Earlier this week, Jill shared with us The Importance of Breastfeeding. Today, she gives us a rather in-depth look at the manifold health benefits of Mother’s Milk. Even after breastfeeding four babies, I was amazed by the wealth of information Jill shares in this article… God’s design is truly amazing! ~Kristy
image courtesy- Nursing Cover from The Modest Mom
A few breastmilk facts:
*Protects against infection
*Protects against inflammation
*Babies are 26 times less likely to develop diabetes
*Babies are 21% less likely to develop childhood leukemia
*Less likely for eczema
*Less likely for obesity
Here is a comparison of breast milk and formula taken from Circle of Moms.
Fats Rich in brain-building omega 3’s, namely DHA and AA.
Automatically adjusts to infant’s needs; levels decline as baby gets older
Rich in cholesterol
Nearly completely absorbed
Contains fat-digesting enzyme, lipase
Doesn’t change for baby’s needs
Not completely absorbed
Fat is the most important nutrient in breast milk; absence of cholesterol and DHA, vital nutrients for growing brains and bodies, may predispose child to adult heart and central nervous system diseases. Leftover unabsorbed fat accounts for unpleasant stools in formula-fed babies.
Protein Soft, easily-digestible whey
More completely absorbed
Lactoferrin for intestinal health
Lysozyme, an antimicrobial
Rich in brain and body-building protein components
Rich in growth factors
Contains sleep-inducing proteins
Harder to digest casein curds
Less completely absorbed, more waste, harder on kidneys
None or trace lactoferrin
Deficient or lower in some proteins
Deficient in growth factors
Carbohydrates Rich in lactose
Rich in oligosaccharides that promote intestinal health
Some formulas contain no lactose.
Deficient in oligosaccaharides
Lactose is considered an important carbohydrate for brain development. Studies show the level of lactose in the milk of a species correlates with the size of the brain of that species.
BREASTMILK IMMUNE BOOSTERS
Immune Boosters Rich in living white blood cells, millions per feeding
Rich in immunoglobulins
When mother is exposed to a germ, she makes antibodies to that germ and gives these antibodies to her infant via her milk.
FORMULA IMMUNE BOOSTERS
No live white blood cells.
“Dead” food has less immunological benefit.
Few immunoglubulins and mostly the wrong kind.
BREASTMILK VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Vitamins and minerals Better absorbed, especially iron, zinc, and calcium.
Iron is 50-75% absorbed
Contains more selenium (an antioxidant) than formula
FORMULA VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Iron 5-10 percent absorbed
Vitamins and minerals in breast milk enjoy a higher bioavailability; a greater percentage is absorbed. To compensate, more is added to formula, which makes it harder to digest.
BREASTMILK ENZYMES AND HORMONES
Enzymes and Hormones Rich in digestive enzymes, such as lipase and amylase.
Rich in many hormones: thyroid, prolactin, oxytocin, and over fifteen others.
Digestive enzymes promote intestinal health. Hormones contribute to the overall biochemical balance and well-being of baby.
FORMULA ENZYMES AND HORMONES
Processing kills digestive enzymes
Processing kills hormones
Cost $600 a year, extra food for mother
Around $1,200 per year for formula; up to $2,500 a year for hypoallergenic formulas; plus cost of bottles, etc.
Breastfeeding families save $600 to $2,000 a year, and often much more in medical bills since baby tends to stay healthier.
If you have a problem with producing enough milk or having milk of good quality, you CAN have success!
Some herbs that will increase your milk supply:
blessed thistle, fenugreek, fennel, nettle, red raspberry, alfalfa.
You can combine some or all of these herbs and drink 3-8 cups of tea a day, or take it in capsule form. What I really enjoy is making a gallon of tea that I keep in the fridge and drink all day long (my combination was red raspberry leaf, fennel seed, nettle leaf, fenugreek seed, dandelion leaf, blessed thistle).
Mama’s Milk Tea from Bulk Herb Store contains a powerful combination of organic herbs for stimulating and enriching milk production!
Don’t let the fact that your mother, grandmother and great-grandmother didn’t have success breastfeeding, for one reason or another, stop you from having success yourself. Adding herbs to your diet will help you produce milk of great quality and quantity. Ask a friend or family member that has had breastfeeding success be your mentor, and know that you can do it!
I have breastfed four children, for an average of 18 months each (our youngest is still not completely weaned). Due to a few minor health “issues”, as well as digestive issues with our children, I found it necessary to supplement three of our babies, at least temporarily, while I continued to nurse. I supplemented our first baby with formula and regretted it.
I highly recommend raw goat’s milk as an infant supplement (along with breast feeding).
For mothers who struggle with low milk supply- I feel your pain! I relied heavily on Mama’s Milk Tea, from Bulk Herb Store, and Maxi Milk, a wonderful herbal tincture from Mountain Meadow Herbs. Herbs truly made a world of difference in my milk supply!
Jill is a Christian and has been married to her dear husband for 11 years. She’s a homeschool mom of 4 and is thankful for the grace and mercy God bestows on her moment by moment of her daily life. One of her passions is reading and researching about health and home remedies, and sharing with others the knowledge she gains. You can find her blogging at Jill’s Home Remedies.
Kristy Howard is a pastor’s wife, second-generation homeschooling mom of five, and a passionate believer in friendship, coffee, and quiet time! Kristy writes about motherhood, ministry and life at KristysCottage.com.