A baby coming into the world from the protected, bacteria-free womb of its mother must fight against several bacteria in the external world. One of the most important features of mother's milk is that it protects the baby from infections. The protective cells (antibodies) that pass from the mother's milk to the baby cause the baby to start fighting against bacteria it had never known before, as if it had actually been informed. The antibodies contained in great quantities in the form of mother's milk called "colostrum", which is secreted in the first few days after birth, perform an especially protective function. This protection that mother's milk provides for the baby (protection from slight infections to very serious ones), is vitally important for the first few months, and its benefits increase in proportion to the period of breast feeding.
The benefits to the baby of mother's milk become more evident every passing day. One of the things scientists have discovered about mother's milk is that it is highly beneficial for a baby up to two years of age.
The importance of this recent discovery was revealed to us 14 centuries ago:
We have instructed man concerning his parents. Bearing him caused his mother great debility and the period of his weaning was two years: "Give thanks to Me and to your parents. I am your final destination." (Qur'an, 31: 14)
51 Laurence Pernoud, J’attends un enfant, Pierre Horay, Paris, 1995, s. 138
52 Geraldine Lux Flanagan, Beginning Life, A Dorling Kindersley Book, Londra, 1996, s. 103