10 Breastfeeding Fast Facts
Updated: Mar 7, 2022
In honor of #WorldBreastfeedingWeek, we offer a quick run-down of the breastfeeding facts that we over here at Sweet Peas find the most intriguing.
1. Milk must be removed from the breasts in order for the breasts to make more milk.
2. Hand expressed milk has a higher caloric content than milk expressed with a pump.
3. The flavors of a parent’s diet are in the breastmilk they produce, acculturating the infant to the taste of those foods. As the infant starts eating solids, foods with familiar flavors are less likely to be refused than foods the parent did not eat during breastfeeding.
4. There is no need to pump and dump if the parent has been drinking alcohol, as the as alcohol is not trapped in the milk and will pass out of the milk as the parent’s own blood alcohol levels decrease. So if the parent sobers up before feeding or pumping, that milk is good to go!
5. Regardless of how long each nursing session is for individual babies, the average total time a baby spends nursing in a 24 hour day adds up to about 140 minutes.
6. Breastmilk composition changes between feeds, within a feed, within the day, and over the entirety of lactation! It’s never the same milk twice!
7. Breastmilk contains hormones that keep the infant’s gut moving, as well as microbes, white blood cells, mucosal wall protectors, stem cells, fatty acids, lysosomes, prebiotics, and more!
8. On average, a lactating person makes between 750-2355 milliliters of breastmilk a day. As the infant’s caloric needs change, the composition of the milk changes to meet those needs, but the volume of milk remains about the same.
9. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of heart attack, cancer, and metabolic disorders in the lactating person.
10. Breastfeeding has been the way to feed human babies since the dawning of our history, but since the invention of formula, breastfeeding rates have declined proportionally with the rate at which formula marketing efforts have increased.
Have any of these facts surprised you? What questions do you have about breastfeeding? We would love to chat with you!
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