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
The breast feeding provides close
physical contact between the neonate and the mother which provides
satisfaction. It provides an opportunity for infant-mother attachment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.