24-Hours Emergency Line

+237 620 40 77 86 | +1 202 894 5911

Importance of Breast Milk

Breast Feeding

  • This is the activity of feeding a baby or a young child with milk from the breast of a lactating mother.
  • After a normal delivery, babies should receive the first breastmilk as soon as possible, and preferably within one hour of birth.
  • No other liquid or food should be given to the new-born since they are potentially harmful.
  • It is essential that the baby get the first breastmilk called colostrum which is thicker and yellower than later milk and comes in small amounts in the first few days.
  • Colostrum is all the food and fluid the baby needs at that time.
  • Breastfeeds should be given as often as possible and should continue as long as infant wants to suckle.
  • During the first few months and as far as possible till the age of 4-6months exclusive breastfeeding should be practiced.
  • Breast milk alone is adequate to meet the hydration requirements of the baby even under extreme ot conditions.

Advantages of Breastfeeding

  • It is a proven scientific fact that all commercial infant milk are inferior tfo breast milk.
  • Maternal milk is nutritious food for infants which is readily available, simple to feed hygienic, develops emotional bonding and prevents allergic disorders.
  • Breastfeeding protect the body against several infections like diarrhoea and respiratory infection. An exclusively breastfeed infants is 14times less likely to die from infections than a non breastfeed infants.
  • Breastmilk is much more economical than artificial milk.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding exerts a strong contraception effects in the first 4-6months of post-partum.
  • Maternal benefits breastfeeding her baby include early termination of post-partum bleeding protection against breast and ovarian cancer, quick return to per-pregnancy weights.
  • Breastmilk is rich in proteins, fat, water, antibodies and easily digested than artificial milk.

Disadvantages of Artificial Feeding

  • Artificial means not natural but man made.
  • Artificial or replacement feeding. The infants is given breastmilk substitutes such as infant formula, and other food.
  • This also includes both non-breastfeed infant and infant who are mixed feed.
  • Infant formula includes modified liquid animal milk or modified evaporated milk.
  • The infant fed in the bottle (feeding bottle).
  • Syringe, baby cups, with or without lids and/or spouts.
  • This feeding is method is appropriate for babies of HIV-positive mothers. This prevents the baby from being infected by the virus through breastmilk.

Advantages of Artificial Feeding

  • Any person other than the mother can feed the baby.
  • Mothers can return to work
  • It stops mother to child transmission of diseases e.g. HIV

Disadvantages of Artificial Feeding

  • On the Baby
  • Increases ricks of diarrhoea and respiratory infection. Change of food can damage the immature infant intestines.
  • Persistent diarrhoea
  • More allergy and milk intolerance
  • Increases ricks of some chronic diseases
  • Lower scores on intelligence tests
  • More likely to die on the mother
  • May become pregnant sooner
  • Increases rick of anaemia, ovarian and breast cancer.
  • It is exceptive since the milk is brought.

Mixed Feeding

  • This is another type of infant feeding where the infant is given some breastfeed and some artificial feed.
  • The artificial food cloud be milk, cereal or other food or water.
  • Breastmilk could be expressed and given to the baby through a feeding bottle or baby cups.
  • Complementary food is given to the infant in addition to breastmilk or breastmilk substitutes.
  • Its cloud be industrially or locally prepared and should be introduced after 6months of age when the breastmilk or breastmilk substitutes becomes insufficient to satisfy the infant nutritional needs.

Comparison of Breast and Cow Milk

Breastmilk Cow milk
Readily availableContains all the nutrients at the right quantities

Has the right temperature

Easy to digest

Antibodies is presents for protection


Not, has to be broughtHas to be modified

Temperature has to be adjusted

No easily digested

Antibodies are absent


Disadvantages of Breastfeeding

  • Time consuming
  • Only the /mother feed the baby
  • The nipple may become sore and painful during frequent sucks
  • Transmission of some diseases from mother through breastmilk e.g. HIV

Leave A Comment