The initial six months of babies should see them exclusively breastfed on human breast milk banks with no supplements. Human breast milk banks contains the right balance of nutrients in the right proportions in a complex, biological fluid state that the baby's digestive system processes gently to facilitate complete absorption of nutrients. The optimal health, all round growth and development of cells and muscles are ensured by the hormones present in benefits of breast feeding.
Human milk is constituted of about one hundred ingredients that is lacking in even the best artificial infant milk supplement. Macrophages, the live cells that abound in human milk give it a close functional resemblance to blood. Microphages oust and destroy any potential threat like fungi, bacteria and viruses.
Lactoferrin found in mother's milk contributes to coating and protecting the baby's intestines. E. coli and staphylococci bacteria are combated by the antibiotic shield formed by combination of Lactoferrin with lysozyme. Immunoglobulins like Secretory IgA helps in protecting ears, throat and nose and safeguard the GI track against bacteria and foreign bodies.
The antibodies in human milk have the capacity to alter their protective qualities to provide immunity against any allergens, bacteria or germs that may thrive in the environment. The probability of infant succumbing to allergies, ear or respiratory infections and asthma is greatly reduced owing to the above antibodies.
The bulk of carbohydrates in human milk owe their existence to lactose. Lactose helps in calcium absorption and enhances metabolism of glactose and glucose which provide the energy to rapidly growing infant' brain. Advantage of breast feeding Long chain fatty acids like ARA and DHA present in human milk are credited for cell membrane integrity in retina, brain and other body parts of baby.
The nature of mother's milk sees changes throughout the day and in course of feeding the infant. Foremilk is the initial secretion meant to satisfy the initial thirst of baby. A high fat and calorie rich secretion follows suit which is called hindmilk as feeding progresses. Hindmilk promotes overall development and growth of infant.
Initial mother milk exposes baby for longer duration to colostrums and contains higher concentration of IgA, anti infective properties, long chain fatty acids and triglycerides. The long term visual and neurological development is taken care of along with short term energy needs. Mother's milk avert the onset of often encountered fatal condition in premature babies called necrotizing enterocolits.
Breastfed babies are less vulnerable to asthma, atopic diseases, allergies, ear and respiratory problems, dysfunction of urinary tract, gastrointestinal reflux, bacterial meningitis, Leukemia, Hodgkin's Disease, Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and host of other diseases. This has been clinically proved through in depth researches.
Prolonged scientific investigations have revealed that protective qualities bestowed by mother's milk to infants last well into adulthood. The chances of falling prey to Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, obesity, diabetes, Ulcerative colitis, heart diseases and multifarious other health problems is greatly reduced in breastfed babies.
The above facts underpin the importance of breast feeding of mother's milk and the protective role it plays in modeling the overall health of infants.