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Benefits Of Breastfeeding For The Baby

What are the benefits of breast milk for the baby

  • It has all the nutrients that a baby needs
  • It can easily be digested by the baby
  • It protects the baby from illnesses by providing immunity
  • It is readily available for the baby and is always at the right temperature

Is the nutrition provided by breast milk sufficient

Breast milk is the ideal and most complete food for the baby because it contains all of the nutritive elements essential for its growth.  It is an important source of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals - all in the right proportion.

How does breast milk protect the baby

Breast milk strengthens the child's immunity because it contains antibodies, special white cells and other anti-infective factors. The protection is greatest when the baby is only fed  breast milk in the first 4-6 months of life.  Cow (or buffalo) milk and formula milk do not contain these antibodies that are so important to the baby. 

Is a breastfed baby less likely to fall sick

Yes, absolutely.  Breast milk helps to protect the baby against diarrhoea, coughs and colds, and common illnesses.  A non-breastfed baby is 15 times more likely to get diarrhoea and 3 times more likely to get respiratory infection.  Allergies are more common in babies given animal milk (including powder milk) in the first months of life.  If your baby is sick, breast milk is ideal because it is nutritious and can be easily digested. 

Does breast milk cause fewer stomach upsets and prevent constipation

Yes.  Breast milk gets digested easily, even by the baby's delicate digestive system.  This means fewer stomach upsets, less wind and less vomiting after feeds.  The baby's stools are also soft and less smelly.  In addition, the baby rarely (or never) suffers from constipation.  Even if the baby does not have a bowel movement for a few days, when he eventually does, his stools will always be soft (though he may still show signs of straining).

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