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Dr.Niraj Mahajan
Dr.Niraj Mahajan
Dr.Niraj Mahajan



By AdminPosted On 05-Oct-2016

Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival.

If every child was breastfed within an hour of birth, given only breast milk for their first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years, about 800 000 child lives would be saved every year. Adequate breastfeeding counseling and support are essential for mothers and families to initiate and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices.
Breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children.

Exclusive Breastfeeding

WHO (World Health Organization) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, solid foods, such as mashed fruits and vegetables, should be introduced to complement breastfeeding for up to two years or more. In addition:

  • breastfeeding should begin within one hour of birth
  • breastfeeding should be "on demand", as often as the child wants day and night; and
  • bottles or pacifiers should be avoided.

Breast milk is the ideal food for newborns and infants. It gives infants all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It is safe and contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Breastfeeding also benefits mothers. Exclusive breastfeeding is associated with a natural method of birth control. It reduces risks of breast and ovarian cancer, type II diabetes, and postpartum depression.

Breastfed babies perform better in intelligence tests.

Infant formula does not contain the antibodies found in breast milk. The long-term benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and children cannot be replicated with infant formula. When infant formula is not properly prepared, there are risks arising from the use of unsafe water and un-sterilized equipment or the potential presence of bacteria in powdered formula.

Breast milk vs Cow milk

  1. Breast milk has less protein than cow’s milk
  2. Breast milk has more lactose than cow’s milk
  3. Breast milk has less calories than cow’s milk
  4. Breast milk Is an excellent source of iron
  5. Breast milk contains twice as much lactalbumin as cows’ milk (and is immunologically different), but no lactoglobulin.
  6. Breast milk contains more vitamins A, C and E and nicotinic acid than does cows’ milk, but less vitamin B1, B2, B6, B12 and K.
  7. Cows’ milk contains more calcium and phosphate than human milk, but their absorption is much lower. IgA is the most important immunoglobulin secreted in breast milk, and is in very high concentrations in colostrum and much higher concentrations than cows’ milk.
  8. As opposed to breast milk, cows’ milk only contains a trace of lactoferrin. Lactoferrin binds iron, which is necessary for some bacteria to multiply.
  9. IgA is the most important immunoglobulin secreted in breast milk, and is in very high concentrations in colostrum and much higher concentrations than cows’ milk.
  10. The allowances for thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3) have been set up proportionate to the caloric intake. These allowances are easily met by human milk. The infant is born with a store of vitamin B6 that protects him during the neonatal period as human milk is very low in this vitamin.
  11. Protein content in 100g of whole cow’s milk (3.3g) is more than double that of human milk (1.3g). Cow’s milk contains very little iron which is another reason why cow’s milk is deemed to be unsuitable for infants under the age of one.

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Dr. Niraj Mahajan

MD- Gynecologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Uro-gynecologist , Infertility specialist & Cosmetic Gynecologist.

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