Last Updated: August 07, 2022, 13:50 IST
Every year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organisations dedicated to protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, coordinates and organises the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) between 1 August and 7 August. Read on to learn more about the initiative –
Mother’s milk is said to be a complete diet for her baby for the following reasons:
- It has all the necessary nutrients a baby needs, in the proper proportions.
- It is easy to digest and protects the infant against diseases.
- It helps build the baby’s immunity and develops an emotional bond between the baby and the mother.
- It is always available at the right temperature and is clean and free.
Research conducted by the International Breastfeeding Journal shows that breastfeeding within the first hour of life ensures that the baby gets colostrum which prevents newborn death due to sepsis, pneumonia, diarrhea, and hypothermia. Skin-to-skin contact during breastfeeding after the delivery regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb.
Types of breast milk:
- Colostrum is the first dose of milk the body prepares after pregnancy. It is thicker and richer in colour and texture than other types of breast milk. It lasts for 3-4 days before transitional milk sets in. It is often attributed as liquid gold for babies, or golden milk, both due to its colour and the benefits it offers.
- Transitional milk is the intermediate stage of milk, which can last up to two weeks after giving birth. It can have a bluish-white colour and contains more calories than colostrum.
- Mature Milk is the final milk which appears after around 15 days of delivery. 90% of it is water, which is important for keeping the baby hydrated. The other 10% consists of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats which are necessary for a baby’s growth and energy needs.