Human milk is ideally suited to the development needs of the human baby. The needs of the offspring of different types of animals are similarly met by their own mother’s milk. The formula of human milk is different from that of animal milk. All our village mothers’ breast feed for their babies and do not even consider an alternative, but somehow one finds that the educated urban mother often complains that she does not have enough milk and even though she says she wants to breast feed her baby, she soon resorts to a bottle because she believes her milk is not enough.
Why is this so? Why is it that the simple village woman who is probably less well nourished than the urban mother, is able to successfully breast feed her baby while the other thinks she cannot? The first one knows no alternative; breast feeding comes naturally to her. She feeds the baby wherever she is, whether at home or visiting friends, alone or in company. Even though breast milk secretion is governed by hormones, the hormones in turn are governed by the mother’s emotion, desire and the joy of being able to feed the baby. Her own desire and motivation seem to be the key.
Unfortunately, the casual attitude of doctors and nurses to breast feeding does not encourage the mother to breast feed her baby or give her sufficient confidence in her ability to breast feed. The minute the mother poses a problem, the alternative of bottle feeding is suggested. As soon as the baby cries, it is assumed that the mother’s milk is not enough and the bottle is offered immediately.