last authored: Oct 2009, David LaPierre
Breastfeeding mother, Sierra Lione, 1960s
courtesy of John Atherton
Breast milk composition is species-specific.
Colostrum is the first milk present for the first~3 days. It is thick and yellowish due to beta carotene. Volume is 2-20 ml. It has a high protein, low fat content.
High ash content, higher sodium, chloride, magnesium, protein, fat-soluble vitamins, immunoglobulins, mononuclear cells.
Lower potassium, calcium, lactose, glucose, urea, and fats.
Colostrum is progressively mixed with newly produced milk during days 7-14.
Water is the biggest constituent. It is a complex collection of lipids and fatty acids - over 160 of them. These fats provide 50% of caloric intake, provide EFAs, help with absorption of fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins, and provide cholesterol.
Proteins make up ~0.9%, including casein....
Iron and zinc is more efficiently absorbed.
Enzymes aid in absorption and preventing infection.
Breastfeeding needs o be supplemented with:
Enhanced maternal-infant bonding
Economical and convenient
Easily digested, with lower renal solute load
More rapid uterine involution
Mastitis is not a contraindication for breastfeeding from that breast.
Babies initially latch first, then decide to take a break.
Give parents permission to mix with formula first.
The stress of meeting expectations can be very difficult.
Breast feeding jaundice: first 1-2 weeks due to a lack of adequate feeding and dehydration
Signs of inadequate breastfeeding include: