Formula feeding a newborn, exclusive formula feeding, and more
Formula feeding offers all the nutrients and vitamins your baby needs to grow for the first 12 months of life. Newborns who exclusively drink formula need 1 to 2 ounces every two to three hours for the first few days. That's about 8 to 12 feedings in 24 hours. To prepare powdered formula, add water first, then powder, and shake. Tilt the bottle to 45 degrees to reduce the amount of air your baby swallows, and consider paced feeding to avoid overfeeding your baby. Babies who are premature or allergic to cow's milk may require specialized formulas.
Exclusive formula feeding – either right from the start or after a period of nursing – is a healthy alternative to breastfeeding and a safe way to nourish your baby. Formula has all of the vitamins and nutrients that your baby needs to thrive. Your child's doctor will chart your baby's growth and work with you to make sure they're well-fed and growing as expected.
There are plenty of reasons why parents formula-feed. Among them are having a baby with a poor sucking reflex (common in premature babies), prolonged mother-infant separation, painful nursing, concerns that a baby isn't getting enough milk and gaining weight appropriately, the need to return to work, low milk supply, a health problem that requires medication that's not safe for a nursing infant, and a desire to let other family members help feed the baby.
Know that the right way to feed your baby is whichever way works best for your baby and your family. What your baby really needs is your love and attention – both of which you can give your baby no matter how you feed them.
Formula feeding a newborn
When your baby is first born, you'll most likely need to give them ready-made formula, since it's the most sterile. You can start giving your baby powdered formula once they're 2 months old. Otherwise, the main difference between formula feeding a newborn and an older baby is the amount you'll give and the frequency with which you'll offer the bottle.
Because your newborn's stomach is still tiny, they can only eat small portions at each feeding. Similar to breastfed newborns, for the first few weeks formula-fed newborns will eat eight to 12 times in 24 hours. Eventually, by around 6 months of age, formula-fed babies will take a bottle just four or five times per day.
How much formula to give a newborn
Newborns can often only handle about 1 to 2 ounces of formula every two to three hours for the first few days of life (though you can offer more if your baby is still showing signs of hunger – it's always best to listen to your baby's cues).
By one month, many babies are consuming 4 ounces of formula every four hours. The total amount of formula to give your infant adds up to about 2.5 ounces per pound of body weight each day.
How to bottle-feed a baby
The key to bottle-feeding your baby is holding them in your arms at a 45-degree angle. This helps cut back on the amount of air they swallow, which in turn reduces the amount of uncomfortable gas in their tummy. Make sure the nipple is completely full of formula, not partially filled, to reduce the amount of air your baby swallows. If your baby seems squirmy in the middle of a feed, burp them before continuing.
Paced bottle feeding is one popular bottle-feeding method that puts your baby in control of how much they eat, to help prevent overfeeding. Make sure to choose the right bottle (look for a slow-flow, wide nipple version), take breaks every 20 to 30 seconds, and watch for your baby's fullness cues (turning their head away from the bottle, for example).
Commonly asked formula questions
How to prepare formula
Before you start preparing formula, wash your hands and have a clean work space, clean bottles, and safe water on hand. Tap water is usually fine, unless you have concerns about your local water safety – in which case it's best to use bottled water or boiled tap water.
Follow the instructions on the container of formula and use the included scoop. You'll always add the water first, then the formula. Attach the nipple and shake well. Let the bubbles settle for a few minutes after shaking before feeding it to your baby to help reduce gas.
You can warm refrigerated bottles using a bowl of warm water, a bottle warmer, or running warm water; never use a microwave, which heats milk unevenly and can burn your baby.
Find out more about preparing formula safely.
Signs of a formula allergy
Cow's milk protein allergy is relatively common, affecting 2 to 3 percent of babies under the age of 1 (though many grow out of this allergy by the time they're a year old). Babies can also be allergic to soy, another ingredient used in formula.
The most common signs of a formula allergy include stomach issues such as vomiting and diarrhea, green, mucus-y stools, or blood in the stool. Extreme fussiness and gassiness could also be a sign of an allergy, as well as skin rashes, eczema, and hives.
If you're concerned your baby is allergic to formula, talk to their doctor about whether you should switch to a hypoallergenic, extensively hydrolyzed formula.
Find out more about formula allergies.
Types of formula
Most formulas are made from cow's milk or soybeans (for soy formula). Babies who are allergic to milk or soy proteins, as well as those who are premature or have a low birth weight, may require specialized formulas. To prevent anemia, make sure to get iron-fortified infant formula.
Types of formula include powdered formula and liquid concentrate, which you'll prepare with water, and ready-to-feed formula, which you can feed your baby right out of the bottle it comes in.
To find out more about choosing the best formula for your baby, talk to your baby's doctor.
Keep in mind that cow's milk isn't recommended until after your baby's first birthday. Until then, avoid feeding your baby cow's milk (unless you don't have anything else to give your baby because of a formula shortage; then you can give your baby under a year old cow's milk for about a week). It doesn't have the proper nutrients in the right proportions for a growing infant, plus it can cause digestive troubles.
Also steer clear of homemade formulas. These can lead to serious health problems for babies.
Find out more about types of baby formula.
How to switch formula
If you need to switch formulas for any reason, it's usually perfectly fine to do so as long as the main ingredients (e.g., cow's milk or soy milk) are the same. Just avoid switching from a specialized formula (such as an extensively hydrolyzed formula for babies with milk allergies) to another type of formula (such as soy milk formula) without talking to your child's doctor first.
Your baby may very well drink a new formula without any issues. But since ingredients and flavor can vary slightly from brand to brand, they might initially protest. If that's the case, try introducing the new formula gradually, over several feedings, so your baby can get used to it.
Find out more about switching formula.
How much does formula cost?
Families who exclusively formula-feed their baby can expect to pay between $400 to $800 per month for formula. Cost varies based on the brand (some are significantly pricier than others), as well as whether you're using more expensive ready-to-feed formula.
Keep in mind that your baby will drink formula exclusively for the first four to six months of life. But even after your baby starts eating solid foods, their formula intake won't decrease much until they're about 9 months old.
Find out more about formula and other baby expenses.
When do babies stop drinking formula?
You can stop feeding your baby formula at 12 months of age, at which point they can begin drinking full-fat cow's milk. Most toddlers love milk, but if yours doesn't take to it, you can phase it in slowly by mixing milk with their formula.
Find out more about when and how to stop giving your baby formula.
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Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding (for Parents)
Choosing whether to breastfeed or formula feed their baby is one of the biggest decisions expectant and new parents will make.
Healt experts believe breast milk is the best nutritional choice for infants. But breastfeeding may not be possible for all women. For many, the decision to breastfeed or formula feed is based on their comfort level, lifestyle, and specific medical situations.
For moms who can't breastfeed or who decide not to, infant formula is a healthy alternative. Formula provides babies with the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
Some mothers worry that if they don't breastfeed, they won't bond with their baby. But the truth is, loving mothers will always create a special bond with their children. And feeding — no matter how — is a great time to strengthen that bond.
The decision to breastfeed or formula feed your baby is a personal one. Weighing the pros and cons of each method can help you decide what is best for you and your baby.
All About Breastfeeding
Nursing can be a wonderful experience for both mother and baby. It provides ideal nourishment and a special bonding experience that many mothers cherish.
A number of health organizations — including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Medical Association (AMA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) — recommend breastfeeding as the best choice for babies. Breastfeeding helps defend against infections, prevent allergies, and protect against a number of chronic conditions.
The AAP recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Beyond that, breastfeeding is encouraged until at least 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing.
Here are some of the many benefits of breastfeeding:
Fighting infections and other conditions. Breastfed babies have fewer infections and hospitalizations than formula-fed infants. During breastfeeding, antibodies and other germ-fighting factors pass from a mother to her baby and strengthen the immune system. This helps lower a baby's chances of getting many infections, including:
Breastfeeding also may protect babies against:
sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Breastfeeding is particularly beneficial for premature babies.
Nutrition and ease of digestion. Often called the "perfect food" for a human baby's digestive system, breast milk's components — lactose, protein (whey and casein), and fat — are easily digested by a newborn.
As a group, breastfed infants have less difficulty with digestion than do formula-fed infants. Breast milk tends to be more easily digested so that breastfed babies have fewer bouts of diarrhea or constipation.
Breast milk also naturally contains many of the vitamins and minerals that a newborn requires. One exception is vitamin D — the AAP recommends that all breastfed babies begin receiving vitamin D supplements during the first 2 months and continuing until a baby consumes enough vitamin D-fortified formula or milk (after 1 year of age).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates formula companies to ensure they provide all the necessary nutrients (including vitamin D) in their formulas. Still, commercial formulas can't completely match breast milk's exact composition. Why? Because milk is a living substance made by each mother for her individual infant, a process that can't be duplicated in a factory.
Free. Breast milk doesn't cost a cent, while the cost of formula quickly adds up. And unless you're pumping breast milk and giving it to your baby, there's no need for bottles, nipples, and other supplies that can be costly. Since breastfed babies are less likely to be sick, that may mean they make fewer trips to the doctor's office, so fewer co-pays and less money are paid for prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines.
Different tastes. Nursing mothers usually need 300 to 500 extra calories per day, which should come from a wide variety of well-balanced foods. This introduces breastfed babies to different tastes through their mothers' breast milk, which has different flavors depending on what their mothers have eaten. By tasting the foods of their "culture," breastfed infants more easily accept solid foods.
Convenience. With no last-minute runs to the store for more formula, breast milk is always fresh and available whether you're home or out and about. And when women breastfeed, there's no need to wash bottles and nipples or warm up bottles in the middle of the night.
Smarter babies. Some studies suggest that children who were exclusively breastfed have slightly higher IQs than children who were formula fed.
"Skin-to-skin" contact. Many nursing mothers really enjoy the experience of bonding so closely with their babies. And the skin-to-skin contact can enhance the emotional connection between mother and infant.
Beneficial for mom, too. The ability to totally nourish a baby can help a new mother feel confident in her ability to care for her baby. Breastfeeding also burns calories and helps shrink the uterus, so nursing moms may be able to return to their pre-pregnancy shape and weight quicker. Also, studies show that breastfeeding helps lower the risk of breast cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, and also may help decrease the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding can be easy from the get-go for some mothers, but take a while to get used to for others. Moms and babies need plenty of patience to get used to the routine of breastfeeding.
Common concerns of new moms, especially during the first few weeks and months, may include:
Personal comfort. Initially, many moms feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding. But with proper education, support, and practice, most moms overcome this.
Latch-on pain is normal for the first week to 10 days, and should last less than a minute with each feeding. But if breastfeeding hurts throughout feedings, or if their nipples and/or breasts are sore, it's a good idea for breastfeeding mothers to get help from a lactation consultant or their doctor. Many times, it's just a matter of using the proper technique, but sometimes pain can mean that something else is going on, like an infection.
Time and frequency of feedings. Breastfeeding requires a big time commitment from mothers, especially in the beginning, when babies feed often. A breastfeeding schedule or the need to pump breast milk during the day can make it harder for some moms to work, run errands, or travel.
And breastfed babies do need to eat more often than babies who take formula, because breast milk digests faster than formula. This means mom may find herself in demand every 2 or 3 hours (maybe more, maybe less) in the first few weeks.
Diet. Women who are breastfeeding need to be aware of what they eat and drink, since these can be passed to the baby through the breast milk. Just like during pregnancy, breastfeeding women should not eat fish that are high in mercury and should limit consumption of lower mercury fish.
If a mom drinks alcohol, a small amount can pass to the baby through breast milk. She should wait at least 2 hours after a single alcoholic drink to breastfeed to avoid passing any alcohol to the baby. Caffeine intake should be kept to no more than 300 milligrams (about one to three cups of regular coffee) or less per day because it can cause problems like restlessness and irritability in some babies.
Maternal medical conditions, medicines, and breast surgery. Medical conditions such as HIV or AIDS or those that involve chemotherapy or treatment with certain medicines can make breastfeeding unsafe. A woman should check with her doctor or a lactation consultant if she's unsure if she should breastfeed with a specific condition. Women should always check with the doctor about the safety of taking medicines while breastfeeding, including over-the-counter and herbal medicines.
Mothers who've had breast surgery, such as a reduction, may have difficulty with their milk supply if their milk ducts have been severed. In this situation, a woman should to talk to her doctor about her concerns and work with a lactation specialist.
All About Formula Feeding
Commercially prepared infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk, and even contain some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.
Manufactured under sterile conditions, commercial formulas attempt to duplicate mother's milk using a complex combination of proteins, sugars, fats, and vitamins that aren't possible to create at home. So if you don't breastfeed your baby, it's important to use only commercially prepared formula and not try to make your own.
Besides medical concerns that may prevent breastfeeding, for some women, breastfeeding may be too difficult or stressful. Here are other reasons women may choose to formula feed:
Convenience. Either parent (or another caregiver) can feed the baby a bottle at any time (although this is also true for women who pump their breast milk). This allows mom to share the feeding duties and helps her partner to feel more involved in the crucial feeding process and the bonding that often comes with it.
Flexibility. Once the bottles are made, a formula-feeding mother can leave her baby with a partner or caregiver and know that her little one's feedings are taken care of. There's no need to pump or to schedule work or other obligations and activities around the baby's feeding schedule. And formula-feeding moms don't need to find a private place to nurse in public.
Time and frequency of feedings. Because formula is less digestible than breast milk, formula-fed babies usually need to eat less often than breastfed babies.
Diet. Women who opt to formula feed don't have to worry about the things they eat or drink that could affect their babies.
Formula Feeding Challenges
As with breastfeeding, there are some challenges to consider when deciding whether to formula feed.
Lack of antibodies. None of the antibodies found in breast milk are in manufactured formula. So formula can't provide a baby with the added protection against infection and illness that breast milk does.
Can't match the complexity of breast milk. Manufactured formulas have yet to duplicate the complexity of breast milk, which changes as the baby's needs change.
Planning and organization. Unlike breast milk — which is always available, unlimited, and served at the right temperature — formula feeding your baby requires planning and organization to make sure that you have what you need when you need it. Parents must buy formula and make sure it's always on hand to avoid late-night runs to the store.
And it's important to always have the necessary supplies (like bottles and nipples) clean, easily accessible, and ready to go — otherwise, you will have a very hungry, very fussy baby to answer to. With 8-10 feedings in a 24-hour period, parents can quickly get overwhelmed if they're not prepared and organized.
Expense. Formula can be costly. Powdered formula is the least expensive, followed by concentrated, with ready-to-feed being the most expensive. And specialty formulas (such as soy and hypoallergenic) cost more — sometimes far more — than the basic formulas. During the first year of life, the cost of basic formula can run about $1,500.
Possibility of producing gas and constipation. Formula-fed babies may have more gas and firmer bowel movements than breastfed babies.
Making a Choice
Deciding how you will feed your baby can be a hard decision. You'll really only know the right choice for your family when your baby comes.
Many women decide on one method before the birth and then change their minds after their baby is born. And many women decide to breastfeed and supplement with formula because they find that is the best choice for their family and their lifestyle.
While you're weighing the pros and cons, talk to your doctor or lactation consultant. These health care providers can give you more information about your options and help you make the best decision for your family.
newborn diet on IV, how to properly feed a baby with formula from a bottle
The desire for a child to grow up strong and healthy is natural for mothers. And the health of a newborn begins with proper nutrition. Mother's milk has always been considered the best option for feeding - the most healthy and nutritious food for infants. However, in some cases, breastfeeding is not possible. And then mixtures come to the aid of mothers.
In what cases is the transition to artificial feeding
How to choose a mixture of
Basic rules of artificial feeding
Main errors under artificial feeding
In what cases is it required by the transition to artificial feeding
Medical Medical Medical Medical Medical to breastfeeding. There are a number of diseases in which breast milk is prohibited. On the mother's side, these are HIV, an open form of tuberculosis, dangerous infections, and a serious state of health. On the part of the child, these are leucinosis, galactosemia, and individual food intolerance. It is not necessary to take tests after hearing the terrible names of diseases. All newborns are checked in maternity hospitals for their presence. But allergies are not so easy to identify. Many newborns have skin rashes and redness, which may be due to a reaction to an aggressive environment. Only a strict diet for the mother can help here, so that her milk does not contain allergens, monitoring the baby and consulting a doctor.
Lack of lactation or its complete cessation. This is the second objective reason for transferring a child from breast milk to formula. Lactation does not always come in the right amount and it can be increased. It happens that milk disappears a few days after the birth of the crumbs. This often depends on the individual characteristics of the mother's body. So that the child does not starve, he is first transferred to mixed, and then completely to artificial feeding.
Insufficient nutritional value of mother's milk. Usually this problem can be solved without resorting to the transition to IoT, but this is not always possible. A woman may have a lot of milk, but it will be like water in both color and consistency. In such cases, doctors give advice to the mother on nutrition in order to increase the fat content of milk and its usefulness. If the milk remains watery, the child stops eating, cries of hunger, loses weight. The only way out in this situation is the transition to the mixture.
Impossibility of regular feeding. Children who, for a number of reasons, are separated from their mother for long periods of time are transferred to artificial feeding: the woman is in a hospital, going to work or study, business trips, etc. If the break in breastfeeding is one-time, then restoring lactation and breastfeeding is still possible . However, more often in such cases, breastfeeding has to be abandoned.
Mother's personal wish. Unfortunately, there are cases when a woman, having every opportunity to breastfeed her baby, refuses to breastfeed for various subjective reasons. In this case, lactation is interrupted, and the baby is transferred to the mixture.
Read also: Newborn weight gain by month
How to choose a formula
If you are going to transfer your baby to artificial feeding, then the first thing you will encounter will be the choice of nutrition. Today there are a large number of different mixtures: adapted and non-adapted, dairy and sour-milk, dry and liquid. There are mixtures against regurgitation, hypoallergenic, for premature babies, etc. How to choose the optimal replacement for mother's milk from such a variety?
Make your choice only after consulting a pediatrician. The doctor will examine the baby and give all the necessary recommendations.
Monitor your child. When adapting to a new diet, the child may have small rashes, but they disappear if the body begins to absorb the mixture normally. The baby eats with appetite, he has a normal stool and no colic. Otherwise, the mixture must be changed.
If it is necessary to replace the mixture with a thicker formula (anti spit up), choose the same brand of food that was previously used.
Consider the age of the baby. All mixtures have a gradation by months of life.
Prefer adapted formulas, they are usually easier to digest
Basic rules for artificial feeding save you a lot of problems.
1. Choose proven blends. This applies not only to the choice of brand, but also to the packaging itself. Look at its integrity, check the expiration date.
2. Observe the storage conditions for opened packaging at home (in a dry and cool place, but in no case in the refrigerator, the mixture must not become damp). Remember that the open mixture is stored for three weeks. After this period, it can no longer be used.
3. Strictly follow the instructions when preparing meals. It is indicated on the packaging. Water for the preparation of the mixture must be purified and boiled. The optimal temperature for preparing the mixture is 36–37 °C. You can cook food right in the bottle. This is quite convenient, since baby bottles have a volume scale that makes it easier to calculate the right amount of scoops. The mixture must be stirred until completely dissolved, and then cooled to an acceptable temperature so that the baby can drink without burning himself. You can check if the milk is hot by dropping it on your wrist - there the skin is most tender and sensitive. If the temperature is almost not felt, then the mixture can be given to the child.
4. Sterilize baby dishes. Baby bottles and nipples should be thoroughly rinsed using a special brush so that no food residue remains. You can use children's dishwashing detergents. Do not wash bottles with common cleaning products that you are used to using, no matter how good they are. After washing, be sure to place the dishes in boiling water. This helps to kill harmful bacteria. It is recommended to sterilize children's dishes during the entire first year of a baby's life. Then you can limit yourself to just a thorough wash.
5. Hold the bottle in a semi-vertical position when feeding. The milk should completely fill the nipple. This prevents the child from swallowing air. After feeding, it is necessary to hold the baby in a column for several minutes to avoid spitting up.
6. Monitor the amount of formula consumed and the feeding schedule. Maintaining a balance is extremely important for the healthy and full development of the baby.
Calculate the amount of formula to be prepared based on the baby's weight. It is body weight, and not the age of the crumbs, that is the main indicator when calculating the daily nutritional intake. You can find out the required volume of the mixture for feeding either at a pediatrician’s appointment, or on your own (it is recommended to use Maslov’s caloric method when calculating).
Observe breaks between feedings. During the day they should be 3.5 hours, at night - 6. Try not to break the schedule.
Give your child water. Supplementation with water is a necessity for artificial feeding. Water should be given somewhere in the middle of the interval between feedings or 10-15 minutes after it. Avoid supplementation before meals.
Major mistakes in artificial feeding
Overfeeding. The desire to feed the child is understandable, but in the case of mixtures, feeding must be approached strictly. On artificial feeding, the child is normally gaining weight very well. Excess body weight is an additional burden on the body and health problems. Even an adult can find it difficult to cope with problems from being overweight. What to say about the tiny weak body of a newborn? Follow the diet and control the daily milk intake. Fortunately, you can always see how much the child ate.
Unreasonable mixture change. If the child eats the current mixture well, then it is not necessary to change it. The baby will have to go through a difficult period of adaptation again, and it’s not a fact that his body will accept new food just as well.
Use of old mix. The child's food must be fresh. If the child has not finished eating, then literally after half an hour the milk can only be poured out. Milk mixtures are an excellent environment for the life of pathogenic bacteria.
Pet milk feeding. Do you think this is a more natural option than artificial mixtures? This is an erroneous opinion. For a child under one year old, cow or goat milk, even boiled, is strictly prohibited. The composition of such milk is very different from that of women, which can lead to the development of allergies, diseases, problems with the skeletal system in the baby.
If you have any doubts about your baby's nutrition, please consult neonatologists and paediatricians. Do not rush to make decisions without expert advice. After all, nothing is more important than your baby's health.
Breastfeeding and its benefits for the normal development of the infant.
Mother's milk is a natural biological product that provides physiologically adequate nutrition for babies. This is the "gold standard" of early childhood nutrition, and far from all aspects of its multifaceted influence have been studied.
When breastfeeding, a mother can follow different dietary patterns for her baby. Free feeding, or "on demand" feeding, is the diet of a child of the first year of life, when the mother puts the child to the breast as many times and at the time as the child requires, including at night. The duration of feeding is also determined by the child. It is more often carried out in the first months of life and with exclusive breastfeeding. Regulated feeding is such a diet of a child when feedings are carried out at more or less fixed hours, the frequency and volume of feedings is recommended by the doctor, taking into account the age, body weight, appetite and individual characteristics of the child. It is more often carried out after 1-2 months of life, especially with the option of mixed feeding. The duration of feeding of newborns ranges from 20 to 30 minutes, and for children older than 1 month - from 10 to 20 minutes. The water requirement of children in the first months of life is satisfied by breast milk with a sufficient level of lactation, so they do not need additional drinking.
The criteria for a sufficient level of lactation are normal daily diuresis (600-700 ml), weight gain adequate to the age of the child and psychomotor development. If you suspect a lack of milk, you should determine the daily volume of lactation using control weighing and compare it with the calculated one, take measures to restore lactation or introduce supplementary feeding.
Breast milk is the most complex biologically active substance with unique properties:
regulation of the processes of growth, development and differentiation of tissues;
formation of immunological tolerance to dietary antigens;
influence on the formation of the maxillofacial skeleton, speech, hearing;
prevention of obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis;
favorable effect on mental and behavioral reactions, intelligence, learning ability and social adaptation;
reduced risk of cancer in the mother, contraceptive effect in the first months of lactation.
Breast milk provides anti-inflammatory (antioxidants, enzymes that break down pro-inflammatory neurotransmitters, anti-inflammatory cytokines) and immunomodulatory substances (live CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes, nucleotides, IgA, cytokines IL-2, IL-10, IL-12, etc., soluble cytokine receptors). Breastfeeding and the state of the intestinal microflora play a key role in maintaining a balance in the Thh Th3, Th4 cytokine system. Thanks to the bifidogenic properties of human milk, a complete intestinal microbiota of the child is formed, innate immunity and protective mechanisms of the intestinal mucosa are activated, and the immune response matures.
- One of the main advantages of women's milk is the proximity of its proteins in terms of qualitative composition to blood serum proteins. Breast milk contains mainly finely dispersed, that is, consisting of the smallest particles, albumin proteins, which are easily absorbed in the child's digestive tract.
Digestibility, absorption completeness of women's milk proteins reaches 98-99%, for cow's milk proteins this figure is much less. The main protein component of cow's milk is casein, the content of which is up to ten times higher than that in human breast milk. Casein, being a large and aggressive soluble protein, is able to penetrate the intestinal walls, forcing the child's body to produce an endogenous inflammatory mediator - histamine. What can cause both intestinal bleeding, which is fraught with the subsequent development of anemia, and various kinds of allergic reactions.
- The residence time of food in the gastrointestinal tract of the baby with natural and artificial feeding is also different. The child's stomach is freed from food after 2-3 hours with breastfeeding, and with artificial feeding - after 3-4 hours. Thus, artificial feeding puts a lot of stress on the digestive tract and on the baby's body as a whole.
- The activity of the enzyme lipase, which is responsible for the breakdown of fat in the gastrointestinal tract of the child, is much higher in human breast milk. Due to the activity of maternal lipase, a high degree of fat dispersion is achieved, which facilitates their further absorption and assimilation. As a result of the action of breast milk lipase, there is a significantly lower load on the pancreas and liver of the baby, the organs responsible for the digestion of fat
- Women's milk contains 5-6 times more linoleic acid. With a lack of this polyunsaturated fatty acid, a child may experience a delay in physical development, metabolism is disturbed, and adverse changes in the condition of the skin are possible.
- The most important advantage of mother's milk in comparison with its artificial substitutes is the presence in it of a large group of substances that protect the child's body from infections. These are secretory immunoglobulin A - sIgA, interferon, lysozyme, lactoferrin, bifidus factor, cells of the immune system.
- Immunoglobulin A is contained in secrets (fluids) on the surface of mucous membranes in contact with the external environment - lungs, nasal cavity, gastrointestinal tract, urinary tract. Maternal secretory immunoglobulin A provides protection against infection of the vital organs and systems of the child.
- Human milk lactoferrin plays an exceptional role in protecting the baby from viral infections, preventing the penetration of viral particles through the cell membrane, thus preventing infection from entering the baby's body. In addition to the antiviral action, lactoferrin also has antibacterial properties. Many microorganisms contain receptors for lactoferrin on their surface, and the binding of lactoferrin to the corresponding receptor leads to the death of a foreign bacterial cell. Lactoferrin has a bactericidal effect against a large number of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
- the bifidus factor of human milk is represented by a whole complex of various sugars (oligosaccharides) and their monomers: beta-lactose, galactooligosaccharides, D-glucose, D-galactose, N-acetylglucosamines, L-fucose and sialic acids. The bifidus factor of human milk stimulates the formation of the intestinal microflora, mainly consisting of bifidobacteria (B. Bifidum) and lactobacilli. Normal intestinal microflora lines the intestinal crypts like a blanket, creating a protective layer that prevents foreign bacteria and allergens from entering the baby's circulatory system. Also, bifido- and lactobacilli create a favorable intra-intestinal environment with a shift in the pH of the contents of the colon to the acid side, which inhibits the growth of pathogenic and conditionally pathogenic bacteria and promotes the absorption of iron, calcium, vitamin D and other micro- and macroelements; participates in the synthesis of vitamins B1, B2, B3, PP, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin. In addition, the normal intestinal microflora makes the baby's immunity stronger.
At present, using the latest scientific methods, the existence of oligosaccharides containing up to 32 sugar fragments and up to 15 fructose fragments has been established. This means that the number of different types of oligosaccharides in human breast milk can reach several tens of thousands of units. Naturally, even modern artificial mixtures containing prebiotics (industrial analogues of the bifidus factor) cannot be compared in quality and variety with breast milk.
The formation of the child's urinary system and the development of its functions takes place in the first year of life. In an infant at the time of birth, the plasma flow and the process of formation of primary urine by filtering plasma in the renal glomeruli are reduced, osmotic concentration of urine is not effective enough. The main indicators of kidney function come to the level of an adult by the beginning of the second year of life. Therefore, it is very important that the load on the kidneys, depending on the content of proteins and mineral salts in the food taken, be adequate to the physiological age of the child.
The protein level in women's milk averages from 0.8 to 1.2 g / 100 ml, while even in the adapted ready-made milk formula this figure is 40 - 70% higher and is 1. 4 - 1, 6 g/100 ml. The increased content of proteins increases the load on the glomerular apparatus of the kidney.
Another problem with milk mixtures is their normalization by mineral composition. Excess salt can overload the kidneys and cause thirst, which is reflected in the addition of water to formula-fed babies.
Many pediatricians still recommend giving babies about 100 ml of water a day to avoid dehydration. However, at present, the World Health Organization and UNICEF insist that there is no need for supplementation and the introduction of any foreign liquids and products before the child reaches the age of 6 months.
What is the basis for these recommendations? If breastfeeding is organized correctly (the mother feeds the baby on demand, approximately every 1.5 - 2 hours, keeping night feedings), then the baby receives enough water from milk in the first six months of life.
This section describes only the main advantages of breastfeeding.
Is there any benefit from breastfeeding for the mother and does this process affect the "usual" way of life?
The benefits for the mother can be divided into three groups:
1. Health benefits
Breastfeeding within the first hour after birth significantly reduces the risk of postpartum uterine bleeding.
Breastfeeding maintains a high level of hormones (oxytocin and prolactin) in the blood of the mother, which contributes to the formation of strong maternal feelings.
If a woman breastfeeds her baby exclusively, then in the first 4-6 months after childbirth, the probability of pregnancy is reduced by 95%.
Long-term breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer by 50%, and if a mother breastfeeds multiple children, breastfeeding each child reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 25%. Also, women who breastfeed for a long time are less likely to suffer from osteoporosis.\
2. Economic benefits
You don't need to buy breast milk, you don't need additional accessories - nipples, sterilizers, heaters, breast pumps, which you still need to run around and choose exactly those that fit the size and shape of your breasts.