New research about breast milk shows how much more there is to learn about this dynamic fluid. It contains over 200,000 different elements, each created specifically to nourish human babies. Can you imagine a label that listed 200,000 ingredients? Breast milk contains a long list of proteins, enzymes, all vitamins (except K) and over 30 oligosaccharides. It would be impossible to replicate human milk in a food lab.
The nutrients in human milk are even “packaged” specifically for our babies. Our milk contains lipase; it breaks the fat down into smaller globules so it can be better absorbed into the bloodstream. All humans, including babies use fat for energy and lipase makes the fat in human milk easier for babies to use. This is one of the reasons human milk is so good for premature babies, who need lots of energy and have an underdeveloped digestive system.
Fragile, premature babies are more likely to thrive when fed breast milk. When mother’s milk is not an option, donated breast milk is required. There is a shortage of donor breast milk, and only 40% of hospitals offer donor milk as an alternative to artificial milk (formula).
To raise awareness about the urgent need for breast milk donations Best for Babes, a non-profit organization, called on volunteers in 65 cities around the world to facilitate the Mother’s Day Miracle Milk Stroll: http://www.bestforbabes.org/miracle-milk-stroll
This event raises awareness about the urgent need for donor milk and connects moms with local milk banks and breastfeeding support organizations. To find the Mother’s Day Miracle Milk Stroll in your area click here: http://www.bestforbabes.org/miracle-milk-stroll/mothers-day-miracle-milk-stroll-locations
If you are in the Portland area find me in Wilshire Park on May 10th at 10am and visit the volunteers from the Northwest Mother’s Milk Bank, Nursing Mother’s Council and other local groups supporting breastfeeding mothers!
Helen Anderson, RN, CLE
Milkies founder and Fairhaven Health CLO (Chief Lactation Officer)