the milk at the end is called hindmilk (it’s thicker and higher in fat content).
🥛 The food a mum eats may change the flavour and composition of her breastmilk.
— Brought to you by Health Promotion Board —