Do you know that the best food for your baby is your breast milk? Are you also aware that it contains essential nutrients that your baby needs to fight infections? Breast milk has the perfect combination of nutrients which is vital for your baby’s health and good for their overall development. These nutrients also help to build the immunity of your baby. It attracts no financial cost and a more suitable way to feed your baby. Guess what! Breast milk as well provides the basic nutrients your baby needs for the first 6 months! The nutrients it supplies are protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water; it is a wholesome nutrition. The functions of these nutrients are highlighted next.
Nutrients Available In Breast Milk
- Fat – Human milk contains fats that are essential for the growth of your baby, and fat is required for brain development. Fats are put in the brain during the last trimester of pregnancy and are also found in breast milk.
- Vitamins and minerals – The amount and types of vitamins in the breast milk are directly related to the mother’s vitamins in take. It is important that as a mother you get adequate nutrition, including vitamins A, D, E, K, C, Riboflavin, Niacin and Pantothetic acid. They help build teeth and strong bones, and are vital for your baby’s health.
- Carbohydrates – Milk sugar, also known as lactose is the main carbohydrate in human milk. It helps to reduce the number of morbid bacteria in the stomach, which improves the absorption of phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium. It is the preferred energy source for the brain.
- Proteins – Proteins have excellent infection-protection properties. They are needed to produce hormones, enzymes and antibodies.
- Water – The human body depends on water to survive. Water helps to regulate body temperature, lubricates joints and protect organs. Breast milk alone supplies all the water an infant needs.
Furthermore, your body initiates the production of breast milk in response to pregnancy and the delivery of your little one. To continue producing breast milk after your baby is born, you need to do the following, especially now that you know the nutrients inherent in your breast milk.
How To Increase Your Breast Milk Flow
- Psychology – Basically, anxiety and stress can obstruct the smooth flow of breast milk. Create a tension-free environment for breast feeding. As a new mum, you are bound to make errors while taking care of your new born. Make your mistakes, learn from them and move on. Do not dwell on regrets for long. You can also talk to your partner about issues bothering you. This will help you focus more on being sane for your baby.
- Proper rest – You need adequate sleep to be both physically and mentally healthy. Getting enough sleep might not be feasible for you as a new mum because you are busy trying to make your little one feel loved and making them comfortable by all means. In the midst of this “busyness’’, get some rest. You can do this by catching some sleep while your baby is asleep or you get some assistant so as to reduce your workload. When you are well-rested and not stressed, your body can produce more and healthy breast milk.
A good balanced diet –
You need, as a matter of compulsion to eat meals that are rich in essential nutrients as a new mum. To build up a healthy milk supply, fuel your body with well-balanced meals. Eat more vegetables and fruits, and add milk boosting foods to your diet. Remember your baby eats what you eat. For a healthy you and healthy baby, eat balanced meals, prioritise healthy eating.
- Hydration – In addition to having a healthy meal, drink plenty of fluids every day. Drink about 6-8 glass of water or other healthy liquids, such as fruit juice to keep you hydrated and make your breasts produce more milk. When you feel thirsty, have a dry mouth, have a headache or feel dizzy, it simply means you aren’t drinking enough fluids.
Each breast must be fully expressed per baby’s feed – When you empty your breasts more often either through feeding or pumping, it increases. Make sure you breastfeed from both breasts by alternating them and ensure that your breasts are emptied at each feed session.
Finally, always wear a fitted bra – When you wear a fitted bra; not tight, but supportive, it helps you to know when your breasts are full, so you either breastfeed your baby or you pump the breast milk into a feeding container.
Breast milk is an excellent source of nutrients for babies. While infants’ formulas are a healthy and safe substitute for breast milk, they are not exactly the same. This is in terms of vital properties the breast milk can offer. Talk to your doctor or paediatrician on the best option for you and your baby. There are many determining factors for this. It\’s important that as a mother, you should feel good about the nutrition you are providing for your infant. Remember, at pharm.com.ng, we care.