Mom's Side-by-Side Photo Shows How Her Breast Milk Changed to Treat Her Baby's Flu


Paige Peterson/Facebook

We all know how incredible and beneficial breast milk can be, but its ability to change to fit a child's specific needs never ceases to amaze us. After her baby daughter came down with the flu, one mom says that her breast milk changed to help her treat the virus.

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Breastfeeding mom Paige Peterson posted a side-by-side Facebook photo of two frozen pouches of breast milk pumped about two weeks apart. The pouch on the left looked to be "normal" breast milk -- it's off white in color -- while the one on the right had changed significantly in terms of color and was more yellow. Peterson says this change was brought on by her daughter's flu diagnosis. 

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"Raina tested positive for flu this past weekend," the mother wrote. "I didn't believe the nurse when she told me because she hasn't had any symptoms of flu that I have noticed."


Paige Peterson/Facebook

According to Peterson, her body automatically began responding to her daughter's diagnosis and worked to treat the little girl. "My breast milk created antibodies to fight off any infections that Raina may have had," she wrote. "I never gave her Tamiflu."

Experts say this phenomenon of changing breast milk isn't at all uncommon. According to Dr. Sears, a mother's breast milk is "custom-designed" to take care of and protect her child. If a baby is exposed to a new germ, virus, or illness, the mom's breast milk will automatically begin creating antibodies to fight off the danger. 

Even if it's the mom who comes down with a virus, her body will create antibodies in her breast milk so it can treat her baby for the virus before the child gets sick from it. Dr. Sears claims the best thing a sick mom can do to treat her baby is continue breastfeeding.

As for the dramatic change in color of Peterson's breast milk, there's an explanation for that as well. WCNC spoke with certified lactation consultant Rachel Miller, who said the change has a lot to do with calories. "Sometimes when we are sick our body is burning extra calories as we’re fighting off that illness, so it could very well increase the calories of mom's milk to make sure the baby has the energy to be doing the work of fighting off the virus," said Miller. "That definitely would change the appearance of the milk in a way where it would look more yellow."

More from CafeMom: Mom Seriously Confused After Her Breast Milk Turns Bright Pink

After Peterson's post began going viral, many moms spoke out to share similar experiences they'd had with their own breast milk.

Paige Peterson told WCNC that her changed breast milk is still incredibly amazing to her. She also says she's glad her post clued so many other moms in to this incredible breastfeeding perk. "I would never tell a mom how to feed their child, ever," she said. "But I'm glad I'm getting the word out about breast milk."



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