Although breast milk is good, sometimes it must be stopped.

A few years ago, advertisements for infant formula milk powder were everywhere. The nutritional ingredients of smallpox showed young mothers the hope of getting rid of the heavy responsibility of breast-feeding, and even the illusion that milk powder was better than breast milk.

In recent years, with the popularization of maternal and infant knowledge, people have gradually accepted the concept that breast-feeding is absolutely superior to milk powder. However, this does not mean that even if the mother encounters illness, takes medicine and other unexpected situations, she must still insist on breast-feeding. Choosing breast milk, milk powder or other alternative foods should be a decision after weighing the pros and cons.

Breast milk is the best natural food

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that exclusive breastfeeding within 6 months is the best way to feed infants. It is best for mothers to continue breastfeeding until the age of 2 or more after infants are supplemented with supplementary foods. [1]

1. Breast milk nutrition is more suitable for infants.

From the nutritional point of view, breast milk is not as comprehensive as formula milk powder, but it is more [suitable] and more meets the growth and development needs of infants.

    Breast milk has a high sugar-lipid ratio, Babies absorb quickly, which is conducive to eating less and eating more. The fat of breast milk is mostly long-chain unsaturated fatty acids, which are easy to digest and absorb. Breast milk contains more whey protein that infants can absorb and utilize than milk, and contains less casein that will cause kidney burden to infants. The proportion of calcium and phosphorus in breast milk is very appropriate, which is conducive to good absorption of calcium. [2, 3]

2. Breast milk can improve the immunity of infants.

The infant’s immune function is not perfect, Breast milk contains a large number of immune cells, regulatory factors and immunoglobulins, especially secretory immunoglobulin SIgA, It can stay on the surface of nasopharynx and digestive tract mucosa of infants to form an immune barrier. According to research reports, breast-feeding significantly reduces the incidence of some diseases in infants, such as respiratory and urinary tract infection, diabetes, intestinal inflammation, lymphoma and allergic diseases. [4]

3. Breast milk can help infants maintain the balance of intestinal flora.

The balance of intestinal flora is the guarantee for infants to absorb nutrition. There are many probiotics in breast milk and the well-known intestinal helper [bifid factor], which can help infants to establish a stable and healthy intestinal flora environment. In contrast, pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli in the intestinal tract of non-breast-fed infants are more likely to become popular. [3]

4. Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby

For mothers, breastfeeding can regulate postpartum hormone secretion, promote uterine contraction, make the body recover more quickly, and effectively reduce the incidence of postpartum depression. [5] In the long run, breastfeeding can reduce the risks of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. [2]

One advantage that cannot be ignored is that breast-feeding increases the chances of physical contact between mothers and children, gives children enough sense of security, and plays a very important role in promoting children’s mental health. [2]

When should mothers give up their love and stop breast milk?

The health of mothers and children always comes first. No matter how beneficial breast-feeding is, it is sometimes necessary to give in. Under the following special circumstances, breast-feeding does more harm than good and must be stopped.

1. During medication

Whether breast-feeding during medication is the most common problem encountered by mothers in their lives. In fact, most oral drugs have very low concentrations in milk, and short-term and small doses will not have obvious side effects on infants. However, if mothers need to take long-term and large doses of drugs, they must consult a doctor in advance and suspend breast-feeding if necessary.

It should be emphasized that the following drugs must be stopped even if taken for a short period of time: drugs for metabolic diseases, mental diseases, chemotherapy drugs and drugs with radioisotopes. [8]

Common small colds have no effect on lactation, but one must be cautious when facing these two infections. One is acute tuberculosis infection, which is a fatal blow to infants with poor immunity. The other is mastitis caused by drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Once the baby is infected, it will face the dilemma that ordinary antibiotics cannot do. Relatively speaking, other types of mastitis are not serious. If the nipple is damaged, the milk can be squeezed into the bottle for indirect feeding. [2]

2. Virus infection

Currently infected with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus, Whether HIV) mothers can breast-feed is still controversial in academia. WHO suggests that it is best to choose milk powder and other feeding methods. If they have to, they can breast-feed exclusively and do not recommend mixed feeding. [6] Some researchers believe that antiviral therapy can ensure the safety of breast-feeding [7], but it has not been approved by health departments in most countries.

3. During vaccination

Generally speaking, vaccines are relatively safe. However, smallpox vaccine and yellow fever vaccine are absolutely prohibited for mothers during lactation. Once vaccinated, breast-feeding must be stopped immediately. In addition, mothers who choose to take drugs, drink alcohol and smoke must also give up the right to nurse their babies. [2]

Which babies cannot eat breast milk?

In addition to the above-mentioned influencing factors from mothers, some problems existing in infants themselves are also taboos in breast feeding.

1. Lactose intolerance

Due to the lack of corresponding lactose metabolizing enzymes, infants cannot absorb lactose-containing breast milk or milk powder after eating, and will suffer from diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms.

2. Phenylketonuria

Although the content of phenylalanine in breast milk is lower than that in milk, infants lacking phenylalanine hydroxylase will accumulate phenylalanine in the body after eating too much breast milk, which will lead to mental retardation in severe cases. Infants with phenylketonuria should take special formula milk powder.

You’d better not stop when you can

Yes, you are not wrong. Hepatitis B mothers can breast-feed their babies when their liver function is good and their serum viral load is not high.

One quarter of hepatitis B virus in China is mother-to-child transmission, However, this does not mean that mothers with hepatitis B have lost the opportunity to breast-feed. Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus is mainly through placental intrauterine infection or blood transmission during childbirth. Breastfeeding has more advantages than disadvantages when properly handled. For this high-risk baby, hepatitis B immunoglobulin and hepatitis B vaccine should be injected within 24 hours of birth. If the mother’s liver function is good at this time and the serum viral load is not high, she can breast-feed the baby completely. [2, 9]

Mothers suffering from various chronic wasting diseases (such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hyperthyroidism, lupus erythematosus, etc.) can also breast-feed if their physical conditions permit through doctor’s evaluation. However, the time of breast-feeding should be appropriately shortened and their nutrition and rest should be paid attention to.

Sometimes, the mother’s love flows in the milk. Sometimes, the mother’s love is stored in the bottle. Although breast milk is good, the health of the baby and the mother is the most important.