- Colostrum, also called ‘liquid gold’, due to its yellowish color, is highly immunological. It is considered the first vaccine for the baby. It is a concentrate of defenses (antibodies) that the mother transmits to her baby during the first 2 or 3 days after delivery. After this time, she makes transition milk and then mature milk that continues to provide protection against many diseases.
- The skin-to-skin contact of the mother with the newborn is vital to establish a positive and reciprocal relationship between the two. It should be done immediately after the baby is born and for at least an hour, because it facilitates the successful initiation of breastfeeding and prolongs its duration.
- Breastfeeding should be exclusive until the baby’s first 6 months of life, after which breastfeeding and appropriate complementary foods should continue. Between 12 and 23 months of age, breast milk continues to be nourishing and protective, it is capable of providing a third of the child’s nutritional and caloric requirements.
LOOK: The eight most widespread myths about breastfeeding
- If the newborn is offered the breast frequently – 9 to 10 times in 24 hours – the milk production will increase day by day.
- Formula-fed infants are less intelligent than those exclusively breastfed. It has been shown that breastfed babies achieve higher IQs than formula babies (3 points, on average). They also have better physical, intellectual, social and emotional growth. They suffer less child abuse.
- Formula-fed babies are more likely to be overweight and obese than breastfed children. This increases the risk of developing non-communicable diseases during childhood and adulthood such as diabetes, high blood pressure, among others.
- Breast milk protects the enamel of the baby’s teeth as long as the baby is fed only at the breast. Cow’s milk or formulas have substances that promote cavities.
- Breast milk can last up to 5 days in the bottom of the refrigerator, when kept in a previously boiled container with a lid. In refrigerators that have a freezer with a separate door they last 3 months and in freezers at minus 19°C up to 6 months. It should be stored in special sterile bags or jars with lids that should be labeled with the date they were removed so that the oldest ones are always used. Store 3 or 4 ounces in each container, as the capacity of the stomach of nursing babies is small and thus it is not wasted. The defrosting process is recommended to be slow: the night before it is removed from the freezer to the lower part of the refrigerator and the same day it is placed in the environment to complete the process and warm it up in a water bath to provide it to the baby preferably with a cup and not with a bottle.
- Breastfeeding not only favors the child; also the mother. Reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type II diabetes, postpartum depression, burns calories, among other benefits. It is important to know that the longer the duration of breastfeeding, the more the risk is reduced.