Breast Feeding Overview
Breast feeding is the feeding of the Infant or child with breast milk directly from the mother breast .The mechanism develops when the child comes in contacts with the mother nipple develops a sucking reflex result in sucking and swallowing the milk. Experts recommends that child within first hour should be breast fed.
Breast feeding promotes the health of both the mother and infant and prevent the disease .The individuals who are breast fed for longer duration develops in stable and healthy personalities. Breast feeding is considered as more beneficial as compared to artificial fed. In exceptional cases artificial feed has to be given to the infant when mother is infected by T-lymphocyte virus, HIV Virus, or under medication for the purpose of treatment of tuberculosis. It is better to adapt to artificial feed practice in child whose mother is suffering from AIDs.
Types of Breast Feeding
Breast feeding is defined as “the child has received breast milk direct from the breast or expressed”. Types of Breast Feeding are as follows:-
- Exclusive breastfeeding: The infant has received only breast milk from the mother or a wet nurse, or expressed breast milk, and no other liquids or solids with the exception of drops or syrups consisting of vitamins, mineral supplements, or medicines.
- Predominant breastfeeding: The infant’s predominant source of nourishment has been breast milk. However, the infant may also have received water and water-based drinks (sweetened and flavored water, teas, infusions, etc.), fruit juice; oral rehydration salts solution (ORS), drop and syrup forms of vitamins, minerals and medicines, and ritual fluids (in limited quantities). With the exception of fruit juice and sugar water, no food-based fluid is allowed under this definition.
- Full breastfeeding: Exclusive breastfeeding and predominant breastfeeding together constitute full breastfeeding.
- Complementary feeding: The child has received both breast milk and solid or semi-solid food.
Bottle-feeding: The child has received liquid or semi-solid food from a bottle with a nipple/teat.
Composition of Breast Milk
Breast milk is made of nutrients from the bloodstream and bodily stores. It has a right amount of fat, sugar, proteins and water which is needed for the development of the infants. The composition of the milk changes depends upon how long the baby was nursed at each session. Then nutrient in Human Milk contain fat which provides much of the energy, a young human or animal needs protein for growth , special milk sugar lactose which produces energy.
- The mean mature macronutrient composition of mature term milk is estimated to 0.9to 1.2g/dL for protein, 3.2 to 3.6 g/dL for Fat and 6.7 to 7.8g/dL for lactose.
- Energy estimates ranges from 65 to 75k cal/dL and are highly correlated with fat content with human milk.
- The protein of human milk have specific protein, Casein which forms softer curd easy to digest lactalbumin, actoferrin, secretary IgA, lysozyme and serum albumin.
- The Fat content Human milk consist of essential fatty acid ,which is characterized of high content of Palmatic acid oleic acid ,which are needed for the baby’s brain, eyes, and blood vessels. Lipase in human milk helps to digest fat as baby’s gut has not developed.
- Lactose : The Breast milk contains more lactose than other milk ,which is energy source of brain development.
- Vitamin and iron: Human milk contains more of some important vitamin than cow’s milk like Vitamin A and Vitamin C .10% of Iron is absorbed from Cow milk where 50% of Iron is absorbed by human milk.
Comparison of Milk of Human ,Cow and Goat
Comparing the basic macro nutrient, the concentration of Lactose is more in human milk as compared to the goat and cow respectively. The protein content in Human milk is low as compared to Cow and Goat milk. Fat content of goat milk is more as compared to human and cow milk respectively.
Types of Human Milk
- Colostrum. First day after delivery, the breast secretes colostrums. Colostrums is yellow thicker than later milk and it secreted in small amount. It is enough for a normal baby which is exactly needed for the baby for the first few days. The Colostrums contains more antibodies and more white blood cells than later milk. It provides a baby the first immunization to protect against most bacteria and Viruses. Colostrums is rich in growth factor, which stimulates the intestine to become mature. The growth factor prepares the intestine to digest and absorb milk and prevent the absorption of undigested protein. If the baby has cow’s milk or other foods before having Colostrums ,the foods can damage the intestine and can cause allergies. Besides this it acts as laxative and help the baby to pass meconium.
- Mature Milk: After 1-2 weeks of parturition the constituent of milk increases in quantity.
- Foremilk: comes from the beginning of a feed .It look greyish white and watery in consistency. It is rich in proteins, lactose, vitamins, minerals, and water.
- Hind Milk: come at the end of a feed , it look whiter than hind milk because it contain more fat . The content of fat make the hind milk more rich in energy. Fat supplies more than half the energy in breast milk .A baby needs both the hind and the foremilk for growth and development. It is important not to take a slow feed or her off the breast before it has finished or he may not get enough hind milk.
Advantages of Breast Feeding
There are numerous benefits which are listed as
- General Growth Pattern: The infants who are breastfed show advantages regarding their general health and growth.
- Mental health: If the child is exclusively breast fed for more than six month ,he may be better predictor of better mental health in childhood and adolescent and his cognitive and Motor functions will be better developed.
- CHILD HOOD OBESITY is lower in the children who are breast feed.
- Infection: The infants who are not breast fed are significantly prone to develop large number of acute and chronic diseases including lower respiratory tract infections, ear infection ,bacteremia, bacterial meningitis botulism, urinary tract infection. The infants who are breastfed are less prone to diseases like sudden death syndrome, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Immunity: During breast feeding 0.25-0.5 grams per day of Secretory IgA passes to the baby via milk. This one of the most import function of Colostrum .The antibodies mainly act in small intestine but certain amount antibodies are moved to other parts of the body. Besides this the breast milk contains anti-infective factors like bile salts stimulated lipases and lacto ferrin which binds to irons and inhibit the growth of intestinal bacteria . Women who are vaccinated against tetanus ,whooping cough ,influenza within the breastfeeding period are like to pass through milk when nursing their infants.Allergic Diseases: The infants who are exclusively breast fed are less likely to developed allergic diseases like atopic dermatitis ,necrotizing entercolitis. In long term health effects it will protect the child against respiratory tract infection.
- Cardiovascular System: Breastfed children has lower cholesterol level and C-reactive proteins due to which risk of cardiovascular diseases is lessened in later life and they may also expressed lower blood pressure as compared to bottle feed infants.
- Role of Genetic and Environment Factors: The IQ of the individuals were warranted better who were fed on breast milk as compared to those individuals who were fed on Infant Formula milk. Breast milk having increase content of essential unsaturated poly fatty acid and the infants having gene FADS2 which plays a vital role in polyunsaturated metabolism augmented with better environmental conditions enhanced into better personalities.
Benefits to Mother
- Cost Effectiveness: Breast feeding is cost effective way of feeding to an infant ,it provides maximum nourishment to the infant with less cost.
- Bonding effect: Skin to Skin contact also called as kangaroo care develops breast feeding behavior in the newborn. When the new born placed on the mother skin have a natural instinct to latch on the breast and start nursing.
- Hormone Released: Breast feeding releases oxytocin and a prolactin hormone that relaxes the mother and make her feel better towards baby. Immediately after birth level of Oxytocin hormone in the blood increases results in the secretion of milk , contraction of the uterus and bleeding stops immediately.
- Weight Loss: The mother who are breast feeding their newborn has shown reduction in their weight loss.
Long term effect of lactation on mother:
- The mother who continuously breast feeding their infants has shown reduced risk in chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus-type-2 ,Heart Diseases carcinoma of breast, endometrial cancer, ovarian cancer, Breast fed mother suffering from diabetes requires less insulin, reduces risk of post partum bleedings.
- Natural post partum infertility, Breast feeding may delay in return the fertility for some women by suppressing ovulation. The breastfeeding women may not ovulate or have regular periods during the entire lactation period.
Impact of Breast Feeding on Community
Financial benefits: Breast feeding has reduced the health care cost. Due to lower incidence of illness in breastfed infants allows the parent to give more attention to others children .By encouraging breast feeding practices in infants the government has to import less infant formula milk. Sociological Factors: The choice of mother to breast fed her children depends upon the socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and CULTURE. The women who have breast fed their infants for longer duration; children have shown to attain better educational achievement. The employment pattern in women has changed the attitude of Women to feed their infants. The African women immediately after delivery rejoins the employment due to which she has to discontinue to breastfed her child as compared to the white women who join the organization a bit later on employment after delivery results in
- Establishing a better bondage by breastfeeding her child ,develops into better personalities as compared to the African woman child.
- Supportive work ENVIRONMENT plays a vital role in encouraging breast feeding.
- The level of education in women play a vital role in continuing or discontinue breast feeding. Educated women can easily interpret the advantages and disadvantages of breast feeding in light of access to information by she can make better decision.
- The women of higher status has an access to the lactation room and suffer less social stigma for having breastfed or expressed milk.
- Women of low income Due to nature of work leave cannot be extended to women of low income due to which they have to discontinue breastfeeding and unintended pregnancies may increased.
Psychological Effects: Breast feeding provided an opportunities for toddler to developed comforting bonding moment with their mother and the security obtained through extended breastfeeding helped the toddler to strengthened their abilities to become confident independent balanced individual . Massive industrialization has improved health care and sanitation facilities ,and has provided better employment opportunities to women these opportunities disassociated the women from breastfeeding their toddler thus depriving the infant from physical cognitive and emotional needs.
Disadvantages of Artificial Feed
- Contamination: Artificial feeds are often contaminated with bacteria especially if the mother is using feeding bottle. Bottles are difficult to clean and need to be boiled after every feed. Bacteria grow in artificial feed very quickly, especially in feeding bottle.
- Infections: Artificial feed do not have any anti infective factor. Artificially fed babies are ill more often with diarrhoea other infections will take place if the feeds are not hygienically prepared.
- Persistent Diarrhoea : In artificial fed babies ,diarrhoea is more likely to become persistent ,that is to continuous for more than two weeks. Persistent diarrhoea is difficult to treat and it may lead to severe under nutrition. It is sometimes necessary to stop giving the baby artificial milk feeds to cure the conditions.
- Lack of Iron: The iron from the cow ‘s milk is not absorbed completely as it is absorbed from breast milk. An artificial fed baby may develop iron deficiency, but added iron may increase the risk of infection in the baby.
- Too much Salt: Cow’s milk contains too much of salts which may sometimes cause hypernatraemia and fits, especially in child who is suffering from diarrhoea.
- Unsuitable fat: Cow’s milk contains more saturated fatty acid s than breast milk. For healthy growth, a baby needs more unsaturated fatty acids. Cow’s milk does not contain enough of the essential fatty acid like linoleic acid, they contain enough cholesterol .Dried skim milk contains no fat so it should never be used for infants.
- Unsuitable Protein: Cow’s milk contains too much of Casein protein ,casein contains an unsuitable mixture of amino acids which are difficult for the baby’s immature kidneys to excrete. However diluted milk may not contain enough of the essential amino acids, cystine and taurine which needed for baby’s growing brain.
- Indigestion: Cow’s milk is more difficult to digest. It does not contain the enzyme lipase to digest the fat. Casein form thick indigestible curds, because cow milk digest slowly, it fills the stomach for longer duration than the breast milk ,so that the baby does not become hungry again as quickly as he should .The baby stool becomes thicker and harder and he become constipated.
- Allergy: Babies who are fed on cow’s milk are more likely to develop allergic problems, example asthma and eczema and cow milk intolerance.
- Sucking problems: baby who learns to suck from the breast may refuse to take Cow milk. A few bottle feeds can cause breastfeeding failure.
- Expense: Poor mothers may be unable to buy enough Infant Formula Milk for their babies. They can give too few feeds and sometime they may place little milk or milk powder into each bottle. Bottle fed babies can also become malnourished.
History of Breastfeeding
In ancient time’s infants were accompanied along with their mother for the purpose of feeding.
- In Egyptians, Greeks and Roman Empires, women usually feed their own children.
- Royal Family employed the nurses to feed their infants .The concept of Wet nurses were introduced. With the passage of time in certain countries employed noble women instead of wet nurses to nurse their infants. But the lower-class women fed their infants and used wet nurse only if they are unable to feed their own baby.
- In 15th Century use of Cow or Goat milk, but these attempts were not successful.
- In 18th Century ,flour and Cereal were used as substitute of Breast feeding which did not have the favorable outcome.
- 18th and 19th Century during Industrialization revolution women workers were employed in the workforce due to their work requirement urban centre were created where mother breastfed their infants.
- In 1900 to 1960 Breast feeding decline due to development of artificial infant formula, this created negative impact towards breastfeeding in the community.
- In MID 19TH CENTURY Affluent societies of Canada and USA started developing negativeapproach regarding practice of breastfeeding. To breast fed the infants was more popular among lower class. The affluent class considered as uncultured approach and looked to this problem as disgust. To coincide with the problem, extended infant formula was introduced in mid 19th Century, and the use was accelerated during World War II.
- From 1960 to 2000 Efforts were made to revive the importance of breast feeding practices, but still the negative attitude prevails in the society.
- On April 28, 1988, a meeting was held on definitions related to breastfeeding. The meeting was sponsored by the Interagency Group for Action on Breastfeeding (IGAB), an ad hoc working group of representatives from UNICEF, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), SIDA, and WHO. In addition to these organizations, the meeting was attended by or input and review were received from the International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA), LLLI, the Population Council, the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Well start International, Family Health International, and the technical secretariat, Georgetown IRH/Breastfeeding Division.