There is a saying “Breastfeeding is a mother’s gift to herself, her baby and the earth.” It is one of the most precious diet that a baby could ever receive and there no replacement for mother’s milk.
Well here is the answer , feeding the infant for near at least 5-6 months exclusively only by breast milk and not even a drop of water is added to it, no artificial feeds, no cow`s milk and no traditional diet .
The mortality (death rate) and morbidity (disease rate) are directly proportional to the number of days a mother breast fed exclusively and it is scientifically proved that mothers who died soon after birth of the baby will directly influence on the future growth of baby because these babies will be given artificial feeds or so called bottle feeds.
It is estimated that 1.3 million deaths occurring every year could be prevented if the babies are exclusively breastfed for 4-6 months followed by appropriate complementary feeding for at least one year of life.
One bottle of artificial milk is enough to spoil the baby’s gut which takes time of one week to recover even with continued breastfeeding.
One should be aware of what is colostrum? The first milk that contains immunizing agents and is rich in vitamins, enzymes and antibodies and it provides babies for establishment of personalities and learning readiness in the future.
A study has shown that 50% of mothers throw their first milk because they traditionally feel its harmful for health .WHO in 2005 announced that first feed and first hour both saves millions of children lives .
A quote adds Breastfeeding is a natural “safety net” against the worst effects of poverty becausebreast milk is the nature’s complete food for infants which is hygienic, convenient, economical and protective and it is best suited for baby’s requirement.
Breast milk is the most valuable, renewable, easily available food for the baby so that it has to be fed on an exclusive basis to enhance the fulfilment of the needs mentioned above and it is the right of every child because no other food in the world can replace mother’s milk.
Why only exclusive breast feeding why not bottle feeds or complementary feeding? Here are the rationale behind this
A long term study on the continuation of breastfeeding shows that in 1977 the decline was from 43% to 20% , in 1984 it again increased in the US. The number of exclusively fed mothers were 25% .This again dropped to 21%by 1987 and 19.7%in 1992 , so the gradual declination and fluctuation of % of exclusive breastfeeding practice among mothers shows a strong need for the implementation of policies and education on exclusive breastfeeding practices.
WHO quoted FIRST HOUR SAVES MILLIONS , quite empirical statement because every health organization and health personnel advices to feed babies at least within 30 minutes after birth because the first milk of this mother contains an important component called colostrums which is most essential for every child.
The early milk contains IMMUNOGLOBULINS in a highly enriched manner and which cannot be replaced by any cattle milk .
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