Mallory Smothers is a breastfeeding mom who has really been working that pump lately. Apparently when you're breastfeeding the milk tends to look exactly the same every time you express it. Around Valentine's Day, Smothers baby seemed to be fighting a wee cold. When her mommy pumped some extra milk, the consistency and color were very different. While it looks pretty gross, the reason why it looks gross is very cool.
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.
Nipples are so sensitive, they're like little diagnosticians. Baby spit backwash can be identified by your boobs! It's disgusting and amazing and science backs it up. Now if you're a mom and someone tries to hassle you for breastfeeding in public, just tell them you're doing a check up. Despite featuring bags of thick yellow liquid, the post has been shared over 70,000 times. The body is a terrifying miracle. [h/t Cosmopolitan]
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