Breast milk is the gold standard of nutrition —and for several good reasons. Just take a look at its rich components below:
Fat, MFGM, and DHA
Fat is the largest source of energy in breast milk, contributing 40-55% of the total energy found in it. It also has a very important role in brain development, with omega-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as well as a nutrient-rich outer coating called the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM), which has phospoholipds, sphingomvelin, and gangliosides.
Proteins, Carbohydrates, and Vitamins
Breastmilk also has about 400 different proteins, a huge variety of complex carbohydrates including dissacharide lactose, an important energy source, and .human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), which nourishes gastrointestinal microbiota, as well as essential vitamins and minerals
But as if that’s not impressive enough, the concentrations of these components alter dramatically over a single feed and over lactation stages to reflect your baby’s needs. You actually produce different kinds of milk as you go through each stage:
This is what you’ll secrete for 1-7 days after giving birth. It not only has a high concentration of immunologic components but also a higher amount of protein, but less fat and lactose compared to mature milk.
This is produced about 8-20 days after birth, changing from colostrum to mature milk.
This is what your baby will drink 20 days from his birth onward. Its concentration levels vary between moms, largely because of the fat content.
Proper nutrition is very important during lactation, make sure to eat the right nutrients in the right amount every step of the way.