I have never breastfed a baby but I have plenty of friends who have so when I saw this story I checked with them and yes- milk is different depending on the age of the baby (full term vs. preemie) and the needs of your baby. Amazing. Read on.
New mom Mallory Smothers, who is breastfeeding, noticed that her little one seemed to be fighting a cold one day, but that wasn’t all she noticed. After pumping, she also noticed that her milk looked very different than it normally did.
“I read an article from a medical journal not too long ago about how Mom’s milk changes to tailor baby’s needs in more ways than just caloric intake.. So this doctor discusses that when a baby nurses, it creates a vacuum in which the infant’s saliva sneaks into the mother’s nipple. There, it is believed that mammary gland receptors interpret the “baby spit backwash” for bacteria and viruses and, if they detect something amiss (i.e., the baby is sick or fighting off an infection), Mom’s body will actually change the milk’s immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby’s particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies. (Science backs this up. A 2013 Clinical and Translational Immunology study found that when a baby is ill, the numbers of leukocytes in its mother’s breast milk spike.) So I filed that away in the back of my mind until I was packing frozen milk into the big deep freeze today.
I pumped the milk on the left Thursday night before we laid down for bed. I nurse Baby every 2 hours or so overnight and don’t pump until we get up for the day. I noticed in the wee hours of Friday morning, 3 AM or so– she was congested, irritable, and sneezing ALOT. Probably a cold, right?
When we got up Friday morning, I pumped, just as we always do. What I pumped is on the right side of the photo.
I didn’t notice a difference until today, but look at how much more the milk I produced Friday resembles colostrum (The super milk full of antibodies and leukocytes you make during the first few days after birth) and this comes after nursing the baby with a cold all night long..
Pretty awesome huh?! The human body never ceases to amaze me.”
Isn’t that COOL??
If you are a nursing mom or if you just see someone give a nursing mom any problems for nursing in public, you let them know- REMIND THEM- that breasts are nature’s healthiest fast food restaurant. Let them know just how amazing they are and then tell them to mind their own business.