So, apparently the body is more amazing than we thought -- like, insanely amazing. New mom Mallory Smothers discovered her own body's incredible abilities after noticing changes in the color of her breast milk.
Very early Friday morning, Mallory's baby started showing signs of a cold. After pumping one bag on Thursday night and another the following morning -- before and after the baby's cold -- she saw a distinct color difference. When she realized the reason for the change, she called the discovery "cuckoo awesome."
Smothers read up a few scientific journals online and immediately posted a photo of the two bags of breast milk on Facebook, writing,
So yall.. This is just cuckoo awesome-- I read an article from a medical journal not too long ago about how Mom's milk changes to tailor baby's needs in more ways than just caloric intake.. So this doctor discusses that when a baby nurses, it creates a vacuum in which the infant's saliva sneaks into the mother's nipple. There, it is believed that mammary gland receptors interpret the "baby spit backwash" for bacteria and viruses and, if they detect something amiss (i.e., the baby is sick or fighting off an infection), Mom's body will actually change the milk's immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby's particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies. (Science backs this up. A 2013 Clinical and Translational Immunology study found that when a baby is ill, the numbers of leukocytes in its mother's breast milk spike.) So I filed that away in the back of my mind until I was packing frozen milk into the big deep freeze today. I pumped the milk on the left Thursday night before we laid down for bed. I nurse Baby every 2 hours or so overnight and don't pump until we get up for the day. I noticed in the wee hours of Friday morning, 3 AM or so-- she was congested, irritable, and sneezing ALOT. Probably a cold, right? When we got up Friday morning, I pumped, just as we always do. What I pumped is on the right side of the photo. I didn't notice a difference until today, but look at how much more the milk I produced Friday resembles colostrum (The super milk full of antibodies and leukocytes you make during the first few days after birth) and this comes after nursing the baby with a cold all night long.. Pretty awesome huh?! The human body never ceases to amaze me.
Basically, a nursing mother's body naturally tailors breast milk for the specific needs of the baby, essentially making her a pharmacy and health food store rolled up in one.
Upon hearing the discovery, the Internet went nuts. So far, Smothers' post has been shared over 70,000 times. Spread the good word, people! The human body is kinda dope.