This Amazing Photo Shows How Breastmilk Transforms To Suit A Sick Baby
Recent studies have proven that breast milk has some truly incredible powers.
It contains just the right composition of nutrients and antibodies each baby needs, as well as epigenetic modulators that program development and a diverse microbiome that is presumed to colonise the infant gastrointestinal tract.
All of this sounds great of course, but a proud mum has taken a photo that illustrates what these changes actually look like... and it's taking the world by storm.
Mallory Smothers from Arkansas in the USA was nursing her daughter who was ‘congested, irritable and sneezing A LOT’.
Smothers fed the child throughout the night, also pumping for the following morning. The next day, she compared two bags of breast milk, one pumped before her child became ill, the other afterwards, and noticed a very obvious difference...
Here is her post in full:
"So yall.. This is just cuckoo awesome– 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."
We quite agree.
Have you ever noticed a change in your breast milk depending on the health of your child? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.
Main Image: Mallory Smothers/Facebook.com