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.

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Dangerous winter sun »

Why female students ignore the risks of indoor tanning Can rooibos protect you from the effects of UVB exposure?

Skin cancer always a risk – even in winter

During winter, the risk of skin cancer doesn’t disappear. CyberDoc talks to us about when to see your doctor about a strange-looking mole or spot.

Did you know? »

The 5 saltiest foods may surprise you Craving salt? Your genes may be the reason

10 fascinating facts about salt

The one thing that fast foods, whether it be chips, hamburgers, pretzels or fried chicken have in common, is loads of salt.