The best food for the newborn baby is mother's milk. Breast milk is free from contamination and adulteration and supplies nutrients in almost correct amounts and propositions needed by the infants. It also provides an opportunity for close contact and emotional satisfaction of both mother and child. Breast milk contains immunoglobulins (protective proteins) that protect the child to some extent against infections.
Some mothers practice giving boiled water, fruit juices or glucose water, which is not essential. With breast milk there are less serious illness and allergies. Babies who were breast-fed have lesser chance of developing asthma in later life. The infant of less than 34 weeks has poor sucking and swallowing reflexes. In such cases expressed breast milk can be given.
During the first 3 months the mothers diet should be given great importance. She must have a well balanced diet. Major handicap of breast milk is deficiency of iron. Till three months of age iron store in the baby is sufficient for the requirement. After three months iron has to be supplemented.