Breastmilk has immune-boosting components that are dynamic in responding to your baby’s needs—from age to time of day and even illness.
1. Breastmilk changes during growth spurts and illnesses
While mature milk remains fairly consistent in terms of its proteins, fat and sugar content during that first year, it can be quite responsive to micro-level changes due to factors like the mother’s diet, bacteria, and viruses in the environment, and the baby’s feeding behaviors.
Breastmilk can also change when your baby is sick or you are exposed to illness. In fact, researchers believe that when a baby is sick, she passes on a cue through her saliva that sends a signal to her mother’s body to produce more milk with illness-specific antibodies. Magical, right?
2. Breastmilk changes as your baby grows
In the beginning, breasts produce thick, honey-textured colostrum packed with immunological components that protect your newborn. Colostrum is lower in some nutrients (such as lactose and fat) than mature milk and higher in others (such as protein and potassium), is designed to suit your newborn’s growing body.
3. Breastmilk changes color
Bluish, yellow, cream & orange are some of the possibilities, and they’re all fine for your baby. Medicine can affect the color of your breastmilk. The only change to take note of is when breastmilk is pink, red or rusty.
4. Breastmilk changes during a feeding
The milk at the beginning of a feed, called foremilk, is more watery while the milk at the end, called hindmilk, is fattier. If the mom is feeding her baby when she asks to be fed and keeps her drinking so that she is not falling asleep at the breast, then she will get the right composition of milk.
5. Breastmilk changes from day to night
Many nursing women notice greater volume and faster flow in their breastmilk in the early hours of the day. The breastmilk that’s produced at the end of the day is also designed to help your little one get rest.
6. Breastmilk changes flavor
The food you eat can change the flavor of your breastmilk, though some tastes last longer than others. The effect of food on breastmilk can impact other senses, too.
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