Baby

The quality of breast milk


Often nursing mothers are concerned about the quality of their own milk. Their anxiety is sometimes fueled by myths and comments from outsiders. Meanwhile, the truth about what affects the nutritional value, taste and smell of milk can be surprising.

Pregnancy duration and milk quality

The duration of pregnancy affects the quality of milk. If the baby is born prematurely, i.e. before 37 weeks of pregnancy, the milk produced by the woman is different; contains more protein, fat, antibodies and is richer in some minerals: e.g. iron.

Milk changes over time

This is the most important property of mother's milk, which makes it perfect food for children at every stage of their growth. At first, the body produces colostrum, which is the first food, then within a few days colostrum changes into transitional milk, whose caloric content increases. After about two weeks from delivery, the woman's body produces mature milk, the quantity and quality of which is adapted to the needs of the baby. The transitional stage may last until the infant is six weeks old.
The milk also changes during feeding. At the beginning, in the first minutes of the meal, it is more watery, with time it turns into milk containing more fat.

Milk quality and mother's diet

Contrary to what is thought: the mother's diet has little effect on milk quality. Of course, we're not talking about extreme malnutrition. This fact confirms that the child's needs are met in the first place, and the mother's in the second.
The level of nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat and protein is constant in our milk. Just like the amount of minerals such as iron and calcium, which is not affected by the diet of a nursing mother. The amount of fat-soluble vitamins depends on the resources accumulated during pregnancy and also does not depend on the mother's diet. The situation is slightly different in the case of vitamins dissolved in water (from groups B and C), if a woman has a little varied diet after having a baby, she should remember to supplement these ingredients.

Milk status and infection

Health status also affects milk quality. If a woman goes through an infection, she must take into account that more milk appears in her milk. This is also beneficial from the point of view of a child who is additionally protected against illness.

The taste and smell of milk changes with the mother's diet

Truth. However, this should not be given too much importance. Most often it does not have a major impact on the baby's desire to suck. Mainly because the toddler was already convinced by various flavors in his mother's belly, getting to know them. Already after birth, very few cases are known where due to taste or smell natural feeding was rejected.

Stress and milk quality

Good mood of a woman is also influenced by the well-being of the woman, her approach to motherhood, as well as how she copes with stress. A child, like an adult, perfectly senses the emotions of another person. Even if they don't betray this word, body language tells the truth.

There are cases when high stress led to the disappearance of lactation, as well as cases when mothers observed that children after breastfeeding were restless. As confirmed by experienced lactation counselors, not always the baby's anxiety after feeding is related to allergy or non-acceptance of some diet component, but it is often the result of accumulating tension, fatigue and stress in the mother that a woman cannot cope with.