Today’s article covers an important and urgent topic concerning development of healthy digestive system in baby. Lots of moms wonder how to avoid colic, diarrhea, constipation and other digestive disorders in babies. There is just one simple answer to this question, so let’s consider it in details.
Nowadays many manufacturers offer their ready meals for babies and “promise” that they consist of all nutrients and trace elements necessary for a baby and they can even replace breast milk. But breastfeeding still cannot be compared with any of them. That’s because breast milk produces a special secretion, which not only meets the nutritional needs of newborns, but also contributes to baby’s development.
The first milk, or colostrum, is generated immediately after a baby is born and is necessary for the development of healthy digestive system. Colostrum, as well as mature breast milk, plays an important role in the development of a child’s strong immune system. That is why, as well as to obtain the maximum benefit from the secretion of breast milk, it is better to always prefer breastfeeding to all kinds of artificial feeding for at least the first year of life.
Colostrum is the first food that a newborn needs to get. Colostrum is being produced during the first 3-4 days after baby’s birth. Composition of colostrum is very different from that of mature breast milk. Moreover, it is more yellow or orange in appearance; it is also much denser and is produced in much smaller quantities than ordinary milk. Since colostrum is a concentrated, easily digested food that is produced especially for a newborn to receive all the necessary nutrients, breastfed babies do not need liquid so necessary for artificially-fed newborns during the first few days of life.
Breastfeeding and colostrum play an equally important role in the rapid development of the digestive system after birth and in the further strengthening the immune system within the first few weeks of life. Colostrum is rich in non-food protein basis necessary for the maturation and reduced permeability of the lower digestive tract. Also the risk of diarrhea in newborns, being fed with colostrum within the first three days of life, is reduced during the first 6 months. Colostrum also contains a high concentration of antibodies called immunoglobulins. Unlike ordinary immunoglobulins absorbed in the body, immunoglobulins contained in colostrum cover the mucosal surfaces of the throat, lungs and the intestines of the newborns, protecting them against infection by preventing the penetration of pathogens through these areas.
To ensure the optimal development of the digestive and immune systems, and to meet the changing nutritional needs of newborns and babies, breastfeeding should be as often as possible in order for a newborn to have constant access to the breast within the first 24 – 72 hours after birth. Best of all it is recommended to breastfeed 8-12 times during each 24-hour period. More frequent feeding promotes accelerated production of mature milk. If possible, babies should be breastfed within the first 6-12 months – this will promote the development of strong immune system. To avoid a negative reaction in baby or allergy to milk and other foods at a later age, it is better not to include additional food in his diet at this time.
Tips for working mothers
Your baby can enjoy the benefits of breast milk even after your start working. After all, even partial breastfeeding is better than only bottle one. Therefore continue to breastfeed as long as possible. If the baby sleeps with you, you can easily feed him breast milk at night. In the morning before you leave your home, and in the evening when you come back, feed the baby breast milk as well. If the baby is fed mixed meals, it is necessary to always feed him breast milk first, and then the other food.
Feeding the baby food stuff not intended for baby food, can be dangerous for him. Unreasonable partial bottle-feeding or premature introduction of other foods and beverages can negatively affect breastfeeding – lactation period will be reduced. This is why you should always consult a physician before introducing other food into your baby’s diet.