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Human milk is considered ideal for a neonate. Breast milk is natural ready made food most suitable feed for the neonate.
Advantages of the breast feeding
1. The breast feeding provides close physical contact between the neonate and the mother which provides satisfaction. It provides an opportunity for infant-mother attachment.
2. Human milk is available at the required temperature in required strength and is fresh and free from contamination as it directly comes in the baby's mouth.
3. Human milk contains more lacto albumin, a more complete protein than casein because of its high percentage amino acids. It is more easily digested because of soft curds. Therefore, stomach emptying is rapid and thus requires frequent feeding.
4. Extra lactose helps in synthesis of certain vitamins. It also contains a high amount of crystine, an amino acid that may be essential during the neonatal period.
5. Human milk contains higher amount of lactose, a disaccharide, which is converted into monosaccharide glucose and galactose. Galactose is essential for the growth of the central nervous system. Unsaturated fatty acids in the human milk help absorption of fat and calcium in the neonate. Iron in human milk is absorbed better in the neonate.
6. The human milk contains increased amount of antibodies, immunoglobulin A (IgA), which gives immunity to the neonate against certain diseases. These antibodies are present in a high amount in the colostrum than in mature milk. In the intestines, it acts against bacteria and viruses. Lactoferin also inhibits the growth of bacteria.
7. It contains lacto albumin bifidus, which help in suppressing E-coli. Lactobacillus bifidus help to produce lactic acid, to prevent bacterial growth and make the stools acidic.
Early breast-feeding helps the mother in rapid involution of the uterus and lesser chance of breast cancer.
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