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Breastfeeding Can Protect Newborns from Illnesses


News Desk, News Nation 360 : Breast milk is a natural food that develops spontaneously for babies. Colostrum produced first few days following birth, is thick and sticky milk regarded as the lifeline for every newborn. Dr. Pallab Chatterjee, Consultant Paediatrician, Manipal Hospital Salt Lake, Kolkata has spoken about how breastfeeding protects newborns from illnesses. It includes all of the essential nutrients including water in the proper proportions for a newborn’s survival and growth. Breast milk is easily digestible. It is the baby's primary source of immunity. For both short and long-term advantages, exclusive breastfeeding (no water)­ must be provided until the age of 6 months. Breast milk is preferably given directly, though it can be also pumped and stored in hygienic bottles and offered to babies to avoid formula milk. It can be stored for 6 hours at room temperature if required. In addition to macronutrients, protein, carbohydrates, and fats, breast milk contains all the micronutrients like Vitamin A, B1, B2, B12, Vitamin D and iodine. After 6 months of age iron and Vitamin C are recommended. Breast milk improves the toddler’s undeveloped immune system and prepares host defence systems against infectious and other external agents. Bioactive substances like Milk Fat Globule Membrane (MFGM), Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), and Human Milk Oligosaccharides in breast milk are thought to initiate active activation of the infant's immune system. The key benefits of breast milk feeding are : Breast milk prevents babies from various infections in short-term and long-term, Mother’s milk is designed to meet the developmental needs of the child at an early age, Strengthen the baby's immune system that helps the baby in its growing years, Development of innate immunity of the gastrointestinal tract, Aid in the development of the baby's brain and neurological system, Prevents ear and skin infections & irritation, Prevents urinary tract infection, Maternal antibodies get transferred to the baby through breast milk and therefore it is a good source of antibodies for the infant, Lactoferrin and secretory IgA are proteins in the breast milk that protects the newborn from infections, Prevents allergies in the baby, Skin irritation can be prevented among infants with regular breast feeding, Risk of childhood obesity is reduced, Prevents bacterial meningitis, Prevents asthma, Prevents eczema, Minimizes the chances of Type 2 diabetes in the later part of the life, Prevents cavities and future development of orthodontic problems for babies, Prevents celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and Vitamin content such vitamins A, K and B12 in breast milk initiates the overall development of the baby. Breastfeeding is not only good for newborns, but it is also good for the mother's health. It is recommended that all mothers breastfeed their children. Breastfeeding has no negative impacts on a woman's body form. Breastfeeding reduces the chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Type II diabetes and excessive blood pressure are also lowered. Breastfeeding burns more calories, which can assist moms in losing pregnancy weight more quickly. It also helps to reduce uterine bleeding after childbirth.

Report : Anustup Kundu

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