Data from the World Health Organisation indicates that less than 40% of mothers breastfeed their children in the initial months of their life. However breast milk happens to be one of the most important foods for new born babies.
"Human milk is a unique food designed specifically for the needs of a human infant," said Dr Mohammed Ilyas Khan, Certified Lactation Consultant, Al Khor Hospital. "Breastfeeding during the first six months of life, supplies vital nutrients and protection from disease, and continued breastfeeding after six months, for up to two years of age, is good. One of the best decisions a mother can make is to breastfeed."
Researchers have identified more than 200 nutrients in mother's milk that make it the best food for a baby. Many more constituents are yet to be identified.
"Researches have shown that mother's milk matches much more than 50 percent of the baby's genetic material. Milk from other species and plant-based fluids are genetically different from the infant," Dr Khan said.
Human milk also boosts immunity and guards the child against obesity and diabetes.