About Breastmilk
Handling Breastmilk
Health Professionals

What’s in Breastmilk?

Here’s a brief overview of the components of breastmilk and the nutrients they provide:

Vitamins:

Necessary for healthy vision.
To help build strong bones and teeth.
To protect the cell membranes in the eyes and lungs.
Involved in the production of blood clotting factors that help reduce bleeding.
A strong antioxidant that helps heal the body, support the immune system, and aid in iron absorption.
Required for healthy brain development.
Needed for cell growth and early development of the nervous system.

Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), and Pantothenic Acid (B5): to help convert food into energy that the body needs to grow, develop, and function. B vitamins are also necessary for the skin, hair, eyes, and the nervous system including the brain.

breastmilk nutrients

Proteins:

Works to protect your baby from viruses and bacteria. It also helps to protect against E. Coli and possible allergies. Other immunoglobulins found in breastmilk, including IgG and IgM, also help protect against bacterial and viral infections.
Inhibits the growth of iron-dependent bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Is an enzyme that protects against E. Coli and Salmonella. It also promotes the growth of healthy intestinal flora and has anti-inflammatory functions.
Supports the growth of lactobacillus which protects against harmful bacteria by creating an acidic environment where it cannot survive.

Fats:

Breastmilk contains fats that are essential to your baby’s overall health. These fats are necessary for brain development, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and are a primary source of calories. Long chain fatty acids found in breastmilk are needed for brain, retina, and nervous system development, and are deposited in the brain during the last trimester of pregnancy.
Lactose is the primary carbohydrate found in human milk.  It accounts for approximately 40% of the total calories provided by breastmilk. Lactose improves the absorption of calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, and also helps fight disease and promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the stomach.

and so much more!

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends babies receive breast milk as their sole source of nutrition for at least the first six months of life.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends continuing breastfeeding as part of a young child’s diet through 2 years of age and beyond.
  • Breastmilk protects babies against infections and reduces the risk of later health problems including diabetes, obesity, and asthma.

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