There is a noticeable reduction in women who are breast feeding in the developed countries. About 80% of women are not breast feeding their children. Breast milk is all that the baby needs for the first six months, at least. In India breast feeding rate has reduced to 30%, which is a serious threat to the development of a Nation. To overcome this problem Indian Government took an action and Adopted IMS act in 1992. World Breastfeeding Week (1 to 7 August) is also celebrated every year to hearten breastfeeding and mend the health of babies, and this year (2019) the theme being “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.
Breastfeeding helps better health for mothers and children alike. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Increased breastfeeding can save more than 800 000 lives in the universe every year, the majority being children under 6 months. It provides the primary source of nutrition for newborns, before they are able to digest more diverse foods.
Colostrum also known as beestings or first milk is loaded with calories and infection-fighting proteins. However mature milk which is secreted after colostrum also contains the following:-
- Lactose: Matured human milk contains 6.9% to 7.2% carbohydrate, calculated as lactose. This source of energy is essential for the development of the brain. It also stimulates the intestinal microbiota
- Lipids: Breastmilk contains on an average of 3 to 5% It include fats, oils, waxes, certain vitamins (such as A, D, E and K) and hormones. This sources of energy is essential for the development of central nervous system and the retina. It is also essential in the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins.
- Nucleotides: mother’s milk contains on an average of 1.2 mg.100kJ-1 It is an organic molecule that is the unit of DNA. This is helpful for the development and maturation of the intestinal tract. This also aids for proper function of immune system.
- Vitamins and minerals (0.2%): It is the development of whole body including cells, bones, brain, vision, skin, hair, immune system and nervous system.
- Probiotics: Breastmilk contains on an average of 106 g-1 probiotic, which are live bacteria and yeasts that are essential for digestive system. This sources of energy improves intestinal microbial balance and reinforce the defence mechanisms.
- Proteins: on an average 0.8% to 0.9% of proteins is available in the breast milk which is essential for tissues. Proteins are aids in the development of important enzymes, hormones and antibodies.
- Other benefits: Facilitates proper dental and jaw development. Breastfed babies have higher IQ than who fed with other milk substituents.
The benefits of breastfeeding are both physical and psychological for mother, child and their family. Newborn deserves the best Nutrition, Improved Survival, Optimum Development and Healthy Life. Breast feeding can do this miracle!