There is no doubt about the power of the human body, but the power we hold as mothers transcends into another realm. From the very beginning of your baby's growth journey, we provide a nurturing and comfortable environment; from the womb to the comforting embrace of your arms.
Another amazing power we possess is the ability to produce breastmilk - a nutritious supply of food for your baby. Breastmilk forms a foundation for your baby's overall health, focusing on the preservation and growth of short and long term physical, neurological, and emotional wellbeing.
Breast milk (AKA liquid gold) provides the perfect nutrition for babies to consume during their early months of childhood. When your baby first enters the world, they are exposed to various external factors causing your little one to be more susceptible to infections and viruses. Breastmilk is a beautiful, living and essential fluid us mothers secrete that contain germ-fighting molecules, healthy bacteria, and white blood cells to help your baby fight against bacteria and viruses.
Milk composition alterations; before, during and after breastfeeding:
Whether your baby needs more nutrients of germ-fighting molecules, healthy bacteria, or white blood cells - your body adjusts and adapts to your baby's needs, providing your baby nutrient dense breastmilk. Breastmilk is truly remarkable. When breastfeeding, your baby's saliva provides a clear indication of their immune status to your body. In response to this, your body receives this crucial information and produces specific nutrients to support your baby to help fight off any nasty bacteria or viruses — then later consumed through feeding.
Providing a little bit of TLC can alter your breast milk composition. Through the simple act of hugs and kisses, there is a higher likelihood you will be in contact with bacteria or infections your baby has caught. Your body is then able to produce antibodies to fight these viruses which is then fed back to your baby through breastfeeding.
Did you know that Vitamin D can do wonders to your breastmilk? As simple as 15 mins out in the sun daily, can produce 10-20000 IU within your body, which is then fed back to your baby through feeding.
Diet and nutrition:
Your diet can ultimately alter the composition of your breast milk. All the nourishing food consumed during pregnancy and postpartum will influence the quality of your breastmilk. For example; if you are consuming a lot of fibre, protein and fatty acids, your baby is then fed through these wonderful nutrients through feeding.
One of the most important nutrients for a baby is found within breast milk - oligosaccharides (also known as prebiotics). Prebiotics are the powerhouse of strengthening gut health, digestion and immunity - which form the overall health and wellbeing of your child.
Your diet and nutrition is also important for your own health and wellbeing as breastmilk can reach into the stores of the your body to compose itself to the requirements of the baby. This can mean that if you are not adequately nourished, your stores may be depleted.
Follow your instincts:
It is completely normal for newborns to be fed frequently as their tummies are very little. While we may be imposed rules around frequency of feeds by doctors and midwives, you should feed according to your own instincts of your child's needs.
Whilst the act of breastfeeding may seem primal and natural, it can still be challenging especially when we are not exposed to it as much as traditional societies were. We understand that it takes time, effort, dedication, and patience to figure it out. Not all mothers receive enough education and encouragement. So this past week, we've dedicated time to share resources to support you on your breastfeeding journey from the first latch right through to the very last drop.