Breast milk is the ideal food for your baby. In truth, it really cannot compare to commercial milk when it comes to health benefits and nutrients. In fact, breast milk supplies all the needed nutrients for your infant. It is comprised of vitamins and minerals like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, digestive enzymes, hormones and essential nutrients. As well, breast milk is easily absorbed and digested.
It is extremely important for all new born babies to consume breast milk even for a small period of time. During the first few weeks a mother’s milk contains colostrum. This thick and rich fluid consist of antibodies that help fight against unsafe bacteria, viruses and disease. Colostrum or first milk is only available for your baby the first few weeks. A mother’s milk gradually changes to thinner mature milk which does not have antibodies.
Colostrum also contains a lot of immunoglobin A (IgA). This natural anti-body helps protect a newborn from allergies until its immune system is working properly. Since IgA is a mild laxative, it helps remove meconium and prevent the build-up of bilirubin which may contribute to jaundice.
When a mother is unsure about whether or not to breastfeed, just remember that they can try it for a week or two and then make a decision. At least the newborn will receive the important anti-bodies that are in colostrum.