Breast Milk – Benefits for Baby

Breast milk is nature’s perfect baby food, and when a baby is exclusively breastfed there are advantages to both the little one and his mother.

Maternal Bonding

Breastfeeding is a natural process that allows mother and baby to spend ample amounts of time together in a skin-to-skin setting. This has shown to reduce the stress level in infants and to promote a closer relationship between mother and child.

Perfectly Balanced Nutrition

The best benefit of all for baby is that breast milk is the body’s perfect form of nutrition. It is perfectly balanced and easy to digest so long as the mother hasn’t eaten something that would disagree with baby, such as extremely spicy food. Breast milk is not consistent throughout the way compare to formula in a bottle. Breast milk starts off as a thin watery substance to sate baby’s appetite immediately. This is followed by the bulk of the meal which is in a medium consistency. Finally, the hindmilk is released which is much like cream. This milk is rich in nutrients and is extremely soothing to baby – It is one of the reasons babies fall asleep while feeding.

Reduced Risk of Allergies and Illness

Antibodies and other aspects of the mother’s immune system are transferred through the milk to the baby to a certain degree while breastfeeding. This helps baby ward off more of the common illnesses and complaints. Breastfeeding also helps baby’s fragile digestive system develop at the proper pace preventing the onslaught of allergies and food sensitivities that might stem from milk-based formula’s harsher proteins.

Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Obesity

Recent studies have shown that breastfed babies have a reduced risk of becoming obese. The cause is speculated to be the style of feeding rather than the actual diet of the babies. Babies crave sucking for comfort and while nursing, the baby can suck to a degree for comfort and not actually feed at the same time. A bottle-fed baby might be offered a bottle every time he cries, which he gladly takes for its soothing principles. With a bottle, however, there is no degree of sucking and every bottle provides food which can create a comfort and food association over time.

When You Shouldn’t Breastfeed

There are numerous advantages to breastfeeding, but there are circumstances when breastfeeding is not an option or potentially dangerous. Any toxins or diseases you have can pass to your baby through breast milk. If you are taking prescribed medication, it might not be safe for breastfeeding and you should never breastfeed without clearing each prescription with your doctor. This is true for many over-the-counter medications as well.

Communicable diseases can be passed through breast milk. In fact, a sizeable portion of the world’s babies infected with HIV were born HIV-free, but contracted the disease later from their infected mothers. Diseases and medications aren’t the only things passed through your breast milk. Caffeine and alcohol can be passed as well, so many breastfeeding expert recommend pumping and dumping a feeding after imbibing in alcohol and to keep caffeinated beverages and alcohol to a minimum.

The Basics of Breast Milk

Breast milk develops in stages.


Colostrum is the milk produced by moms in the first few days of a newborn infant’s life. Colorstrum is colorless, thick and sticky. It contains high amount of immunoglobulins, which is an anti-infective component.

It is common that only very small amounts of colostrums are produced during the first few days after a child is born. This often frustrates mothers who expect a greater amount of milk. However, it is important to continue the breastfeeding as the volume of breast milk will increase after 3 or 4 days.

Mature Milk

Mature milk is produced after 3 or 4 days. This milk consists of two different components:

  • Foremilk: Fore milk is the milk that baby receives at the beginning of each feeding. It has high water and sugar content, which will help to quench baby’s thirst. It is produced between feeds in response to previous suckling.
  • Hindmilk: This milk is produced during each feed as the pressure in a mother’s breast decreases. Hindmilk is rich in fat and calories.

It is important the baby receive adequate hindmilk as this calorically dense milk provides the nutrients and calories needed by the newborn. To ensure the infant receive this milk, mother should continue breastfeed until:

  • baby pulls away or
  • baby begins to nibble at the breast or
  • baby falls asleep at the breast or
  • baby doesn’t start to feed again if milk is squeezed into his mouth.

Baby who is not receiving sufficient hindmilk may feel hungry often and require frequent feeding. Because hindmilk provides the needed nutrients for the baby, insufficient hindmilk will result in inadequate weight again. Besides, infant will tense to have lot of gas and explosive production of green stools. The normal stools should be yellow and seedy in texture.

Do You Have a Picky Eater?

Nothing frustrates a parent more than preparing a delicious, healthy meal for the family only to have a child take one look at it and prepare to leave the table. Living with a picky eater isn’t easy, but most children will go through a phase of picky eating at some point. While some outgrow it, others may remain in the phase for a long time, leaving parents at the end of their rope and out of ideas for how to get their child to eat better.

If you have a picky eater on your hands, you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone. This common frustration of parenting happens to just about every parent at some point.

Good Eaters Gone Bad

Most picky eaters don’t start out that way. Babies who ate anything put in front of them through the early stages of eating solids often take a turn for the picky side as they grow older. This is a normal part of development, and the effort that you put into providing a balanced children diet wasn’t in vain. A good eater will often go through a phase of picky eating and come out on the other side ready to eat again.

As children grow, their taste buds change and they change the way they feel about certain foods. Although many children still love sweets, the baby predisposition towards sweet will gradually fade as the palate starts to enjoy other flavors. While baby might make a face at a salty baby food, toddlers generally find salt quite enjoyable, as evidenced by their love of French fries.

Developing a sense of independence is also to blame for the changes in your previously good eater. Toddlers quickly come to realize that of the very few things they have any control of in their lives, eating is the one they can exert the most power over. They learn that there is really nothing you can do to make them eat what they don’t want to, and as part of learning to be independent, they will use this ability to find a sense of control over their environment. As independence develops and your child begins to feel more freedom over daily activities and actions, the picky eating may fade into the background.

Picky From the Start

Some children are simply picky eaters from day one. They never seem to develop an interest in many of the foods you offer and carry these habits over into toddlerhood and beyond. A consistently picky eater may well stay that way into adulthood without a great deal of effort on the part of the parents.

Some people merely have stronger taste buds than others and find certain flavors overwhelming. There are certain foods that it is very possible your child will never like. This doesn’t mean healthy eating isn’t possible, but merely that you will have to be a lot more creative.

One of the best advantages of the toddler years is that you can start to serve foods in much more interesting forms. Rather than bland purees, your child can now try all kinds of cuisine that will take the foods they might not like and flavor them in such as way as to make them more acceptable.

Dealing with a picky eater isn’t easy, but it certainly isn’t uncommon. Whether your child was picky from the start or developed the pickiness over time, there is always hope. Don’t give up on serving healthy foods. One day, your persistence will pay off.

Page 34 of 34« First...1020...3031323334