Timing: Most infants start feeding within the first 6 hours after birth.
Most important factor for efficient breast feeding: Adequate hydration of mother.
Type of milk: Colostrum is the main breast milk during the first 7–10 days after labor, after which it transforms to the established form. Colostrum has a high content of proteins, macrophages, immunoglobulins, epidermal growth factor (for GI epithelization), and small amount of calories compared to established milk.
Advantages of Human Milk
Bifidus factor: A glycoprotein that stimulates the growth of lactobacillus bifidus and lactobacillus acidophilus in the infant’s intestine. Lactobacilli convert lactose to lactic acid; which kills pathogens and promotes absorption of calcium and iron.
Essential fatty acids: e.g., Linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids. They are essential for maturation of the CNS.
Iron: High iron content with high bioavailability, hence, routine iron supplementation is not needed...