The struggle to breastfeed your baby can be a very real — and often traumatic — one. Especially when you’re first staring out. There can be latching problems, concerns about production, quality versus quantity, pumps that are essentially milking machines and stress over public feeding, to name a few issues.
It’s no wonder that so many women opt for (or are forced to use) formula, especially in a world where we have a growing list of responsibilities, financial worries that sometimes drive us back to work before a mat leave is up, and where we are faced with mom judgement every other day.
But for those who are able to and do stick with breastfeeding, there is some science behind why breast milk is great. And this new photo that’s making the rounds on the Internet seems to prove it.
In the picture below, a first year biosciences student at South Devon College in Paignton, England, has laid out nine petri dishes full of bacteria. In the centre of each she has dropped one of two samples of breast milk; one from a mother nursing a 15-month old and one from a mother nursing a three-year-old. See anything nifty?
In both samples, the milk appears to be fighting off the bacteria, suggesting that even toddler breast feeding has some pretty amazing benefits when it comes to overcoming illness. That’s pretty cool if you think about it, especially since Canadian doctors recommend breast feeding for up to two years of age.
Obviously breastfeeding isn’t the only option when it comes to feeding our little ones. When it comes down to it all mothers want the best for their babies, and of course there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. But it is worth noting that formula can’t always replicate the results shown with breastmilk; as we all know breastmilk is full of disease-fighting nutrients and all the basic nutrients a child needs. Well, up until six to eight months anyhow, when babies run out of their iron stores and begin to also need iron-fortified foods to supplement their diets.
Plus there’s the whole idea that breastfed babies have less smelly poop. And isn’t that in itself something worth cheering about?
At any rate, we think this photo, which has been liked more than 28,000 times, is pretty cool. We also can’t wait to see more pictures from Vicky Greene’s future experiments. In the post above she promises to tackle colostrum — that yellowish, new breastmilk a mom produces right a birth — next.
Milk… it really does do a body good.