***Please note our articles are intended to inform and empower mums to make their own decisions. We aren’t looking to start debates, we just want to share facts about topics some mums may be interested in
Many new mums feel concerned about their breast milk supply, especially during the first few weeks when their breasts will go through a cyclone of changes.
Here are 10 fascinating facts about breast milk that will probably blow your mind!
But whether you’re on the fence about breastfeeding, need some supplementary top-ups or choose to use formula, ultimately, as long as you and your baby are both happy that is all the matters.
10 interesting things to know about breast milk
1. To produce breast milk, mums melt their own fat
No wonder they say you lose weight when you breastfeed! Mums dissolve their gluteal-femoral fat (our bottoms) and it turns into liquid gold to feed our babies.
2. It contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs for the first 6 months of life
It’s crazy to think that your little one could live purely off your milk until they are six months old.
Breast milk contains vitamins A, C and E, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, omega 3, omega 6 as well as other useful minerals and vitamins.
3. It helps fight against diseases
The nutritional and immunological components in your breast milk changes every day. This is so it can cater to what your baby needs each day. You milk produces antibodies specific to any infection your baby may be experiencing.
4. Breast milk is alive!
Like yoghurt, breast milk contains good bacteria which is alive and helping to keep your baby’s immune system ticking.
5. Colostrum is low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein
The thick liquid that first comes out of your nipples after giving birth is designed specifically to be easily digestible for your baby. It also contains laxative qualities to help your little one have his or her first poo, also known as meconium.
6. Breast milk changes in flavour
Depending on what you digest, it will flavour your milk accordingly. What’s more, it’s mainly water – 87%!
7. Breast milk helps your baby sleep (in theory)
Your milk releases hormones throughout the day. Your milk is different in the morning and the night and many scientists believe the night milk contains hormones, such as oxytocin, to help your baby sleep.’’
8. Kissing your baby changes your breast milk
Kissing your baby is not just showing your little one you love them, it’s actually a way of communicating with your child. When you kiss your little one, you are also sampling the pathogens on his or her skin, which is then transferred to your lymphatic system to produce antibodies to help boost his or her immune system.
9. The milk your produce each day is different
As your baby grows, your milk will also change to fill your baby’s needs. However long you feed for, your milk doesn’t lose its goodness. Your milk also changes throughout one feed. At the start of a feed, the milk is mostly lactose and at the end of the feed is mostly fat.
10. Breast milk is different for boys and girls
Tests show that milk mums make contains different levels of fat, vitamins, sugar, protein and hormones for baby girls and boys. Harvard University professor Katie Hind says she found higher levels in cortisol (a hormone that regulates metabolism) in milk for male infants. She believes that milk influences behaviour, growth and development.
Whatever you choose to do or what’s chosen for you, between formula feeding or breastfeeding, we at The Healthy Mummy believe FED is best.
Have you tried our breastfeeding-friendly smoothies?
The Healthy Mummy Smoothie has been created to help mums benefit from a wide range of nutrients which can also help support your healthy eating plan and exercise routine if you are trying to lose weight.
The smoothie range has been formulated by leading nutritionists, dieticians and with input from Monash University.
It offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients and important antioxidants.
It’s also free from any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, contains no wheat ingredients, no fructose, is 96% sugar-free and is dairy free.