Why This Photo Of Breast Milk Is Going Viral
Breastfeeding selfies have been a thing for some time now. Women proudly document their ability to nourish their child, refusing to be shamed for it, because, um, they have the ability to nourish their child. No other reason necessary.
But no one ever photographs the breast milk, the ultimate superfood, itself — until now. And it's nothing short of amazing.
Mallory Smothers, a mom from Arkansas, posted a photo to Facebook of two bags of breast milk — one pumped on a Thursday night, the other pumped the next morning — because of how drastically different in color they were. In the caption, she detailed her "cuckoo awesome" discovery about breast milk.
"I nurse Baby every 2 hours or so overnight and don't pump until we get up for the day," she wrote. Early Friday morning, she noticed her daughter was "congested, irritable, and sneezing ALOT," and assumed she'd come down with a cold.
When she pumped again later that morning, her breast milk was much creamier and resembled colostrum, the type of milk that's loaded with infection-fighting antibodies and leukocytes moms typically start making just prior to giving birth.
Smothers recalled an article she read from a medical journal about how mothers' milk changes to accommodate the needs of her baby, describing the process through which mammary glands can interpret an infant's saliva and change the milk's immunological composition accordingly.
She realized, awe-struck, that her milk was scientific proof of the inextricable link between mother and baby.
And the science checks out (as she notes in the post): A 2013 study published in the journal Clinical and Translational Immunology found that when a baby is sick, the numbers of leukocytes in its mother's breast milk spike.
So, basically, babies get custom-made milkshakes from their mamas every time they latch on. Yeah, I guess the human body is pretty cool.
See the full post here.
Emi Boscamp is the former News Editor at mindbodygreen. She received a BA in English and minors in Spanish and Art History from Cornell University. She's a writer living in Manhattan and enjoys cooking, eating, traveling, and writing about all three of those things. She loves anything pickled. And anything punny. (She's kind of a big dill.)