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I know everyone has heard the saying that breastmilk is best.   It does amazing things for both baby and mother.  I think the benefits of breastmilk are phenomenal.  

Here are 5 Fascinating Breastfeeding Facts:

“For the newborn, colostrum is densely packed with antibodies and immunoglobulins to give baby a “booster shot’ right after birth. As baby grows older, human milk continues to pass on antibodies for all those organisms to which the mother has developed her own immunity. Even more amazing, if a baby contracts an illness that mom has not been exposed to previously, he will transfer this organism through his saliva to the breast, where antibodies are manufactured on site and then sent back to baby via the milk to help him cope. Science does not come even close to duplicating this feat!” (1- .pdf)

“The milk of “malnourished” mothers, even when malnutrition was severe, was slightly (but not statistically significantly) richer in fat than that of well-nourished women. The proportion of primiparous women was similar in both nutritional groups, and multiparity up to five pregnancies was associated with an increased fat concentration. Infants from all groups gained weight in a similar “normal” way, demonstrating that poor maternal nutritional status in this population had no adverse effect on the adequacy of lactation.” (2)

“A literature search was conducted for studies reporting volumes or dimensions of stomach capacity before or after birth. Six articles were found, suggesting a stomach capacity of 20 mL at birth… A stomach capacity of 20 mL translates to a feeding interval of approximately 1 h for a term neonate. This corresponds to the gastric emptying time for human milk, as well as the normal neonatal sleep cycle. Larger feeding volumes at longer intervals may therefore be stressful and the cause of spitting up, reflux and hypoglycaemia.” (3)

“Frequent nursing encourages good milk supply and reduces engorgement. Aim for nursing at least 10 – 12 times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T nurse too often–you CAN nurse too little.” (4)

“Breastfed babies get hungry sooner than babies who are formula-fed because human milk proteins are digested so efficiently. It doesn’t take as much energy to digest human milk as it does to digest formula. Frequent feedings also ensure that human babies get lots of attention from their mothers.” (5)

“Breast milk contains all the nutrients that an infant needs in the first 6 months of life, including fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water… It is easily digested and efficiently used.” (6)

“The average calorie content of human milk is 22 kcal/oz.” (7)

“The theory developed in 2007 by scientists at the University of Western Australia (UWA) that breastmilk contains stem cells has been taken to a higher level with the latest discovery by one of the team’s newer members. UWA Ph.D. candidate Foteini Hassiotou has proven that stem cells from breastmilk can now be directed to become other body cell types such as bone, fat, liver and brain cells. ” (8)

“Breastmilk cells from different donors displayed variable expression of pluripotency genes normally found in human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). These genes included the transcription factors (TFs) OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, known to constitute the core self-renewal circuitry of hESCs.” (9)

” Laboratory experiments have shown that HAMLET (substance in breastmilk) kills 40 different types of cancer, and the researchers are now going on to study its effect on skin cancer, tumours in the mucous membranes and brain tumours. Importantly, HAMLET kills only cancer cells and does not affect healthy cells.” (10)

Breastmilk is incredible!  Share this post if you think so too!


(1)- Lisa Marasco and Jan Barger- Examining the EvidenceforCue feeding of Breastfed Infants

(2)- Marin Spring, P.C.- Fat and energy content of breast milk of malnourished and well nourished women, Brazil 1982

(3)- NJ Bergman- Neonatal stomach volume and physiology suggest feeding at 1-h intervals

(4)- Kellymom- Breastfeeding Your Newborn- What to Expect in the Early Weeks

(5)- Sears- Nutrient by Nutrient Why Breast is Best

(6)- World Health Organization- Infant and Young Child Feeding

(7)- Kellymom- What affects the amount of fat or calories in mom’s milk?

(8)- Medela- Stem Cells in Breastmilk

(9)- F. Hassiotou- Breastmilk is a novel source of stem cells with multilineage differentiation potential

(10)- University of Gothenburg- Substance in Breast Milk Kills Cancer Cells

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