What Is In Breast Milk?

breastfeeding-467946812Breast milk is one of the best and most highly recommended sources of nutrition for babies.

What makes mother’s milk so special? It is made up of over 200 known elements that positively contribute to the health of infants.

One of the most commonly known components found in breast milk is colostrum. This is the milk that is first produced after giving birth. Colostrum contains high levels of antibodies and is often referred to as a baby’s first immunization. It also has higher levels of the many nutrients found in mature milk.

Mature milk is produced two to four days after the birth of a baby. Some of the substances that make up mature milk are:
• Fats- needed to help babies gain weight and essential for brain development
• White blood cells-help build immunity and fight infections
• Protein- aids digestion and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut
• Vitamins and minerals- vitamins and minerals found in breast milk such as A, D, E and K are important to babies’ health and development
• Amino acids – aid with infant growth and development
• Carbohydrates – help to decrease the formation of bad bacteria in the stomach
• Antibacterial enzymes- kill bacteria and protects babies from germs
• Fatty acids-support eye health and optimizes cognitive function
Many of these components cannot be synthesized and can only be received by consuming mother’s milk. Due to the uniqueness of breast milk, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months because doing so reduces the chances that babies will get infectious diseases.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Should Food Allergies Make You Stop Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding

If you have been told that your breastfed infant has food allergies, you may be wondering what to do next. Even a baby who has never been formula fed, and has never had any food besides breast milk may show symptoms of having a food allergy including: diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, eczema, constipation and poor growth. Babies can develop allergies to foods that you are eating while you are breastfeeding. Will you still be able to breastfeed? You may be surprised to learn that in most cases, the answer is yes.

 

 

Any food could potentially cause an allergy. The most commonly known foods to cause allergies are:

  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Soy
  • Wheat

It is not easy to discover which foods are causing an allergic reaction in your baby and allergy testing in young infants is not the most reliable. One way to determine which foods are a problem for your baby is to keep a food diary of what you eat along with a record of your baby’s symptoms.

In most cases where breastfed babies experience food allergies it is usually recommended to remove dairy from your diet. Read all ingredient labels carefully to eliminate any foods that contain dairy. It takes about a month or more for your child’s symptoms to improve. If there is little to no progress after a dairy-free diet, speak to a lactation consultant about eliminating other common allergens from your diet that may be the cause of your baby’s reactions.

Sometimes babies are allergic to more than one food. You may need to stay on this restricted diet the entire time you are breastfeeding, or until your infant is one year old. Many babies outgrow their food allergies by their first birthday.

Breast milk provides important health benefits for your baby including protection from infections and a reduction in chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between mother and baby and many babies enjoy breastfeeding into the second year of life. There is no reason to wean your baby from the breast if your baby develops signs of food allergies. If you change your diet, you and your baby should be able to enjoy breastfeeding until you are both ready to stop.

If you have further questions about breastfeeding your baby and what to do when he or she has a food allergy, Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Lactation Consultant is available to help. For further information, please call 718-206-5933.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Breastfeeding While On-The-Go This Summer

For mothers who breastfeed, the warmer weather can mean more opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with their baby, however breastfeeding on the go can present some challenges. No need to worry though, follow these simple tips and you and your baby can enjoy all the outdoor fun that summer brings.

Baby and mom

• Stay Hydrated – One of the most important things to remember is to drink enough water, especially when the temperature rises. Be sure to carry water with you when you are out. As long as you stay hydrated and breastfeed often, your baby will get the fluids he or she needs.

• Take a Dip – Relaxing poolside with your baby can be beneficial since breastfeeding works best when the both of you are relaxed. Taking a quick dip with your baby before breastfeeding will relax and cool off both of you and provide better results. The cuddle time you experience in the pool is also a great bonding experience.

• Dress Accordingly – Summer weather provides more opportunities to breastfeed discreetly, even while in public. In the summer, we tend to wear less layers and our clothing is lighter, which is optimal for breastfeeding. Since we are not confined to crowded indoor areas, mothers can find a shady tree in a park to breastfeed as a more private experience.

• Travel Prepared – Be sure to pack the necessary safeguards while traveling with your baby this summer. To protect your baby from the heat and the sun, use a stroller with a canopy. If your stroller does not have one, try to protect your baby with an umbrella or brimmed hat. Also be sure to apply sunscreen regularly, even when the sun does not seem strong.

By following these summer breastfeeding tips, both you and your baby can enjoy all the fun that summer has to offer.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.