Breast milk is a natural way that is recommended for all mothers to be given to their babies. Exclusive breastfeeding needs to be given for 6 months because at that time the baby’s digestive tract is not adequate enough to digest other sources of nutrition besides breast milk. In addition, all types of nutrients needed by babies can be met from breast milk. Formula milk feeding cannot optimally replace exclusive breastfeeding. According to various studies that have been carried out, babies who are exclusively breastfed for 6 months have a much better growth and development tendency than those who are fed formula milk.

“Breast milk is an invaluable gift from God for a mother as the fulfillment of the rights for her child. For the gift given, it is very important for a mother to be able to maintain and give the trust of the gift to her baby. Since this is an extraordinary gift, breast milk has short-term and long-term benefits that function to complete the immune system, growth, development, gastrointestinal function, cognitive function, and so on. Breast milk is a very important investment for the future growth of children,” said dr. Dimas Tri Anantyo, Sp. A, Pediatrician at Diponegoro National Hospital, Diponegoro University.

dr. Dimas said that breast milk has the elements that babies need according to the specific needs ofbaby’s micronutrients and macronutrients according to the age development interval. For example, when a baby turns 1 month old, the composition of breast milk undergoes dynamic changes (eg:changes in levels of lactose, protein, fat, and enzymes) adjusting nutritional needs according to changes in body weight and physiological functions needed by the baby.

“Breast milk contains protein, lactose, essential fatty acids, as well as other macro and micronutrient components needed by babies, especially for brain development in the first 1000 days of a child’s life. The period of the first 1000 days of life is the period starting from conception until the child turns 2 years old. In this period the human brain experiences the most rapid growth and development compared to other age periods. That is why the fulfillment of macro and micronutrients, especially fat is very important to ensure optimal brain growth and development, because fat is one of the main components that make up fat tissue. In addition to macronutrients and micronutrients, breast milk contains antibodies, growth hormones, probiotics, prebiotics, antibacterials, vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial components needed to create a conducive atmosphere for the physiological ecosystem in the baby’s body,” he said.

If a mother feels her breast milk is lacking, dr. Dimas will first identify whether the nutrition consumed by the mother is sufficient. Meeting the needs of fluids, vitamins, calories, and other important components must be ensured for a mother so that her milk production runs smoothly. In addition, mothers also need to consume natural breast milk booster or in standardized forms according to doctor’s recommendations. Breast milk should be pumped regularly every 2-3 hours, even though the production is still in small amount. The routine pumping will send impulses to the brain center to refill the breast glands. If the fact is that breast milk is still insufficient, donor breast milk can be considered as an alternative to temporarily meet the baby’s needs. Of course, the given breast milk donor must be of a standard, from medical screening and consideration of the rules of the Shari’a. Breastfeeding mothers need good and sufficient nutritional intake to optimize milk production. There are several types of vegetables for breastfeeding mothers that can be consumed so that milk production runs smoothly in order to meet nutritional needs of mothers and babies. These vegetables include beans, green vegetables, sweet leaf, soybean, papaya leaf, and so on.

“Breastfeeding is a right that is needed for babies. To prepare optimal and sustainable breastfeeding, careful planning is needed from the time the mother is pregnant, giving birth and when the baby is born. The surrounding environment in the form of parental and family support will have a significant impact to optimize production of breast milk to babies. Never forget that breastfeeding is an important investment for a child’s future, there have been many studies that have examined the benefits of breastfeeding, its relation to IQ, a child’s ability at school and work, opinions that children will receive when they are already earning and so on. So it is necessary to properly maintain breastfeeding as a treasure that must be passed on to children to optimize growth, development, immunity and cognitive. Breastfeeding is a prospective investment to support the creation of a better future for children,” said dr. Dimas. (Linda – Public Relations)

Translated by: Titis – Public Relations