of Breast Feeding and a Baby’s Rights

وَالْوَالِدَاتُ يُرْضِعْنَ أَوْلاَدَهُنَّ حَوْلَيْنِ كَامِلَيْنِ لِمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يُتِمَّ الرَّضَاعَةَ وَعلَى الْمَوْلُودِ لَهُ رِزْقُهُنَّ وَكِسْوَتُهُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ لاَ تُكَلَّفُ نَفْسٌ إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا لاَ تُضَآرَّ وَالِدَةٌ بِوَلَدِهَا وَلاَ مَوْلُودٌ لَّهُ بِوَلَدِهِ وَعَلَى الْوَارِثِ مِثْلُ ذَلِكَ فَإِنْ أَرَادَا فِصَالاً عَن تَرَاضٍ مِّنْهُمَا وَتَشَاوُرٍ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْهِمَا وَإِنْ أَرَدتُّمْ أَن تَسْتَرْضِعُواْ أَوْلاَدَكُمْ فَلاَ جُنَاحَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذَا سَلَّمْتُم مَّا آتَيْتُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ وَاعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ اللّهَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌ

[2:233] Para ibu hendaklah menyusukan anak-anaknya selama dua tahun penuh, yaitu bagi yang ingin menyempurnakan penyusuan. Dan kewajiban ayah memberi makan dan pakaian kepada para ibu dengan cara ma’ruf. Seseorang tidak dibebani melainkan menurut kadar kesanggupannya. Janganlah seorang ibu menderita kesengsaraan karena anaknya dan seorang ayah karena anaknya, dan warispun berkewajiban demikian. Apabila keduanya ingin menghentikan penyusuan (sebelum dua tahun) dengan kerelaan keduanya dan permusyawaratan, maka tidak ada dosa atas keduanya. Dan jika kamu ingin anakmu disusukan oleh orang lain, maka tidak ada dosa bagimu apabila kamu memberikan pembayaran menurut yang patut. Bertakwalah kamu kepada Allah dan ketahuilah bahwa Allah Maha Melihat apa yang kamu kerjakan.

(alBaqarah, 2:233)

Advantages of Breast Feeding (from Madkour’s Essentials of Pediatrics)

advantages to BOTH mom and the baby…

ADVANTAGES TO THE MOTHER:

1. convenient: economic, always available and does not require preparation

2. emotional satisfaction: build strong bonding and loving relationship with the baby (it is only natural isn’t it?)

3. oxytocin released during lactation can helps uterine contraction thus controlling postpartum hemorrhage (abnormal profuse bleeding after giving birth). it also helps in uterine involution (shrinking of the womb to its normal size after childbirth)

4. ideal for birth spacing (natural family planning): by giving exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, ovulation is suppressed in 90% of cases

5. lactational amenorrhea (absence of menstrual period) as a result of suppressed ovulation prevents iron loss

6. the mother will regain normal weight and usual activities faster

7. decrease risk of cancer breast, cancer ovary as well as osteomalacia

ADVANTAGES TO THE BABY:

1. Natural food

2. self regulated

3. always fresh and free from bacteria

4. of proper temperature

5. better intelligence (have something to do with brain development)

6. less digestion problems, colic and constipation, so the baby will sleep well

7. gives emotional security and strengthen infant-maternal bonding

8. perfect balance*

9. anti-infective*

10. anti-inflammatory*

11. anti-allergic*

*discussed below in detail

8. perfect balance (especially regarding protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals)

1) protein: 70% of protein is whey protein which is  soluble and easily digested

2) fat:

-the fat globules are small in size and surrounded by water soluble lipoprotein, so it is easily digestable

-it is rich in essential long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (eg: linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids) which promote brain growth and skin integrity

-high content of lipase which can digest up to 90% of milk triglycerides

-high amount of fat in hind milk (the last drops of breast milk) helps the baby to reach satiety, thus preventing overfeed which can prevent obesity

-lots of cholesterol for myelination of nervous system (important for the nervous system functions)

also helps to fight against atherosclerosis (a disease that can obstruct blood flow) and coronary disease in later life

3) Carbohydrate

-high level of lactose that provides galactose forming galactolipids that promotes brain growth

-oligosaccharide in it can helpact as prebiotics that promote lactobacilli growth (a normal flora in our body that plays a role in digestion)

4) Vitamins and minerals

-the colostrum (the 1st yellow colored milk that flow following childbirth) contains high amount of zinc that prevents necrotizing enterocolitis (a serious disease of the bowel that leads to abdominal distension and appearance of blood and mucus in the baby’s stool, and even perforation of the intestine)

-high level of vitamin E, C, D, A and niacin

-low phosphate level, which means less risk of neonatal hypocalcemic convulsion (involuntary contractions of the muscle due to low level of calcium)

-less risk for rickets by:

(1)high amount of biologically active vitamin D

(2)ideal Calcium : Phosphate ratio results in optimal absorption of both

(3)high content of lactose–>increase calcium absorption

(4)no calcium lost in stool in form of insoluble calcium palmitate (can’t really explain this)

-reduce risk of ferum deficiency anemia during the 1st 6 months by:

(1)high ferum content

(2)promoting better ferum absorption (due to the acidic bowel of the infant and high level of vitamin C, E and copper)

(3)no ferum loss in stool (if given cow’s milk, there’s a risk of allergy  to cow’s milk which can lead to repeated microhemorrhage (bleeding little amount of blood))

-decrease renal solute load (1/4 of cow’s milk mineral content)

-low amount of sodium to prevent hypernatremia that can cause sudden fetal death!!

9. anti-infective

1)provides immunological protection against GIT and respiratory infection

2) contain bacterial and viral antibodies (Ig) (both involve in the baby’s defense against infection)

3) has secretory IgA that forms protective coating for mucosa of GIT (to prevent diseases related to the organs from esophagus to anus, especially stomach and intestine)

4) lactoferrin inhibits E. coli growth by depriving it of ferum (acting as an iron-binding protein) (bad E. coli requires ferum to grow)

5)Probiotics: lactose+oligosaccharide+bifidus factor all promote growth of lactobacilli, a protective bacilli

6) lipase kills giardia lamblia and entamoeba hysolytica (both are bad parasites that can cause diarrhea)

7) milk macrophages phagocytose & kill bacteria and fungi. also they synthesize complement, lysozyme and lactoferrin. all important in the baby’s defense mechanism

8) lymphocytes:

-B-lymphocyte–>secrete Ab (secretory IgA)

-T-lymphocyte–>involves in cell mediated immunity

10.anti-inflammatory

1)alpha-tocopherol

2)antioxidants

3)cytoprotective agents

11. antiallergic

-agaisnt allergic diseases like:

1)atopic eczema

2)allergic rhinitis

3)asthma

4)allergic gastroenteropathy (regurgitation, colic, diarrhea, intestinal bleeding)

—————-

وَوَصَّيْنَا الْإِنسَانَ بِوَالِدَيْهِ حَمَلَتْهُ أُمُّهُ وَهْناً عَلَى وَهْنٍ وَفِصَالُهُ فِي عَامَيْنِ أَنِ اشْكُرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيْكَ إِلَيَّ الْمَصِيرُ

[31:14] Dan Kami perintahkan kepada manusia (berbuat baik) kepada dua orang ibu-bapanya; ibunya telah mengandungnya dalam keadaan lemah yang bertambah-tambah, dan berhenti menyusu dalam dua tahun. Bersyukurlah kepadaKu dan kepada dua orang ibu bapakmu, hanya kepada-Kulah kembalimu. (Luqman, 31:14)

amazing isn’t it? while the alQuran didn’t mention many things directly, Allah speaks about breastfeeding directly: how long to feed, of hiring other women to feed etc. it is undeniable that breastfeeding is a crucial part of a baby’s development and growth. and science nowadays has proven that the mother’s milk has many advantages to both mother and baby.

and it’s interesting to compare the parental leave of different countries. compare here. do you know that Sweden has 16 months parenteral leave (almost 2 years!). how generous! however, it doesn’t really matter how long is the parenteral leave, but if there is a system or an organization that can provide breastfeeding mothers for hire, it should be okay for both the parents and the baby, though I’m pretty sure most moms want to breastfeed their own child, but at the current situation where clearly there are more working mothers than those who are not, it is an option that should be considered. anyway, it is the right of the baby to be breastfed, right? if he is given the choice, I’m pretty sure he would only accept breast milk

wallahua’lam

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    suhailsufian said,

    salam, thanx!
    (but will like this better if it is written in normal english)


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