Ever been curious as to what’s found in breast milk that makes it the most important element of your infant’s growth? The below information will explain to you why.
First of all, we already know that breast milk is known for its protective and immune supporting nutrients. In addition, breast milk contains the right balance of probiotics and prebiotics that human babies need to colonize their bowels with healthy bacteria. Perhaps the most important anti-infective factor in breast milk is an antibody called secretory IgA (sIgA). ‘SIgA’ helps protect a baby from pathogens he/she is most likely to come across in the environment he/she lives in (this is called ‘targeted protection’). Breastfed babies may have asymptomatic infections that don’t show any signs of inflammation because of the anti-inflammatory factors in breast milk, which can turn acute-inflammatory cells off.
The fats in breast milk are very important. Of all the fats in breast milk, 88% are made from long-chain fatty acids; it’s these long-chain fatty acids (e.g. omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA) that are constituents of brain and nerve tissue, and are needed in early life for mental and visual development. Finally, the self adjusting properties of breast milk are also very important. A mother’s breast milk is custom made for her baby, based on the baby’s age and needs at the time. The breast milk a mother makes for her baby is different from day one to day seven to day 30, and so on.
The breast milk made by a mother of a premature baby has different concentrations of various substances to suit her baby’s special needs. And, when weaning, a mother’s breast milk increases the concentration of immune protective factors to give her baby a final dose of immune protection before weaning is complete.
Note: As you breastfeed your baby make sure you eat healthy and keep yourself well hydrated at all times in order to provide your growing infant with a good supply of breast milk which is essential for his/her healthy growth.
Information sourced by: www.bellybelly.com.au