Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Stomach

A women’s breastmilk has been feeding babies for many years. After the formula industry took off, mothers turned to bottle feeding because it seemed to save time and energy. However, after some time and research numerous health problems began to rise, such as child obesity, infections, food allergies, and issues with immune systems. Poor immune systems is one of the biggest problems we face today because babies are not getting the proper essentials they need during infancy to grow up strong and healthy.

 

Today we are going to discuss the benefits breastmilk has on a baby’ stomach:

 

If you are unaware, your gut is almost 70% of your immune system, which means your gut plays a significant role in your health and well-being. When a baby is born, and before they reach the age of six months, they have immature digestive systems, and their gastrointestinal tract does not produce the enzymes they need to protect their stomach. They are completely dependent on their nutrition they receive during this short period of their lives. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months after birth because breastmilk contains the specific nutrition and enzymes a baby needs to proper gut development.

While breastmilk contains specific enzymes your baby needs for gut development and immune protection, such as sIgA, amylase, and lipase, it also contains proteins and other good bacteria which help protect your baby from the dangers in the environment. These elements are crucial for your baby’s gut health because their stomach is then able to gather good bacteria to line their guts before bad bacteria can get in and potentially cause harm.

One of the best antibodies in breastmilk is sIgA, which is a passive form of antibody protection that lines the GI tract. SIgA also plays a key role in protecting susceptible areas such as the oral cavity and lungs, and it even helps us as we get older from forms of illness and stress. SIgA is a primary gut immune defense, and when disturbed our bodies become more prone to reactions associated with IgE, an inflammatory reaction, and IgG, which can result in sickness, food allergies, and other sensitivities.

Breastfeeding also helps with digestion. A baby who breastfeeds is able to digest their food a lot faster than a baby who is fed formula because breastmilk is easier on the stomach. Furthermore, breastfeed babies have also been known to have a more acidic stomach. This is why formula fed babies become constipated more often, and why their stools tend to be denser.

 

Developing a strong gut health is important for everyone, but especially babies because they are more prone to illnesses earlier in their lives. When babies are breastfeed they are able to obtain all the necessary enzymes and good bacteria they need to help ward off disease and potential harm, unlike formula that doesn’t have sIgA which is detrimental during the first few months.