advertisement
Updated 19 January 2015

Why breast is best

We’ve all heard that “breast is best”. But why is breastfeeding so important?

0

We’ve all heard that “breast is best” and that breast milk provides infants with a nutritionally balanced diet. But why is breastfeeding so important?

The Nutrition Information Centre, University of Stellenbosch (NICUS) lists the following advantages of breastfeeding for mothers and children:

  • Breast milk is nutritionally superior to any alternative.
  • It contains all the nutrients that the baby needs for the first 4-6 months and it is quickly and easily digested.
  • The most suitable protein and fat for the baby, in the right quantities.
  • It contains lactose (milk sugar) which is the form of sugar that a human baby needs.
  • Enough vitamins for the baby.
  • Iron in breast milk is well absorbed and prevents the breastfed baby from developing iron deficiency anaemia, provided that proper and sufficient weaning foods are introduced at the age of four to six months.
  • Enough water for the baby, even in hot, dry weather.
  • The correct amounts of salt, calcium and phosphate.
  • A special enzyme (lipase), which digests fat.

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Hit the road »

Advice for the long runner Hill training: how to do it Why running is good for you

What to wear when you run

You do not need a gym membership to run. All you need is the correct clothing and you're ready to reap the benefits.

Carb danger »

Why we get fat Why you need to worry about fructose Craving sugar? Blame your brain

Carbs make you sick

Dr Gary Fettke, who believes that the foods we eat are the leading cause of lifestyle diseases speaks of Carbohydrate Diabetes, not Sugar Diabetes.