Milk is synonymous of Cow’s Milk in our country, though cow’s milk has all the necessary nutrients for children, it might not suit babies less than a year.
Many are ignorant of the fact that cow’s milk might not suit an infants stomach not taking in the nutritional harm it causes in replacing breastmilk.
Feeding an infant cow’s milk is one of the main reason of diarrhea and malnourishment in India.
There are lot of different opinions for introducing cow milk for babies below 1 year.
Most of the pediatricians do not encourage cow’s milk in the first year of life.
When the baby crosses its 6th month there is lot of pressure on the mother to start cow’s milk, as the popular belief is that mothers milk would not meet the growing baby’s demand. It is not true, as giving cow’s milk may harm the baby rather than helping them.
Why no cow milk for babies before 1 year?
When the above question is put through the pediatricians, they answer in medical jargon that cow’s milk has more proteins, more fat less iron etc… This answer satisfies the parents, and the implication behind it is forgotten.
To understand clearly why it should not be given, let us first compare Human milk with Cow’s milk. (only the important aspects are compared, there are more constituents in both the milks)
Component (in 100gm)
Casein : Whey protein
The table shows that human milk contains more Unsaturated Fat than cow’s milk. There is an important significance behind it
- Unsaturated Fats mainly DHA and AA help in Brain development.
- In Humans the brain develops very rapidly during the first year of life, tripling in size by 1 year.
- Cow’s milk has more saturated fatty acids which help in body building rather than brain development.
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