Mother feed her baby

Feeding Your Newborn (for Parents)

How you feed your newborn is the first nutrition decision you make for your child. These guidelines on breastfeeding and bottle feeding can help you know what's right for you and your baby.

Breast or Bottle?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies be breastfed exclusively for about the first 6 months. After they start on solid foods, babies should breastfeed through the first year of life and even beyond, if desired.

But breastfeeding isn't possible or preferable for all new moms. Deciding to breastfeed or bottle feed a baby is usually based on the mother's comfort level with breastfeeding and her lifestyle. In some cases, breastfeeding may not be recommended for a mom and her baby. If you have any questions about whether to breastfeed or formula feed, talk to your pediatrician.

Remember, your baby's nutritional and emotional needs will be met whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed.

Benefits of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding your newborn has many benefits. Perhaps most important, breast milk is the perfect food for a baby's digestive system. It has the nutrients that a newborn needs, and it’s easily digested. Commercial formulas try to imitate breast milk, and come close, but can't match it exactly.

Breast milk has

antibodiesthat help protect babies from many infections, including diarrhea and ear and lung infections. Breastfed babies are less likely to develop medical problems such as diabetes, high cholesterol, asthma, and allergies. Breastfeeding also might make a child less likely to become overweight.

Breastfeeding is great for moms too. It burns calories, so can help nursing moms lose the weight gained during pregnancy. Breastfeeding also may offer protection from breast cancer and ovarian cancer.

Some moms find breastfeeding easier and quicker than formula feeding — it needs no preparation, and you don't run out of breast milk in the middle of the night. Also, breastfeeding costs little. Nursing mothers do need to eat more and may want to buy nursing bras and pads, a breast pump, or other equipment. But these expenses are generally less than the cost of formula.

Breastfeeding meets a variety of emotional needs for both moms and babies. The skin-to-skin contact can enhance the emotional connection, and providing complete nourishment can help new moms feel confident in their ability to care for their newborn.

Limitations of Breastfeeding

With all the good things known about breastfeeding, why doesn't every mother choose to breastfeed?

Breastfeeding requires a big commitment from a mother. Some new moms feel tied down by the demands of a nursing newborn. Because breast milk is easily digested, breastfed babies tend to eat more often than babies who are fed formula. This means moms can be in demand as often as every 2 or 3 hours in the first few weeks. This can be tiring, but it's not long before babies feed less often and sleep longer at night.

Some new mothers need to get back to work outside the home or separate from their babies from time to time for other reasons. Some opt for formula feeding so other caregivers can give the baby a bottle. Mothers who want to continue breastfeeding can use a breast pump to collect breast milk to be given in a bottle, so their babies still get its benefits even when mom isn't there to breastfeed.

Fathers and other family members may want to share in feeding the baby. When mom is breastfeeding, dad or siblings may want to stay close by. Helping mom get comfortable, or providing a burp cloth when needed, will let them be part of the experience.

When breastfeeding is going well, other family members can help by giving the baby pumped breast milk in a bottle when mom needs a break.

Some moms may feel embarrassed or worried about breastfeeding. These feelings usually end after a successful breastfeeding process is set. It can help to get advice from those who've gone through the experience. Most hospitals and birthing centers offer in-depth instruction on breastfeeding to new moms. Your pediatrician, nurse practitioner, or nurse can answer questions or put you in touch with a lactation consultant or a breastfeeding support group.

In some cases, a mother's health may affect her ability to breastfeed. Moms getting chemotherapy for cancer and those who have HIV should not breastfeed, for example.

If you have a medical condition or take any medicines regularly, talk with your doctor about whether it's OK to breastfeed. If you have to stop nursing temporarily, continue to pump breast milk to maintain milk production. If you or your baby are sick, continue to breastfeed if you can. Talk to the doctor if you have any concerns.

In some situations, it may not possible to breastfeed, such as when a baby is very sick or born early. Mothers should talk with their baby's doctor about expressing and storing milk. Often, a baby who can't breastfeed can get breast milk through a feeding tube or bottle.

Some moms who have inverted nipples may have trouble breastfeeding, but a lactation consultant usually can help them overcome this. Likewise, women who have had plastic surgery on their breasts should be able to successfully breastfeed. Talk with your doctor if you have any concerns.

Hold off on pacifiers or bottles until your baby has gotten used to and is good at breastfeeding. Lactation professionals recommend waiting until a baby is about 3–4 weeks old before offering artificial nipples of any kind (including pacifiers).

Benefits of Formula Feeding

Commercially prepared infant formula is a nutritious alternative to breast milk. Bottle feeding can offer more freedom and flexibility for moms, and make it easier to know how much the baby is getting.

Because babies digest formula more slowly than breast milk, a baby who is getting formula may need fewer feedings than one who breastfeeds. Formula feeding also can make it easier to feed the baby in public, and lets the father and other family members help feed the baby, which can enhance bonding.

Limitations of Formula Feeding

Just as breastfeeding has its unique demands, so does bottle feeding. Bottle feeding takes organization and preparation, especially if you want to take your baby out. Store-bought formula can be pretty expensive, but do not try to make your own formula at home.

It's important to make sure that you have enough formula on hand, and bottles that are clean and ready to be used.

Here are a few guidelines for formula feeding:

  • Carefully follow directions on the label when preparing formula. Do not add more water than directed.
  • Bottles left out of the refrigerator longer than 1 hour and any formula left in the bottle that a baby doesn't finish should be discarded.
  • Prepared bottles of formula can be stored in the refrigerator up to 24 hours and carefully warmed just before feeding. You don't have to warm formula, but most babies prefer it.
  • A bottle of formula can be warmed by holding it in running warm water or setting it in a pan of warm water. A bottle of formula (or breast milk) should never be warmed in a microwave. The bottle can heat unevenly and leave "hot spots" that can burn a baby's mouth.

How Often Do Newborns Eat?

Your newborn will nurse about 8 to 12 times per day during the first weeks of life. In the beginning, mothers may want to try nursing 10–15 minutes on each breast, then adjust the time as needed.

Breastfeeding should be on demand (when your baby is hungry), which is generally every 1–3 hours. As newborns get older, they'll nurse less often and have longer stretches between feedings. Newborn babies who are getting formula will likely take about 2–3 ounces every 2–4 hours. Newborns should not go more than about 4–5 hours without feeding.

Signs that babies are hungry include:

  • moving their heads from side to side
  • opening their mouths
  • sticking out their tongues
  • placing their hands and fists to their mouths
  • puckering their lips as if to suck
  • nuzzling against their mothers' breasts
  • crying

A feeding schedule is not necessary — you and your baby will get into a routine. Babies know (and will let their parents know) when they're hungry and when they've had enough. Watch for signs that your baby is full (slowing down, spitting out the bottle or unlatching from breast, closing the mouth, turning away from the breast or bottle) and stop the feeding when these signs appear.

As babies grow, they begin to eat more at each feeding and can go longer between feedings. There may be other times when your infant seems hungrier than usual. Continue to nurse or feed on demand. Nursing mothers need not worry — breastfeeding stimulates milk production, and your supply of breast milk will adjust to your baby's demand for it.

Is My Newborn Getting Enough to Eat?

New parents often worry about whether their babies are getting enough to eat.

Babies are getting enough to eat if they:

  • seem satisfied
  • have about 6–8 wet diapers a day
  • have regular bowel movements (poops)
  • sleep well
  • are alert when awake
  • are gaining weight

A baby who is fussing, crying, seems hungry, does not appear satisfied after feeding, and has fewer wet diapers may not be getting enough to eat. If you're concerned that your baby isn't getting enough to eat, call your doctor.

Most infants "spit up" a small amount after eating or during burping, but a baby should not vomit after feeding. Vomiting after every feeding might be a sign of an allergy, digestive problem, or other problem that needs medical care. If you have concerns that your baby is spitting up too much, call your doctor.

Should Newborns Get Nutritional Supplements?

Breast milk has the right combination of vitamins and easily absorbed iron for newborns. A healthy infant being nursed by a healthy mother doesn't need extra vitamins or nutritional supplements, with the exception of vitamin D. Breastfed babies should begin vitamin D supplements within the first few days of life, continuing until they get enough vitamin D-fortified formula or milk (after 1 year of age).

Breastfeeding mothers who follow vegetarian diets that do not include animal products need vitamin B12 supplements.

Iron-fortified formula has the right blend of vitamins and minerals for a baby, so supplements usually aren't needed. Infants drinking less than 1 liter, or about a quart, of formula a day may need a vitamin D supplement.

Water, juice, and other foods usually aren't necessary during a baby's first 6 months. Breast milk and formula provide everything babies need nutritionally until they start eating solid foods. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about feeding your newborn.

Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD

Date reviewed: February 2021

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:

  • ear infections
  • diarrhea
  • respiratory infections
  • meningitis

Breastfeeding also may protect babies against:

  • allergies
  • asthma
  • diabetes
  • obesity
  • 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 Challenges

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.

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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.

Pediatrician "SM-Doctor" about the age until which a child should be breastfed

Some new mothers try to do this as early as possible. Others continue to put the baby to the breast at 4 and 5 years. Play their role and "national" characteristics. For example, in the UK, only a third of babies in their six months still receive mother's milk, while the rest are transferred to formula. And in the UAE, the law prescribes to breastfeed children up to two years, otherwise you can get severe punishment.

In fact, it is on the figure “two years” that most doctors around the world agree. It is believed that after this age, mother's milk no longer brings additional health benefits. Is it so? we deal with experts.

Tatyana Kuznetsova
pediatrician, nephrologist, breastfeeding consultant at the SM-Doctor clinic.

On the recommendation of the World Health Organization and the UN Children's Fund, it is desirable to maintain breastfeeding up to 2 years, longer - at the mutual desire of the mother and child. Domestic pediatricians, based on practical experience and scientific research, voice the figure up to 1. 5 years.

It is now not uncommon to see mothers who breastfeed their children after two years of age. Such prolonged breastfeeding is commonly referred to as long-term feeding.

In any case, after 2.5 years, the child goes through the process of natural extinction of the sucking reflex, there is a gradual self-weaning and, thus, the smooth completion of breastfeeding.

Regardless of the recommendations, the choice always remains with the mother. And the duration of breastfeeding will depend, first of all, on the readiness of both the mother and the child to stop this process.

What are the health risks of early weaning?

Breast milk substitutes do not contain anti-infectious factors, so an artificially fed baby is more likely to get intestinal infections and respiratory diseases. These include frequent acute respiratory viral infections, otitis media, bronchitis, pneumonia, intestinal infections (usually of a viral nature) with prolonged diarrhea, fungal intestinal diseases, as well as a formidable life-threatening condition - necrotizing enterocolitis of newborns.

Quite often, infants on mixtures develop intolerance to animal milk proteins (bovine, goat) with the development of allergic reactions, in particular, food allergies in the form of atopic dermatitis. Unfortunately, in the future such children are at risk for the development of allergic bronchitis, bronchial asthma.

Formula feeding increases the risk of developing diabetes mellitus, as well as obesity associated with excessive formula intake that exceeds the needs of the child. Perhaps the development of seizures due to excess content in mixtures of sodium, calcium, phosphorus.

Infants receiving formula may have reduced intellectual development due to a lack of amino acids, omega-fatty acids, which are necessary for the growing brain of a child.

In addition, according to some studies, not breastfeeding increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

And what are the disadvantages of late weaning?

Not only abroad, but also in Russia, there are many studies that have proven the benefits of mother's milk at any time of feeding. After a year, breast milk changes its composition, but not for the worse.

The main reason for these changes is that milk is no longer the main food for the baby, and other functions come to the fore.

The older the child becomes, the greater the concentration of immunoglobulins in milk increases, which protect the child from infectious diseases. Breast milk contains leukocytes and a number of anti-infectious factors, as well as antibodies against infectious agents previously transferred by the mother.

How does breastfeeding affect the child's psyche?

Today it is becoming very fashionable to instill early independence in children, and premature weaning is seen by some parents as a means to make the child more independent.

However, psychologists who are closely involved in the study of child development warn that premature weaning can, on the contrary, provoke a delay in emotional development and increase dependence on parents. Imposed independence turns into psychological isolation and abandonment. It is much better to give the child the opportunity to become independent when he is ready for it.

This is well illustrated by the results of foreign studies: for example, one of them showed that the greatest achievements in school were in children who were fed longer. And in the course of another, they found that the longer a child breastfeeds, the better social adaptation goes later, at the age of six to eight. Both mothers and teachers acknowledged that babies who were breastfed for a long time were much less likely to develop problem behaviors.

Yes, and Russian doctors, who undertook to study the effect of breastfeeding on the neuropsychic development of children, found that babies who ate their mother's milk for a long time show much better results both at two years, in tests of speech development, and at three years , in tests of the correct performance of skills.

Many long-term breastfeeding mothers successfully combine feeding with work, and also take their children to kindergartens. Applications remain only at bedtime and at night. The rest of the time, the baby usually does not need to breastfeed. Ideally, the child should stop asking for breasts during the day, and then at bedtime and at night. As a rule, this happens about 2.5 - 3 years.

But if the child continues to breastfeed after 3.5 years, this may indicate some psychological problems of the baby or mother, in this case it is advisable to contact a psychologist, but not an ordinary one, but a friendly one for long-term feeding.

What if I can't breastfeed?

Sergey Butriy
Pediatrician, author of books on child health
A well-known doctor spoke about this in a podcast for Cuprum.

- One of the most "explosive" topics in the pediatrician's office after vaccinations is breastfeeding. Now it's fashionable to be for GW. Of course, formula is not quite the same as breast milk. There is only one "but".

Mothers who failed to breastfeed for health reasons experience a huge sense of guilt. They are pressed by society, other mothers, breastfeeding consultants. Many become depressed because of this, trying to feed through physical pain. But not so perishing GV and it is important. "Die but feed" is not our method. And there are many such mothers, they come to the doctor and cry. It hurts them even to think that they will not give something to the child.

Breastfeeding is great, but it's not the only way. Artificial feeding is not shameful. You can raise a healthy child and mixtures. The main thing is that mom is calm.

Published on the portal


About the benefits of breastfeeding

or ten pros in favor of breast milk

keep feeding. Someone cares about the perfect figure, while others decide to replace breast milk with artificial mixtures, especially since their baby is already walking. But experts strongly advise mothers to use their milk to the last drop. What are the benefits of breastfeeding?

“FOR” the first:

Breastfeeding a child is inherent in nature, and therefore natural. The very position in which the mother breastfeeds the baby is familiar to the baby, the so-called “fetal position”. It was in it that the baby was under your heart, for him she is familiar and does not cause concern. Breastfeeding is a stimulation of all analyzers. He sees his mother's face inclined towards him, hears her gentle voice, smells her. These are the first and most pleasant impressions of the baby.

“FOR” second:

Mother's milk is superior in quality to all other products that a child can receive, it has no equivalent substitute. Unlike even the most perfect mixture, it is fully consistent with the characteristics of digestion and metabolism in the baby's body. All nutrients - proteins, fats, carbohydrates, mineral salts, vitamins - are contained in it in the proper amount and in the correct ratio. A breastfed baby will start life healthy.

It is necessary to know that cow's milk contains components (for example, casein) that are difficult to digest and cause additional stress on the child's underdeveloped gastrointestinal tract and kidneys. Cow's milk is also low in whey proteins, rich in essential amino acids and easily digestible. Diluted cow's milk and formulas are deficient in amino acids such as cystine and taurine, which are essential for growing brains.

“FOR” third:

Breast milk does not contain bacteria, therefore it cannot be the cause of the child's illness. It contains anti-infective factors that prevent the spread of infection. A baby who remains breastfed during an infectious disease recovers faster than one who has stopped breastfeeding.

Fourth PRO:

Breast milk protects children from iron deficiency anemia. The iron found in cow's milk and in adapted formulas is not completely absorbed, like the iron in breast milk. An “artificial” child has a high risk of developing iron deficiency anemia.

“FOR” fifth:

Breastfeeding is not only healthy, but also convenient. Mother's milk is always sterile, fresh and at the right temperature. It is always "at hand", will not turn sour and will not deteriorate, even if the mother has not fed the baby for several days.

“FOR” the sixth:

When breastfeeding, close contact is established between mother and child, children cry less, develop quickly. The close bond between mother and infant is a precondition for the child to have good relationships with other people later on. This gives him the opportunity to develop normally. If the baby is bottle-fed, it is easier for the mother to give him to someone else to feed or just put the bottle next to the crib so that the baby sucks on his own. Thus, the native child receives less love and encouragement.

“FOR” the seventh:

Breastfeeding has a positive effect on the nursing mother herself. The hormones produced during breastfeeding have a calming effect, which helps a woman overcome the difficulties associated with motherhood. In addition, a special hormonal background is formed in a nursing woman, which can prevent the onset of a new pregnancy.

"YES" eighth:

Breastfeeding mothers reduce the risk of serious diseases such as anemia, osteoporosis, breast or ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also prevents postpartum hemorrhage.

“FOR” ninth:

Breastfeeding affects the health of the child even at an older age. Children who received artificial feeding from the first months of life are more likely to suffer from allergies, obesity and other diseases associated with metabolic disorders. It is noted that with natural feeding, various chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease, and others are less likely to occur.

It has been observed that children who were breastfed are not only distinguished by good physical development, but are also more active (both physically and emotionally), more calm and balanced, grow up more friendly and benevolent to people, more attached to their mother, and in Subsequently, they themselves become attentive and caring parents.

"FOR" tenth:

This is more than just food for the baby, it is a way of life, a philosophy that forms a harmonious personality. The attention and love that a child receives during feeding cannot be replaced by either the best mixture or the most beautiful things and toys. We have already talked with you about the correct understanding of love for a child, and it seems to me that breastfeeding is a manifestation of such love.

Author — Natalia ZAKHAROVA

Anna Aleksandrovna USYNINA Associate Professor, Department of Neonatology and Perinatology, SSMU:

— Breastfeeding is not only a process of feeding a child, it is the beginning of his upbringing. Affectionate glances and touches, the sound of the mother's voice and the beating of her heart have a beneficial effect on all systems of the baby's body. He is calm and trusts you. At these moments, the foundations of mutual understanding, communication are laid, and the feeling of trust between you and your child, brought up now, will continue in the future, when he grows up.

In addition, breastfeeding prevents cases of child abuse, reduces the number of children who do not know the warmth of mother's hands. A newborn and even an older child needs to be touched, stroked, and carried in his arms. The little man gets enough of this when his mother swaddles and breastfeeds him.

Conscious motherhood, sacrificial love for a child and breastfeeding are inseparable.

Breast milk to protect the immune system and mind

Mother's milk is the most perfect nutrition. Valeria Makarova, Doctor of Medical Sciences, Professor, Head. Department of propaedeutics of childhood diseases and polyclinic pediatrics, academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, chief pediatrician of the Arkhangelsk region.

The role of breast milk as a factor in protection against infectious diseases is very important. It contains immunoglobulins, lysozyme, lactoferrin, bifidus factor and cellular components - macrophages, lymphocytes, neutrophilic granulocytes, epithelial cells.

Cellular components help prevent infection both by phagocytosis (the process of actively trapping and absorbing bacteria, dead cell residues and other foreign or toxic particles for the body by special cells - phagocytes), and through the secretion of immune substances that protect the body from infection. The activity of macrophages (from macro - large and Greek phágos - devourer) of women's milk contributes to the formation of local immunity in the intestines of the child.

Human milk contains immunoglobulins, which play a significant role in the transfer of passive immunity from mother to child, provide the "first line" of protection of the gastrointestinal tract from pathogenic microbes and viruses. Secretory Ig A, lactoferrin, lysozyme and complement form a powerful functional "bacteriolytic" system of human milk.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A and E form the antioxidant system of breast milk. Breast milk also contains a fairly wide range of hormones, which contributes to the adaptation of the baby, ensures the regulation of its vital functions. The content of hormones and biologically active substances in women's milk, even more than in the mother's blood, indirectly confirms their essential physiological role.

Studies have shown a slight but still noticeable acceleration in mental development: it has been proven that the IQ of children fed with mother's milk is 8 points higher than those who received artificial feeding. Even bottle-fed babies far outperformed their preschool and school-age peers who were formula-fed for up to a year on developmental tests.

The reason for this phenomenon lies in the perfection of the composition and proportions of breast milk. Any artificial nutritional milk formula, even the most perfect, is just a semblance of mother's milk.

Russian pediatricians recommend breastfeeding a child for at least a year, supplementing mother's milk with timely (between 4-6 months) introduction of complementary foods.

The atmosphere of love and care, contact with the mother - tactile, visual, verbal - are no less important for the development of the child than the quality of feeding. The mother's touch is healing for the child, it allows you to calm, lull him, wake up feelings, establish contact with the world through the mother, convey a feeling of warmth, security and comfort.

The opportunity to satisfy the child's need for touch, close contact with the mother opens up during feeding. This is another positive feature of breastfeeding - the unique physical and emotional closeness of mother and baby.