As a new mother, you may acknowledge that breastmilk is the best source of nutrients for your baby. In fact, It is recommended that you breastfeed your baby until they reach 1 – 2 years old to ensure that your little ones are growing up in the best condition. So how breast milk will help your baby’s development specifically? To answer that question, here are the benefits of breast milk to your baby.
Breast Milk is Beneficial for Brain Development
The study of Children’s Hospital Boston, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics has shown that breastfed babies from 6 months to 1 year usually have very good language skills at 3 years of age. This study also shows that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 1 year will have their IQ 4.2 points higher than normal when they reach 7 years of age. Many other studies also point out the link between the physical and intellectual development of children and breastfeeding. Children often tend to learn fast and have a good memory. It is thanks to the nutrients in breast milk that have contributed to the process of perfecting the brain for babies right from birth.
Breast Milk Helps Your Baby to Form Myelin Fibers
There is a large amount of cholesterol in the composition of breast milk. This is the essential ingredient to make up Myelin. Myelin is an essential substance for the baby’s nervous system to function properly. Thanks to Myelinization, your baby can learn their first movement skills: crawling and walking. Furthermore, as you breastfeed your baby, the skin to skin contact also stimulates the formation of fibers. Myelin fibers will also help your baby’s brain form quicker reflexes, therefore they will be able to remember and identify surrounding phenomena easily. This is an important prerequisite step for your child to explore their own world later.
Mother’s Colostrum will Boost your Newborn’s Immune system
1-3 days after giving birth, your body will start producing pale yellow milk called colostrum. This type of milk is only formed in a very short time. Colostrum not only has many nutrients but also contains antibodies such as IgG, IgF, or IgA. They work to increase the number of white blood in your baby’s body. Therefore, they will help your little one to build a strong and healthy immune system.
Transitional Breast milk – A Source of Nutrition For your Baby to Develop Physically
The colostrum will normally last for 3 days. After that, your breast milk will change to another form. This form of milk is transitional milk. It will become whiter and only produces 5-14 days after the baby is born. It contains more water-soluble vitamins, higher calories, and more fat than colostrum. Thanks to these substances, your new born’s weight will increases very quickly in the first 2 weeks after birth. Therefore, you need to breastfeed at this stage as much as possible. This helps children gain weight easily and continues to strengthen the immune system from colostrum.
Mature Breast Milk Will Help your baby Grow faster
Now after the transitional milk ends, your breast milk will process to its last form called mature breast milk. Mature breast milk consists of three main nutritional components: protein, fat, and sugar. These nutrients will provide your baby with the energy they need to grow up. According to studies, the proportion of these ingredients will vary due to factors such as maternal weight, maternal protein intake, menstruation, and frequency of breastfeeding. In addition, this form of breast milk is also rich in essential vitamins such as A, D, E, K. Therefore, if you breastfeed your baby properly, your baby will receive everything they need too develop faster and grow stronger.
Breastfeeding Helps Children Develop their Vision and Senses
Breastmilk is also rich in fatty acids such as DHA or AA. These are essential fatty acids for the formation and development of the optic nervous system. So if you breastfeed your baby regularly, it will help them develop their vision as well as senses better in their early life.
There you go, now you have the benefits of breast milk for your baby. Therefore, if you do not have any health conditions as well as force majeure factors, you should breastfeed your baby in their early years. Breast milk helps your child stay healthy, reduce illnesses, and strengthen your bonds. Do you have any tips about breastfeeding? Please let us and other mothers know in the comments!