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Composition of breast milk

If you want to know more about the composition of breast milk and information about the quality of breast milk, read the composition here. Breast milk is very complex in composition. For most children, breast milk provides sufficient energy and nutrients for the first six months. The only exception to this is vitamin K and vitamin D. In addition, there are a large number of substances in breast milk that protect the child against diseases.

Colostrum, transition milk, mature breast milk

Colostrum is breast milk from the first days after birth. From about two weeks after birth, the breast gives mature mother’s milk. The milk in the intervening period is called transition milk. Colostrum contains relatively large amounts of substances that protect the child against diseases. In addition, this first mother’s milk is rich in substances such as cholesterol, albumin, phospholipids, vitamins A, E and K, sodium, zinc and selenium. Colostrum contains relatively little water, lactose and fat.

Composition changes

During the transition from colostrum to mature breast milk the concentration of protective substances decreases. Because the child drinks more as it gets older, it still receives sufficient protective substances. The composition of breast milk also changes gradually during feeding itself. The breast makes one type of milk whose fat content can vary, depending on the time between two foods. Babies indicate when they have enough and usually let go of the breast.

Protective fabrics

In addition to nutrients, breast milk contains many different protective substances that promote the health of the child and reduce the risk of all kinds of infections and diseases. Which substances are involved and how they work is only partly known. Furthermore, there are indications that breast milk promotes the development of the child’s immune system so that the child can start to produce more antibodies and extra resistance increases. The following substances in breast milk are known to play a role in the protection against infections: • Lactoferrin prevents germs that cause disease to multiply in the intestines and make the child ill. • Lysozyme damages the cell wall of bacteria and thereby makes them harmless. • Oligosaccharides prevent bacteria from attaching to the intestinal wall. • The substance sIgA (an immunoglobulin) protects against intestinal and respiratory diseases. • Complement factors are important for the child’s resistance. They clear up micro-organisms and stop inflammation. • Leucocytes kill bacteria and probably affect the maturation of the child’s gastrointestinal tract. • Growth factors, nucleotides and polyamines in mother’s milk stimulate the growth and maturing of the intestinal tract and therefore prevent the ingress of microorganisms. Breast milk can in principle be fine-tuned for the baby. But it may be that more calories or fat-free food is needed. Just measuring the fat content via lactation consultant is already possible. This can happen if a child turns out to be dissatisfied on breast milk, without any underlying cause (despite good breastfeeding policy). It is then quite interesting to check the other compositions as well. The composition of breast milk is reasonably the same, but for example the fat content may depend on the fat composition of what you eat as a mother. Sufficient fat in the milk gives a satiating feeling to the baby and also promotes the chance to sleep through in the night. There have been several studies on this. Several bodies have investigated the composition of breast milk. The tabs can be downloaded.

Everything about breastfeeding

Why breastfeeding and how long?

Researchers believe that breastfeeding is healthy for the baby and the mother for at least six months. But why is breastfeeding healthier than milk from the bottle? A drop of mother’s milk contains general antibodies that include. strengthen the immune system of the baby. Foremilk (or colostrum) contains immunoglobulin-A. This protects the baby against pathogens. Breastfeeding also provides the baby with lactoferrin. Lactoferrin binds iron so that the baby absorbs this element better. Another side effect is that if iron is not bound, bacteria attach to iron and therefore the baby is more prone to diseases. The fat composition in mother’s milk is therefore also different from that of bottle milk. The fat of the mother’s milk contains cholesterol and this is good for the development of the brain and the nervous system of the baby. The most important thing is that the mother’s body specially ‘designs’ milk for her baby. Not only a baby, but also the mother is sailing when breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in mothers reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and early breast cancer. Thus offering this unique opportunity to breastfeed for 6 months is of great importance for public health.

Composition tables of breast milk

What exactly is there in breast milk: