Human milk was made to feed human infants. In it are just the precise amounts of amino acids, fatty acids, lactose and water needed by a human baby for optimum physical and mental development.
Unfortunately, human babies have for too long been fed with milk from other species, usually cow’s milk. It must be borne in mind that the milk from different species is suitable mainly for their species. Take cow’s milk. The proteins contained in it are of a different type from that of human milk. Cow’s milk is great for calves, but human babies have a difficult time digesting the proteins in cow’s milk. Breast milk contains more fat than cow’s milk, and it is in a form that is more easily absorbed by the infant. Breast milk also has more carbohydrates, a very important energy source, than cow’s milk.
Infants who are bottle fed with cow’s milk have a tendency to grow fatter than infants who are breast fed, although this is not to say that they are healthier. In fact, breast-fed babies are generally healthier than bottle fed ones. The reason is that the milk a mother produces contains in it antibodies. The antibodies get ingested by the baby, granting him certain immunity from a number of sicknesses. These illnesses include flu, bronchitis, pneumonia, staphylococcal infections, ear infections, German measles, and botulism. Since mothers create antibodies depending on what diseases are prevalent in her environment, then her milk is truly specifically made for her young one who is exposed to the same diseases. Cow’s milk has no antibodies whatsoever. Additionally, 80% of breast milk is comprised of macrophages. These are cells that destroy viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Aside from these, there are other supreme advantages that human milk has for a human baby over every other kind of milk.
One of these is that a natural property of breast milk is lactobacillus bifidus, which inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria – i.e. disease-causing bacteria – in the baby’s digestive tract. In fact breast milk has over 100 ingredients that a baby needs that are not found in formula or cow’s milk.
The amount of water is breast milk is perfectly suited to your baby’s thirst. The amount adjusts according to your baby’s needs – another custom-designed advantage.
Breast milk changes in taste according to what the mother eats. Thus, a baby becomes much more adaptable when the time comes to eat solid food. Formula milk or cow’s milk always tastes the same so that makes it more difficult for the baby to adjust to different tastes later on.
Human milk is the milk that has optimum benefits for human infants, but it’s specially beneficial when it comes straight from the mother’s breast.
Human breast milk has the advantage of being sterile. It is not tainted by the water used to mix it in or the bottle used to contain it. This prevents incidences of infant diarrhea.
The action of sucking at the breast encourages the jaw to develop properly. It’s more difficult for an infant to draw milk out of his mother’s breast than to draw it out a bottle.
Psychologically, an infant who is breast fed and cuddled by his mother grows up with a sense of security. There is nothing in the world that can take the place of being coddled by a loving, nurturing individual. The baby is comforted and feels loved.