Your breastmilk is enough! I know everyone has heard over and over again from family and friends that you need to feed your baby more. You may have even heard that you should put some cereal in the bottle to help the baby sleep longer. I’m here to tell you that your breastmilk is enough! Your bodies are so magnificent that we along with other mammals are able to make milk to feed our offspring. There is a hormonal change that takes place as soon as 16 weeks pregnant that our bodies begin to make milk. That’s right. Pregnant humans start making milk as early as 16 weeks of gestation (called colostrum).
Colostrum is thick in consistency, so it doesn’t always leak and pump out as easily as mature milk. But colostrum is very important for babies to have in the early days of life. It helps with stomach digestion into adulthood by coating the stomach lining as a protective barrier. As time goes on, the colostrum begins to transition to mature milk. Mature milk is made up of hind and foremilk. Hind milk is watery and mostly for hydration. Foremilk is milk that has an increased amount of fat and nutrition.
The breastmilk is a beautiful thing, being that the number of vitamins and nutrients in the hind, and foremilk changes as the baby gets older. Unlike formula that is man-made and requires you to continually increase, breastmilk changes on its own. A breast/chest-fed baby should only ever need 4 to 5 ounces max of breastmilk (if bottle feed) every 2.5 to 3 hours. There is no need to add cereal to a bottle to make sure the baby is full. Breast/chest-fed baby’s stomach can break down the nutrition yet in food. The cereal and other foods have no nutritional value. In fact, giving food too early before the stomach has had time to learn to work can contribute to stomach and digestive issues later in life. ANY FOOD BEFORE 1 YEARS OF AGE IS
Ready to have a more one-on-one conversation about your breastfeeding? Book an appointment with Andrea, Natural Lactation owner, Certified Lactation Consultant and Birth Doula!