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The A Z Guide on Newborn Nutrition

Everyone knows that during pregnancy, the tiny one inside you gets all the nutrition he needs from what you eat. But you should continue to focus on maternal nutrition even after the baby is born. That is because your newbornâs nutrition depends on your breast milk. For the first 6 months at least, your breast milkâs quality will determine his or her growth and development. The right kind of nutrition can also reduce the risk of long term diseases. Moreover, a babyâs weight usually increases by three folds during the first year. And this spurt requires the support of good nutrition. So, read on to know about it all.

Babyâs first food

Right after a baby is born, he is placed close to the motherâs breast so that he can latch on to your breast and drink colostrum or the first milk. It is the fluid that is released from the breast right before the actual milk production begins, and is rich in nutrients and antibodies like IgA and IgG. These have excellent immunity-boosting properties.

The first 6 months

Experts consider breast milk as the best nutritional source for infants during the first six months 3. While some mothers continue to breastfeed till their baby turns one, it is essential to introduce complementary foods after six months, since only breast milk cannot fulfil the nutritional needs of the baby then.

Loaded with essential nutrients and antibodies,for the first 6 months, breast milk is perfect for a babyâs development. 4 An alternate source of this nutrition is formula milk, but only if the mother is unable to breastfeed due to some medical reason. Some major nutrients that babies need to grow well during the first year are 5:

ï Iron: Essential for brain development and production of red blood cells, iron can be given as liquid supplements to babies who are breastfed, but as per doctorâs recommendation.
ï Vitamins: These help a babyâs vision development, immunity development and convert food into energy. Vitamins boost overall health too.
ï Zinc & Folate: These nutrients play a key role in cell growth and repair.
ï Calcium: It strengthens bones and teeth.
ï Proteins & Carbohydrates: These nutrients are sources of energy and boost the overall growth and development of babies.

Preterm babies

Babies born before full term miss the chance to be in the womb for a sufficient time and are relatively deficient in their store of nutrients. While breastfeeding should be their primary source of nutrition, these babies also require an additional supplement called human milk fortifier.This fulfils their extra need of calories, proteins, vitamins, iron and calcium. 6 Babies fed with formula milk should be given supplements of essential nutrients like Vitamin A, C, D and folic acid.

Importance of good nutrition

Good feeding practices and appropriate nutrition are crucial if you want your newborn to grow up steadily and reach the developmental milestones at the right time. Nutrition has a significant role to play in mental and cognitive development, physical growth, performance, productivity and overall wellbeing. And the quality of nutrition, especially for breastfed babies, comes from healthy mothers. So, moms-to-be and new moms must consume a nutrient-rich diet to ensure the good health of newborns.

About Author Prapti Chauhan :

(Name) is a former health expert with 20 years of industry experience. Her passion for the field encourages her to share her knowledge through blogs & articles which provides instructive insights on stem cell banking, cord cell preservation and umbilical cord blood banking.

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Article Added on Thursday, September 10, 2020
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