Ensuring nutrition is vital for the growth and development of infants. Here are some important points to consider regarding infant nutrition;
- Breast milk is considered the source of nourishment for babies as it contains all the vitamins and minerals they need. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life.
- If breastfeeding is not feasible, baby formula can serve as an alternative. Brands like Serenity Kids offer nutritional options to cater to this need. Selecting a formula and following the recommended instructions for preparation and feeding is crucial.
- Introducing foods to infants typically begins around six months of age. It is recommended to introduce foods one at a time in order to identify any allergies or reactions.
- Maintaining nutrition during pregnancy. While breastfeeding is essential for both the well-being of the mother and her baby.
- It’s important to seek guidance from a healthcare provider when it comes to infant nutrition, including advice, on feeding frequency and introducing foods.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics highlights the role played by pediatricians in offering guidance and support concerning infant nutrition.
Breastfeeding is strongly encouraged for infants; however, baby formula can be considered if it’s not possible. The introduction of foods should be done gradually under guidance. Regular check-ups with a pediatrician are essential to ensure that infants receive nutrition and experience development during their early stages.
What are the benefits of breastfeeding for infants?
Breastfeeding offers benefits for infants, which include;
- Breast milk is packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that contribute to the growth and strength of babies.
- Breast milk contains antibodies that aid in developing a system protecting infants from various illnesses.
- Breastfed babies have a reduced risk of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Breastfeeding fosters bonding between mother and baby through closeness, skin-to-skin, and eye contact.
- Infants who are breastfed are more likely to gain weight at a rate during their growth phase than become overweight children.
- Studies suggest that breastfeeding may be associated with IQ scores in childhood.
- Breastfeeding can help shield babies from certain short and long-term diseases.
Breastfeeding provides infant nutrition while fostering a bond between mother and child.
What are the common nutrition-related illnesses in infants?
Malnutrition is a nutrition-related ailment among infants in developing countries where access to adequate nutrition is limited.
Insufficient nourishment can result in hindered growth, a weakened system, and impaired cognitive growth.
Babies often experience a lack of nutrients, like iron, which can lead to long-term effects on their mental development. Toddlers commonly face challenges such as food allergies, tooth decay, and constipation.
To ensure nutrition and healthy development during infancy and early childhood, it’s important to seek guidance from a healthcare professional. Regular check-ups with a pediatrician are also important for identifying and addressing any deficiencies or illnesses.
Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding: Unveiling the Benefits and Risks for Infant Health
Nowadays, more women are choosing to breastfeed their infants. Mothers recognize the physical and emotional benefits to both the infant and the mother.
The Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies receive breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life and then complement the breast milk with complementary foods for the following six months.
In the last 20 years, researchers have identified many ways in which breastfeeding benefits infants as they grow and develop. Most women know that babies who do not receive their mother’s milk have more otitis media (ear infections), respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and diarrhea and are twice as likely to require hospitalization.
Studies continue to identify additional long-term problems for babies who were denied their mother’smother’s milk. These include lower IQ, increased risk of obesity, higher risk of Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus, and higher risk of Crohn’s Disease. We have learned that the daughters who were not breastfed have a higher risk of breast cancer.
Yet, women who are deciding whether to breastfeed or formula feed are rarely educated about the risks of formula feeding or the benefits of breastfeeding.
They need to be made aware of formula recalls and when errors in labeling occur. They do not know that the “formula” used to create their infant’sinfant’s first food is constantly being modified as more is learned about the human infant’s nutritional needs.
Manufacturers continue to add vitamins and other ingredients to try to simulate breastmilk. (Researchers have only recently begun seriously studying breast milk and its components.}
Families do not hear that formula contaminants, such as aluminum, lead, and bacteria, have caused infant illness. In addition, infants have been made sick and even hospitalized due to problems caused by incorrect cleaning of the bottles and nipples, mixing formula with contaminated water, and inadequate refrigeration of the mixed formulas.
Focusing on “infant health” is important when choosing how to feed a newborn. Women and their healthcare providers need to learn the numerous benefits of breastfeeding and the risks of feeding formula to infants. It is a woman’s right to know all the facts and then make the right decision for her situation.
Whether a parent decides to breastfeed exclusively, formula feed, or use a combination of both to meet their infant’sinfant’s nutritional needs, the Infant Nutrition Council of America believes parents should be supported in their decision.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website's content and editorial direction since 2013. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra's expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.