8 Components of Breast Milk So Amazing They’re Practically Magical


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The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding babies exclusively for the first six months, and once you get to know what’s really in breast milk, you’ll understand why. Breast milk doesn’t just feed your baby—it also feeds her immune system, actively fights infections, even teaches her to tell day from night.

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These are some of the components that make breast milk so mind-blowingly good for your baby, and for you too.

  1. Antibodies in breast milk like Immunoglobulin A (IgA) help build your baby’s immune system. Colostrum, the thick yellow breastmilk that's produced right after birth, contains tons of IgA, which coats the GI tract to provide defense and also works as a gentle laxative to help the baby push out her first gooey black poop. (Aww!) IgA stays in the breastmilk for the first seven months, and other antibodies like IgG and IgM protect against bacterial infections and viruses.
  2. Human Milk Oligosaccharides, or HMOs, are the third largest solid component of breastmilk, after lactose and fat, but are indigestible to baby. And now, thanks to years of scientific research, you can unlock even more amazing potential from your breastmilk by combining it with a new probiotic for babies called Evivo™. Evivo restores the key beneficial bacteria B. infantis, which works with the indigestible nutrients in breastmilk to promote immune health in ways breastmilk alone can’t. When you combine Evivo with breastmilk, the HMOs in the milk feed the B. infantis to prevent harmful bacteria from flourishing. In turn, B. infantis converts the HMOs into nutrition the baby can digest.
  3. A special protein called Lactoferrin is like nature’s medicine. It can directly attack viruses, bacteria, and even fungi, and it’s even an anti-inflammatory. Resistant to digestion, the lactoferrin in breastmilk encourages the growth of good bacteria as it passes through the gut, and helps prevent urinary tract infections too.
  4. Your body clock is ruled by hormones, and your breastfed baby's will be too. The hormones that help you wake up in the morning will be in your early morning milk, and sleepy hormones will show up late at night. While it seems like the baby is firmly in charge of the household schedule (and she probably is), the hormones will at least give her clues as to when it's day or night. Breastmilk also contains cholecystokinine, or CCK, the hormone that makes your baby “milk drunk” and sleepy.
  5. Speaking of hormones, Leptin is a special hormone in breastmilk that enhances the growth of a baby's thymus, the organ that directs the development of her entire immune system. In fact, the thymus in breastfed babies can grow up to twice as large, and the benefits of that can last for years.
  6. Vitamins A, C, and E are in breastmilk naturally, along with fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins found in the mother's diet too, including vitamins D and K, riboflavin, niacin, and panthothenic acid. So keep taking that prenatal supplement!
  7. Custom antibodies in breastmilk are created specifically for your baby. How does your body know? Well, it’s quite a story: When your baby suckles at your nipple, a tiny bit of her spit actually gets sucked into the breast. There, receptors in the mammary glands detect pathogens and instruct your body to create antibodies for them, which are passed back to your baby in the breast milk.
  8. Lysozyme, an enzyme, is incredibly important to your baby's gut health. It protects against the most common culprits of food poisoning, and it also acts as an anti-inflammatory. This is one of the reasons you can still breastfeed when you aren't feeling so well.

These are just some of the incredible substances that make up breastmilk. To learn more about how Evivo works with breastmilk to benefit your baby’s gut and immune health, visit www.evivo.com.

Sources:
"The Science of Mother's Milk," by Ayala Ochert, for La Leche League International

"What's in Breast Milk?" American Pregnancy Association

"What Makes Human Milk Special?" by Sally Myer, for La Leche League International

“The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am,” by Angela Garbes, The Stranger

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