What’s in Breast Milk?

Have you ever experienced looking at the back of the packaging of a formula milk to have a look of its ingredient? Have you ever questioned yourself what are the ingredients are in the mother’s breast milk? I was just making sure that I am not the only mother in the whole wide world that thinks too much about this topic.

I heard a lot of women in the community talking about breastfeeding their baby.


Many of them, in fact, most of them say that breastfeeding a baby is the most excellent choice to make. They even say that all mothers ought to breastfeed their little ones. That drives me to study about what is in a mother’s breast milk that causes it to be very unique from formula milk.

Now let me share with you what is the big deal about breast milk.

Some of the most important things that you should know about breast milk:

  • Breast milk does not only have tons of ingredients in it, they also have the incredible capability of changing constantly to match the needs of your little one. It is so cool to know that the milk changes when the mother or the baby have been vulnerable and needs to be protected. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration or FDA oversees formula milk companies and ensure that they provide all the nutrients necessary in their mixtures, including Vitamin D. But, none of the commercial milks can completely duplicate the exact composition of the breast milk because of this incredible capability of each mother to produce perfect milk for her infant, the kind of process that cannot be duplicated by any milk factory.
  • The effect of breast milk in your baby’s body does not quickly disappear. It has the ability to continue providing the baby or toddler with so many minerals, vitamins, electrolytes, enzymes, antimicrobial properties, antibacterial properties, antifungal properties, and so much more. It will be present until such time that the baby reaches a certain age.
  • The breast milk can provide the entire nutrients that the baby needs to grow strong and healthy. You do not need to give him or her vitamin supplements.
  • Breast milk is made up of many parts and some of the most important part of it is the non-nutritive elements, most of these elements are so small that even the most outstanding laboratory cannot reproduce them.
  • These elements are doing more than offering food for the baby. They are employed protecting the baby’s urinary tract from any infection, keeping it free from harmful viruses and bacteria.
  • When you breastfeed your baby, your milk is coating his or her intestines and other immature parts of their digestive system with protective proteins that is in the breast milk. The immune factors of the breast milk also work on their blood streams which serves a strong barricade to undesirable germs.

The Three different stages of Lactation:

  1. This is the secretion that produced during the first up to the seventh days after giving birth. It differs from transitional and mature breast milk. It is very important that you let the baby suck the colostrum because it contains a greater amount of protein, it has lesser fat, and it is full packed of immunizing factors needed by the newborn baby.
  2. Transitional Milk. It is the milk in between the colostrum and the mature milk, where lactation is being established and the fabrication of milk starts in the breast tissue. Transitional milk is basically produced and present from about the eight and twentieth day after giving birth.
  3. Mature milk. You will begin producing a mature milk when you are at you twentieth day after giving birth and onwards. It contains between 270 to 315 kJ of energy for every 100mL. It will continue to supplicate the baby with immune factors and different important non-nutritional components to the baby’s body.

What is in your breast milk?

Breast milk comprises of more than two hundred elements with so much benefits on them. And many more are being discovered up to this time. Let me just give you a few of them, they that are very popular:

Pregnancy week by week
  • PROTEINS. Mothers milk composes two classes of proteins:
    • Approximately the milk contains about 60%-80% of whey.
    • 20-40% of the milk contains casein.

This unique balance of proteins makes it easier to digest. If the milk has a greater percentage of casein, it will become harder for the baby’s stomach to digest it. Below are the lists of different types of proteins that are in the mother’s milk:

  1. Bifidus. It is the kind of protein that sustains the development of lactobacillus, which is a profitable bacterium that protects the infant against many harmful types of bacteria by making acidic surroundings where it cannot outlive.
  2. Secretory IgA. It works on protecting the infant from various bacteria and viruses, particularly those bacteria and viruses that the mother and baby are being exposed to. It is also the major element that protect against E. coli and allergies. Other kinds of immunoglobulin, like IgG and IgM, also assist in protecting against other viruses and bacterial infections. Including fish in your diet will help raise the level of this kind of protein in your breast milk.
  3. Lactoferrin. This kind of protein inhibits the development of iron-dependent bacteria in the baby’s gastrointestinal tract. This restrains certain organisms, like coliforms and yeast, which need iron.
  4. Lysozyme. It is the kind of protein enzyme that defends the infant against Salmonella and E. coli. It also facilitates the growth of healthful intestinal flora and it also has anti-inflammatory functions.
  5. HAMLET. The binding of different proteins caused to form a complex type of protein called HAMLET or Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made LEthal to Tumor Cells. It has the power to kill cancer cells but keeps the healthy cells alive. HAMLET is a composition of protein and fatty acids which is found in breast milk. Experiments shows that HAMLET can actually kill forty different cancer types. Such an amazing thing in breast milk.
  • Human milk comprises fats that are important for the baby’s health. It is essential for the development of the brain, fat-soluble vitamins absorption, and is a principal source of calories. The long chains of fatty acids are necessary for retina, nervous system, and brain development.
  • VITAMINS and MINERALS. The amount and the types of vitamins that can be found in breast milk is pretty much related to the mother’s intake of vitamins. This is the very reason why it is important that the mother gets enough nutrition and vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins D, E, A, and K are all crucial to the baby’s health. Water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C, Niacin, Riboflavin, and pantothenic acid are also important. The need of these vitamins is the reason why most doctors recommend that mothers should continue their prenatal vitamins.
  • The primary carbohydrates that can be found in a mother’s breast milk are lactose. It helps to minimize the quantity of unwholesome bacteria in the baby’s stomach, which help to improve the absorption of phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.
  • HORMONES and GROWTH FACTORS. Amazingly, the hormones in mother’s milk assist with comfort, appetite regulation, growth, satiety, and digestion. Below are just some of the examples of hormones that is in breast milk:
    1. The epidermal growth factor. Aids the healing and growth of the infants gut.
    2. Oxytocin hormone. It is also known as relaxing hormone which is being released when milk let-down. This kind of hormone causes the mother and the baby to relax while nursing.
    3. Obestatin and resistin. This kind of hormones that is present in breast milk regulates the food intake and energy balance of the baby.
  • Live enzymes and probiotics. The breast milk is amazingly loaded of a living substance, protective prebiotics, enzymes, and probiotics. There are also antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antibodies, and antiviral factors that can kill off harmful bacteria like e-coli, flu, viruses, toxins, and bad bacteria. Some of the infections and illnesses that are being avoided because of breast milk are:
    1. Diarrhea
    2. Ear infections
    3. Meningitis
    4. Respiratory infections
    5. Diabetes
    6. Asthma
    7. Obesity
    8. Allergies
    9. SID or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
    10. Cancers

The benefits of breastfeeding

  • NUTRITION and EASE OF DIGESTION. Breast milk is very popularly called as “perfect food” for the baby and its digestive system. All of the components that breast milk has can be easily absorb and digest by the baby’s digestive system.
  • ECONOMICAL. Breast milk does not cost a single penny compared to formula milk. The only thing that will cost you is when you are pumping your breast and giving it to your baby. You will need a bottle, nipples, breast pumps, and other supplies necessary. But it still low in cost than formula milk that you have to buy regularly. Since babies that are breastfed are not sickly, you will have a fewer appointments with doctors and minimal money to spend for prescriptions and other over-the-counter medications.
  • CONVENIENCE. You do not have to run to the store to buy formula milk because breast milk is always available and always fresh. You do not have to worry about washing bottles and nipples. You do not worry about warming up bottles and sterilizing them. No more packing bottles and formula milk when travelling.
  • Variety of tastes. Note that if you are breastfeeding, you will need five hundred extra calories a day, which will require you to eat a well-balanced diet. Since you will surely going to eat a wide variety of foods, this will introduce the baby to several tastes because of the milk that is being produce by the mother, which will have a different flavors counting on whatever food the mother have eaten.

  • Intelligent Babies. Studies shows strong evidence that children who were breastfed have a quite higher intelligence than those who are fed with formula milk.
  • SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT. You may enjoy the opportunity of enhancing the emotional connection between you and the baby because you will have a skin-to-skin contact every time you feed your precious child.
  • BENEFITS FOR MOTHER. First, you will feel more confident knowing that you are able to take care of your baby. Second, it will help you a lot in returning to your pre-pregnancy weight and shape by burning a lot of calories without even exercising and shrinking your uterus. Studies also show that breastfeeding can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, breast cancer, uterine and ovarian cancer, and other cardiovascular disease.

You see breastfeeding is a win-win deal. So, good luck with your breastfeeding quest.