Avoid your doubts and minimize the problems that can hinder exclusive breastfeeding. Some breastfeeding mothers who have to return to their work habits are sometimes lazy to give milk, even though expressing breastfeeding is an alternative that can be done to provide exclusive breastfeeding for your baby. Meanwhile, another obstacle is the lack of self-confidence from breastfeeding mothers so that they are worried that their baby is starving. You don’t need to worry because exclusive breast milk can meet the nutritional needs of the baby. (Read: Dashyatnya Benefits of Mother’s Milk (ASI) )
Nutritional content of breast milk
Protein is one of the most important parts contained in breast milk, a nutrient needed for a baby’s growth and development. Breastmilk is low in protein, at least when compared to formula milk. You don’t need to worry because it doesn’t mean your baby is malnourished because babies are designed with gradual growth and development. Even your child apart from growing physically experiences intelligence development and emotion is no less important, even more important is brain development and learning social skills. The experiences that shape the brain come from contact (closeness) between mother and baby when the baby is held.
Protein Content in Breast Milk
Although the protein content of breast milk is generally low, the types of amino acids that make up this protein are important. One particular amino acid, taurine, is found in large quantities in breast milk. Studies show that taurine has an important role in brain and eye development. The body cannot convert other types of the amino acid taurine.
A simple observation you can do when you put the breastmilk liquid into the refrigerator, where it will be divided into two parts, the lumpy part and the liquid part. The protein content of casein, is a white lump while in the liquid part is whey. Most of the cow’s milk is difficult to digest by the baby’s immature digestion. Meanwhile, breast milk is more easily digested by the baby’s digestion.
Fat content in breast milk
Breast milk is easier to digest than formula, there is a reason why babies digest breast milk so quickly. The fat in breast milk is supplemented by an enzyme, lipase, which breaks down fat into tiny bubbles so that this essential nutrient can be better absorbed into the bloodstream. Fat is an important source of energy for babies, so the presence of lipase makes fat in breast milk more available. This is the reason why breast milk is so good for premature babies, who need a lot of energy to grow because of the immature digestive system.
The fat content of breast milk changes constantly. Usually, fat levels are low at the start of breastfeeding and high at the end. Babies are eager to get low-fat foremilk, then slow down and linger on the high-fat cover liquid at the end of their diet. Babies who breastfeed again immediately after the end of the breastfeed receive more high-fat milk, so babies who breastfeed more frequently during growth get more calories.
The specific type of fat contained in breast milk is more important in helping the brain grow and develop. As a newborn grows, the nerves are covered with a substance called myelin which helps the nerves send messages to other nerves throughout the brain and body. To develop high quality myelin, the body needs several types of linoleic acid – fatty and linolenic acid – which are found in large amounts in breast milk.
Vitamins and Minerals in Breast Milk
The vitamins and minerals listed in formula are more likely to be unsuitable for babies. When studies involving nutritionists want to find out how much a particular vitamin or mineral babies need each day, they look first at how much of the nutrient is in breast milk and how much milk of a certain age is taking in in a day. More important than the amount of nutrients in milk is the amount available for the baby to use, a principle of nutrition called bioavailability. The bioavailability of nutrients is influenced by many factors, including the chemical form and the presence of other substances.
The three essential minerals calcium, phosphorus, and iron are present in breast milk at a lower level than in the formula, but in breast milk these minerals are present in a form that has a high bioavailability. For example, 50 to 75 percent of the iron in breast milk is absorbed by babies. With the formula, as little as four percent of the iron is absorbed into the baby’s bloodstream. To make up for the low bioavailability of vitamins and minerals, so that the production increases the concentration.
Immature baby intestines are needed to help the baby’s digestion is not optimal. Meanwhile, minerals that are not excessively absorbed (especially iron) can disrupt the “gut ecology,” impeding the growth of healthy bacteria and allowing harmful bacteria to thrive. This is another reason infant formula is less good for a baby’s digestion than breastfeeding.
To increase the bioavailability of nutrients, breast milk contains a facilitator, a substance that enhances the absorption of other nutrients. For example, the vitamin C content in breast milk can increase iron absorption. Zinc absorption is also enhanced by other factors in breast milk. In one experiment, the researchers added equal amounts of iron and zinc to samples of breast milk, formula, and whole cow’s milk. More of the nutrients in the breast milk sample enter the bloodstream compared to formula and cow’s milk. Basically, breast milk puts nutrients where they are in the baby’s blood, not in the baby’s stomach alone.
Hormone and Enzyme Content in Breast Milk
Every medical journal article describes a more important substance found in breast milk. Scientists are only starting to write on other factors in human milk that may be important for infant growth and development. For example, other lipase enzymes besides those available to aid digestion in babies. Epidermal growth factors, present in breast milk in large quantities, promote tissue development in the digestive tract and elsewhere. Other hormones in milk can affect a baby’s metabolism, growth, and physiology. The effects may be subtle, but they may have far-reaching implications. So that breast milk can help in the development and growth of children at a later age.
Thus you can find out the nutritional content in breast milk, you are motivated to keep the spirit of doing exclusive breastfeeding without having to doubt that breast milk will starve your baby. Exclusive breastfeeding is breastfeeding for six months without providing other complementary foods or other fluids. Hopefully you are still enthusiastic about giving exclusive breastfeeding to your baby.