I am truly a novice when it comes to lactation counseling. I have nursed my own child, I have done coursework, but every single Doula client I have worked with has taught me something profound. I will never be an expert, because there are always new discoveries about the wonders of breastfeeding and breastmilk- and I’m still learning the foundation work to boot!Counseling is like being a milk sleuth- sometimes it’s straight forward, and other times support requires tackling a number of potential barriers. I take a holistic approach, offering encouragement ,my limited advice, and if need be, I refer out to specialists like an IBCLC. Collaborating with the Mother and her Healthcare Provider, I have been able to assist in some pretty awesome cases that have left me knowing that I have a hell of a lot more to learn.
The best way for me to learn is to summarize. I am reviewing my Lactation Consulting Training Coursework, and as I do so, I thought that my Blog Readers may find some tidbits interesting. Im going to begin posting under “Breastfeeding Rocks”, because, as a Lactating Woman, you are AMAZING.
First Installment: Your Milk is a Super Power
Your Milk is a living colloidal suspension of nearly 100,000 components, most of which cannot be replicated in artificial milk, aka, formula. Want to know why breastfed babies are typically healthier than their formula fed counterparts? Here are some cool facts about Breastmilk:
- You have smart bomb in your boobs: Immunoglobulin, found in breastmilk, essentially identify a kill bacteria.
- Holding the Cootie Hostage: Oligosaccharides, a carbohydrate, encapsulates a pathogen until it is shed from the baby’s body.
- Cancer Commits Suicide: Alpha Lactalbumin can also cause cancer cells to turn on themselves .
- Milk Starves out Bacteria! Lactoferrin is a protein that competes with E-Coli and other pathogens.
- Reagan Cells: Lysozyme is an enzyme breaks down a bacterial cell wall! (if you get this than we share a birth decade)
- Move Over Jamie Lee, Colostrum is the original probiotic. It establishes lactobacillus and bifidus
- What an Acid Trip! Lauric and Capric Acid provide protection against many bacteria, virus and protozoa including HIV, Herpes and Heliobacter. You can increase these acids from 3-4% to upwards of 25% by introducing coconut into your diet!
- Size Does Matter The Thymus gland, the hub of the immune system of a breastfed baby grows twice as large as her formula fed counterpart.
- That Slime does have a Purpose! Milk Mucins (that film you get when you drink milk) helps to bind viruses and stop them from replicating. It’s especially effective against rotavirus
- From Sips to Shots: Protection continues throughout breastfeeding and your body generates roughly the same amount of these components in early and weaning milk- it just becomes more concentrated the less often you breastfeed.
I am now humming “Your Body is a Wonderful Land”. Don’t Judge Me.