Breastmilk is the best nutrition you can give your baby! This is because breastmilk contains high amount of nutrients necessary for your child’s growth and development.
Importance of Breastmilk.
Breastmilk is not only important to your baby but can also benefit you.
To get the most out of breastmilk, doctors recommend mothers to breastfeed their child for as long as 2 years especially the first 6 months.
Importance of Breastmilk To Your Baby.
1. Protects Baby from Infections and disease.
A newborn’s immune system is not fully mature yet, hence why breastmilk which contains a lot of antibody and immune-related properties is highly beneficial to protect them from illness.
2. Provides Necessary Nutrients For Physical and Intellectual Development
In every stages of infant development, your baby would require different nutrients. One special advantage of breastmilk is how it can cater to all those stages accordingly.
Moreover, if your baby is sick, your body will automatically produce more antibodies to help your baby fight the illness.
3. Easily Digested
Breastmilk is best for infant because it is easily digested. A newborn baby’s digestive system is also not fully mature yet so most food and drink cannot be digested by the baby’s body.
For it to be easily digested means your baby will also become less fussy due to upset stomach, indigestion, or constipation.
Benefits of Breastmilk To Breast feeding mothers.
- Reduced Health Risk
- Return to Normal Weight
How Breastmilk Are Made.
Breastmilk production are triggered by hormones. There are two types of hormones that are involve which is Prolactin hormone and Oxytoxin hormone.
Your brain will send signals to your breast to produce prolactin hormones which starts the production of milk in the milk lobes.
Then, Oxytoxin hormones are released to get the milk out of the lobes and pass through the milk duct and eventually out the nipple.
Types of Breastmilk.
Breastmilk can be categorized into three types. It is categorized by the properties of the breastmilk.
As mentioned previously, the make up of the milk changes from time to time, most times are to match with your baby’s development needs. Additionally, it may change due to your body changes.
Your breast will start producing colostrum milk during the later half of your pregnancy and continue to produce it up to 2-4 days after delivery.
Colostrum milk are thicker than the normal breastmilk and has yellowish tint. It is packed with protein, fat, immunoglobulins.
When your breast changing the milk production from colostrum to mature milk, it will produce transitional milk. Compared to colostrum, transitional is higher in calories and is high in fat and lactose.
Mature milk is the normal breastmilk that your body will produce for the rest of your breastfeeding journey. Some would highlight about the hindmilk and foremilk.
The difference in hindmilk and foremilk are the fat content. Foremilk is the milk your baby will get at the initial part of the feeding while hindmilk comes later after a few minutes of feeding.
Hindmilk are said to contain higher amount of fat and is incredibly important for your baby’s weight gain but as long as your baby is adequately breastfed, you should not worry too much about whether your baby is receiving hindmilk or foremilk because both is equally beneficial.
Let’s take a look at what exactly is inside breastmilk that made it so nutritious.
What Is Inside Breastmilk?
1. Live cells
We are all made out of millions and millions of cell.
One single cell is a complete organism itself that has different functioning parts to produce or process nutrients.
Stem cells and white blood cells are some of the live cells found in breastmilk
This two cells are essential in organ development and also healing.
Proteins are a vital component in building muscle mass.
It is a type of macronutrient which means our body demands for protein in high amounts.
Protein aids your baby growth and development while at the same help to activate your baby’s immune system.
Not to mention, it is also acts as aids in protecting your baby’s neurons.
For your information, neurons are nerve cells and it functions as the bridge to all your sensory input and output.
It relays information from the external world to the muscles and organs through electrical signals.
3. Amino Acids
Amino acids are one of the component of proteins and in breastmilk and there’s tons of it! This includes nucleotides.
Experts believe that this particle help in inducing sleep. One of the reasons why breastmilk can help soothe your baby.
Oligosaccharides are a form of complex sugar.
You may have heard of probiotics through Vitagen or Yakult commercials.
Well, probiotics are good bacterias and can be found in your intestines.
Oligosaccharides in the hand acts as food to these bacterias.
It also helps prevent infections in your child’s blood stream.
The enzymes found in breastmilk supports chemical reactions.
Chemical reactions takes place when your body is processing nutrients.
Enzymes here also helps your baby to absorb iron efficiently including aiding the digestive and immune system.
6. Growth Elements
Growth elements present in the breastmilk are great for your baby’s development.
They are important elements for the development of your baby’s blood vessels, intestines, nervous systems, and also glands.
Hormones function in the body is to act as messengers.
It helps the body to control and coordinate activities in the body.
For example, hormones is what signals your body to stop your period during pregnancy and also tells your breasts to start producing milk.
For a newborn baby, hormones helps to regulate their appetite and sleeping patterns.
Hormones in breastmilk is also one of the reasons why your baby is able to bond with you so well.
8. Vitamins & Minerals
The vitamins and minerals present in your breastmilk can help your baby’s organ functions and developments.
It also improves your newborn baby’s teeth and bone health and growth.
Breastmilk contains high amount of antibodies. Antibodies are present in your child’s body but is immature.
So to compensate it, your baby will require a boost of antibodies from you. The antibodies found in breastmilk are known as Immunoglobulins.
These antibodies help to neutralize bad bacteria and viruses that may harm your child’s health.
Having adequate amount of fatty-acids can help in developing and maintaining healthy brain functions for your baby.
It is also good for your baby’s eye development.
MicroRNAs are a cluster of molecules that controls protein production.
It determines what kind of protein and the amount of proteins produce by the body.
It helps in regulating gene expression while preventing the development of disease by supporting your baby’s immune system.
For a growing newborn, getting these nutrients will definitely aid their growth and development.
Breast Milk Composition Changes
Breastmilk composition means the amount of elements in the milk. The composition of breastmilk changes from time to time such as the nursing length or the infant development stages.
The breastmilk is so dynamic that you may not give your baby the same amount of nutrients composition every time you breastfeed!
Nonetheless, the breastmilk is still full of nutrients, only the mixture of it may differ following to your diet, body condition and other things that may influence the breastmilk production.
So, if you can, don’t skip on the breastmilk!