Do you give exclusive breastfeeding to your child? Exclusive breastfeeding is one of the things that should be done by a mother to maintain and support the growth of the baby.
ASI, food with a complete package for babies
Breast milk is the most perfect food for newborns, because it is very easily digested by babies whose digestive system is still sensitive and has a very rich and appropriate nutrient content for baby's needs. Not only that, breast milk is also considered as a protection for babies so that they are not exposed to various infectious diseases that are vulnerable to babies. Some studies say that breast milk decreases the risk of babies getting infectious diseases due to bacteria, parasites, fungi, and viruses. The first milk coming out, called colostrum, contains IgA, an immune substance that is not present in formula milk.
The content of breast milk which is very appropriate for the baby's needs makes breast milk easily absorbed and digested by the body. In addition, breast milk contains digestive enzymes that facilitate absorption of nutrients in the baby's body. Giving ASI also prevents babies from being exposed to chronic and acute diseases in the future. Therefore, breast milk is the best way to maintain the health and nutrition status of children. If every child is given exclusive breastfeeding, there are at least 800 million children survivors of various infectious diseases, malnutrition and even premature death. In breast milk, various vitamins and minerals are needed by babies to support their growth. In fact, breastfeeding also affects the cognitive abilities and learning of children until he grows up, how can it be?
ASI affects children's cognitive abilities
Various studies have proven the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding in infants. Exclusive breastfeeding is breastfeeding for 6 full months without giving any food or drink to the baby other than breast milk and then continuing until the child is 2 years old but accompanied by the provision of complementary breast milk.
A study involving 1,300 participants from Boston Children's Hospital stated that children who were given exclusive breastfeeding had higher IQ and cognitive abilities than their mothers who were not breastfed. In this study, IQ tests were carried out when children were 3 years and 7 years old. In children aged 3 years and exclusively breastfed, they are found to have better motor skills, drawing, and visual abilities. Whereas for children aged 7 years, the tests performed were tests of verbal and nonverbal abilities, and it was found that verbal and nonverbal abilities in children given exclusive breastfeeding were better.
Other studies also state that children who are given exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months without any food or drink and then continue until the child is 2 years old - accompanied by MP-ASI, have an IQ of 4 to 5 points higher than children who are not given exclusive breastfeeding. In fact, the study conducted a comparison of the duration of breastfeeding. Children who are only breastfed for the first 3 months of life have an IQ of 2 points higher than children who are not breastfed at all. While breastfeeding carried out for 4-6 months is known to have an IQ value of 3.8 higher than for children who were only breastfed for 3 months. But this figure is still lower when compared to children who consume exclusive breastfeeding for 6 full months and continue until the age of 2 years.
Breast milk contains DHA which is important for children's brain development
Various studies have stated that breast milk has a very good impact on children's survival, related to nutritional status, health status, and development and growth of children. Breast milk can also support brain development and infant growth. The results of the analysis involving various studies prove that breast milk can improve children's cognitive function. This is partly because breast milk contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid, which is a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is very good for the development of the child's brain. Every mother who produces breast milk contains DHA and AA in her breast milk, but each mother has different levels of DHA and AA, depending on the diet and food consumed by the mother. Some studies suggest that mothers who often consume seafood high in DHA, such as salmon and tuna, have more DHA content in their milk.
Not only that, breast milk also contains various essential bioactive components that are useful for growth and development of the central nervous system. The bioactive component that influences brain development is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF). Both of these components are found in breast milk at least after 90 days after birth. In baby's body cells, GDNF and BDNF enhance the development and defense of central nerve cells which then affect the working of the baby's brain.
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