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Ep. 164 – Breastmilk Composition Changes from Birth to Weaning

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Breastmilk Changes During Prolonged Lactation – The Institute for Breastfeeding and Lactation Education (IABLE) (

Breast Milk – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

Breastfeeding – ScienceDirect

Human Milk Composition: Nutrients and Bioactive Factors – PMC (

Determinants of energy, protein, lipid, and lactose concentrations in human milk during the first 12 mo of lactation: the DARLING Study – PubMed (

Breastmilk Composition is Dynamic: Infant Feeds, Mother Responds – International Milk Genomics Consortium

Hey everybody. Welcome to the Milk Minute Podcast. Let me get the sleep outta my eyeballs, and then yes, we’ll get started. Heather’s struggling today. I look amazing. You do. I’m not, not gonna debate that with you. You look fantastic.

I mean, Am I wearing the same leggings I’ve worn three days in a row to build IKEA furniture? Yes, I am. But what were we doing today? Just doing some bop, the builder shit. So you’re fine. Ha has my, has my bra lost all elasticity because I’ve been wearing it for so long and it needs washed Yes. Also. Yes, but, but we are here to bring you another magical Milk Minute episode.

No matter what we have going on, we are. And today I really wanted to talk about breast milk composition changing over time, cuz we get a lot of questions about like, oh, is it okay to feed my baby donor milk from someone whose baby’s a different age? Like, is the milk I pumped months ago? Okay. Can I use colostrum now?

Yeah. Oh. And should I save my colostrum for when my baby’s sick or yeah, if a friend donated colostrum to me, can I use it on my 10 month old? You know, stuff like that. Very interesting. I have questions about it. It is, it is really interesting. And, and I do wanna just have a disclaimer here. Friends, I’m probably gonna throw more facts that are actually like practically useful.

For you in this episode. So don’t take any of these details too seriously. Do you know what I mean? And we also, just like our studies on this are kind of flawed. Okay? Hmm. I can’t wait to hear about why. So, so we’ll talk more about that later. But I just wanna be like, disclaimer, don’t throw out any milk because of anything you hear in this episode.

Please, dear God. And also just friendly reminder. Yeah. Pretty much everything I do in lactation anymore, I automatically think about cave people and indigenous people who breastfed for centuries, millennia, really? Mm-hmm. And I’m like, they all breastfed each other’s kids. They weren’t like, oh, sorry, you have a newborn and I have a 10 month old.

No. Yeah. And you know what breastfeeding is? It’s a biological system, but it’s also a behavior that involves like social and cultural norms. Right? And maternal and infant like personality and it’s really complicated and. You know, now our modern lives are very complicated by the roles parents have to fill in order to survive, right?

And we are still making this really unique, like bioactive substance that changes composition, and it’s really, really cool. And also we have to deal with these like jobs. Yeah. And it changes composition based on your job too, you know? Did you see that new MIT study? Did you tell me about it? I don’t know if I saw that one.

So MIT released a longitudinal study about milk composition. Mm-hmm. Changes over time. Right. And they noted a significant difference in breast milk when kids start daycare. Oh yeah. When mom goes back to work when they initiate pumping. And I’m like, what? Yeah. So it’s, I wonder if our milk is a little bit different now than it was in cave people times.

Yeah. Because we had all these other things in our microbiomes different, like all the, all kinds of stuff is different. Oh, tell me more. But before we like. Dive deep into that. Let’s thank some patrons, cuz we are still getting lots of new patrons and it’s super exciting to us. I love the love we’re getting.

Yeah, it’s not just the monetary donation, which is obviously very helpful, but it’s the sweet messages that we get through Patreon. It’s the relationships that we’re building with our listeners and we love to follow your stories like you tell us your wins, which is so fun. And we’re really, really privileged to be able to be on this journey with y’all.

Absolutely. Do you wanna thank some patrons, Heather? I do. I do. So today we wanna thank Jamie Ekstrom, Libby, Kaylee Helfrich, and Danielle Elliot. Thank you guys so much. We very much appreciate your support. Let’s take a question from one of our patrons quick and see if we can help her out. All right.

Today’s question is from a patron Aneleigh, and Aneleigh says, here’s the backstory. For the first months of my exclusively breastfed son’s life, he had frequent stools, four to eight per day that were green and mucusy. His doctor didn’t think the issue was a four milk kind milk imbalance but thought he might have a milk protein allergy.

She had me cut dairy and soy totally out of my diet to see. We did eventually see improvement with a transition to much fewer classic CD yellow breastfed stools. I started reintroducing dairy into my diet when he was around eight months. God bless you and started giving him yogurt and cheese a month or two after.

He’s 13 months now, and both he and I have been eating all the dairy for a few months now with no issues. That being said, when I would cheat example, a dairy E meal, if we went out when he was younger, I did tend to notice increased spit ups and fussiness. I didn’t mind much the food restriction and he was the least spitty, uppy baby ever, which I’ve kind of attributed to no dairy.

In hindsight, I do wonder if it was necessary. If the improvement was due to time rather than my diet, and if something like Aviva would’ve been more helpful, we do plan on having more kids, so I find myself wondering if I would proactively just avoid dairy at first with another baby too. So my question for you all is, how real is cow’s milk protein allergy from breast milk?

Is it just one of those things that gets hyped up? Is avoiding dairy something that you found a helpful recommendation for? Folks big size, so. Some babies have a true cow’s milk protein allergy, which is typically characterized by bloody stool. They don’t look well. Right. These babies are losing weight.

They’re inconsolable, they’re very unhappy. They’re colicky, they, they’re colicky. They have rashes on their body. Mm-hmm. They are not doing okay. Right. And then we have this gray area of just like weird poops that are not, Bad, right? Where they’re may be greenish or they’re way too frequent, or they’re mucusy or, you know, some variation thereof.

Was it right after their rotavirus vaccine? Right. You know, there’s all these confounding variables and we, you know, it’s, it, we don’t have good studies on it, so a lot of the time we attribute it to like a dysbiosis of the gut. Sometimes we attribute it just to an immature gut because babies are maturing at different rates and.

You know, sometimes maybe they were sick and we just aren’t sure what, what it’s connected to. You know, usually if it’s just weird poops and nothing else is wrong, I’m like, you’re fine. Mm-hmm. Don’t do anything else. Let’s just wait and see. I bet time will fix it. Tincture of time. If baby is also fussy or like they have a chronic diaper rash with the weird stool, I usually say, let’s try probiotics because it’s like a, a pretty low risk to that.

Or if you all had antibiotics in labor. Yeah. If you were GBS positive and you had antibiotics every four hours and or baby had to have antibiotics postpartum, I’m like, Yeah, it’s, yeah, it’s not gonna hurt anything. Like Maureen said to do probiotics, there’s like transient gas, well, oh, well your baby’s having gas anyway, so.

Mm-hmm. If it’s between cutting out an entire food group for eight months of my life, yeah. Where the solution later is to reintroduce dairy. Yeah. I’m going to take the low impact solution first of adding in Evivo and see what happens. Absolutely. With the exception of babies that are like ready to be admitted to the hospital.

Mm-hmm. You know, like, do we have time? Is this an issue that we can wait? Two weeks to see how it goes. Or is your baby already considered failure to thrive? Yes. Wasting bloody stools every time. No one’s sleeping cuz they’re crying 18 hours a day. That’s not a kid. I’m gonna be like, let’s give two weeks of probiotics and see what happens.

Mm-hmm. I’m gonna be like, yeah, cut the dairy. Like, let’s figure this out. We also need to probably look at the pku closely. Make sure we don’t have metabolic. Stuff going on and maybe get a full eval on like, do we need a stool sample? Yeah. To see what’s going on in the poop. Yep. And you know, I have had a couple of clients where they don’t cut dairy fully, but they reduce it and they see less spit up and less fussiness.

And I’m like, okay, I don’t understand that. I don’t, I don’t understand it either. Maybe there was a threshold of like, where we have so much cassin in the milk that it’s upsetting baby, and you know, Less is fine for them. We just don’t really have the answers there. But you know, Heather and I are always a little bit hesitant to cut out a food group from your diet, especially if that puts like an undue burden on you and we’re still not sure if it will fix the problem.

Mm-hmm. Yep. So we do take it case by case. Yeah. But the short answer to your question is no. I would not preemptively cut dairy out for your second baby. Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Yeah. No, no. Okay, well let’s take a quick break and then we will just dive into, you know, milk contents. Whoop, whoop. Friendly reminder, we do have two episodes on Evivo the probiotic.

If you wanna take a really deep dive into the science behind it and how it works in your infant’s gut, and also we will put a link to purchase it in the show notes and the code milk minute will get you 15% off now, which is pretty cool.

Have you guys ever been listening to our show and thought to yourself, man, I really wanna work one-on-one with Maureen. I do. Every day that I sit here podcasting across from you, well lucky for you and everybody at home. I offer both in-person and virtual support through my business. And in my business, high Lamb birth support, I’m dedicated to mentoring you guys through your childbearing year.

So that could start with fertility all the way through pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum. I offer home birth, midwifery services, doula services, lactation support, herbal support, anything you guys need. You even do miscarriage support. Absolutely. I do. That’s one of the biggest things that is so hard to find, and I think that your people that are local to you are so incredibly lucky to have this service.

Thank you. And I just feel really happy to serve everybody and I’m so happy I can expand my services virtually as well. Yeah, telehealth for lactation has been really important through the pandemic, and I think we just about got it perfected at this point. So if you guys wanna work with me, head over to highland birth and check out what I can offer you.

That’s H I G H L A N D, birth

Okay. Welcome back everybody. Let’s just dive into some milk. You know, I would love to dive into a pool of milk. Okay. So I just wanna start out with a blanket generalization, cuz those are great. Hmm. Because people always ask me about this. So the answer always pretty much is gonna be that the most optimal milk for your baby is fresh milk from you.

Right. Period. However that’s not always possible. And it doesn’t mean that other milk is not good. It’s still superior to formula. Yes. For all the research. Yes. For most babies, we’re still gonna say any other breast milk is a good option. And it, it doesn’t mean that like other milk is inferior. Right.

It doesn’t mean you need to change anything. Okay. Y’all still with me here? Don’t freak out. I, I think I’m still with you. Yes. Okay. All right. Well, let’s go. Milk has more than 200 different constituents. And you know what? We haven’t even identified them all. So fun. Constituents, that’s such a funny word for it.

I’m like, like voters? Yeah. Like, like things in your milk. Hundreds of them just, and we’re just finding out new. Stuff every day about it. Like they found folks, they found 10,000 new bacteria in belly buttons a few years ago. So just imagine how much shit is in your breast milk. Okay. Yeah. And, you know we also don’t know what a lot of it does, so I’m not gonna go into all of the different.

Things in your milk cuz it’s just hundreds of things. And I could be like, okay, here’s these different alkaloids. I don’t know why we don’t know what’s in. So we also don’t want you to fall asleep while you’re driving. We’re not gonna do that today. Okay. But we are gonna go into the three distinct stages of milk.

We have colostrum. Transitional is not like a real stage, but I’m gonna throw it kind. Thanks for saying that because I think a lot of lactation consultants feel bad that they don’t know ex. Exactly when transitional milk is. I, I do have a pretty good estimate of that in here. Okay, good. Then we have mature milk, right?

And then we’ve got kind of this like toddler milk and, and those three stages have kind of the most distinct differences. However, your milk changes every single day. Okay. So we’re just looking at the big picture, like macronutrient changes. Yeah. Micronutrients can change. Macronutrients not so much. Yes, let’s start at the beginning.

Heather, take me back to the beginning with colostrum. Sounds delicious. Everything sounds good to me right now cause I’m pregnant. It’s thick and yellow. Can I spread it on toast? It is kind of like the butter of breast milk. It’s kind of salty. Yeah. And our body makes this in much smaller quantities than the other kinds of milk it makes.

And we’re gonna see this beginning prenatally around 18 ish weeks. And like me right now, Yeah. Like Heather, right now, you ask Squirt so on the mic? Mm. No, my nipples are still a little sore, but I will tell you that I, I told my son, cuz he has a lot of questions and he was like, when do you start making the milk?

And I was like, well, when I turn 18 weeks, like it should be in there. Yeah. And so he’s following along on the app and on his little phone and he like, that’s so cute, mommy. 18 weeks the milk is in. I was like, oh God, you’re such an interesting nine year old. Yeah. And then we’re gonna continue to make this for like the first, I don’t know, three to five days, sometimes less, sometimes more.

It’s kind of individual. Now, the interesting thing about colostrum that people are always surprised about is it is lower calorie. Yeah. Usually people think than mature milk. Thick milk is full of fat. It, and actually it doesn’t really serve a nutritional purpose. Foot. However, it is mostly serving an immunological and trophic purpose, which means it’s gonna help baby adapt to deal with pathogens, and it’s going to kickstart digestion because your baby has never digested before.

Mm-hmm. The most that they’ve done is swallow amniotic fluid and pee it out. So your baby has done some peeing, but they ideally haven’t pooped yet before they’re born. And even if they have had a little bit of meconium prenatally, they still haven’t been eating right? So their guts are not colonized. And more importantly is really their guts like aren’t working yet.

They don’t have digestive timing down yet. They’re not like releasing bile salts and you know, all that stuff like it. It takes. It’s, it’s actually takes a while for them to get all of that timed correctly, which is why sometimes we have weird poop stuff happening. Yeah. Like discomfort. Well, also I think about people that would be like lost in the desert and not eating for 15 days.

Yeah. The first thing they eat when they get back to civilization is not chicken pot pie. No. It’s a very small meal. Right? Yeah. You want a small, low fat meal that’s got some good electrolytes in it that is gonna help to restart the system. And that’s basically colostrum. We have higher levels of magnesium, sodium chloride, secretory iga, leukocytes more immunoglobulin, more antibodies, more antioxidants, stuff like that.

It’s like Gatorade had a love child with Airborne. Yeah. And as far as our proteins go, we have a higher concentration of way. Then cassin, we’re gonna have the highest concentration of HMOs. Ever, as far as we can tell, it falls by about 50%. Why do you think that is? Speaking of Evivo, why didn’t you tell us, Heather?

Well, because if the new and this is me guessing cuz I was not on this research team, but the whole purpose of Evivo otherwise known as like be in infants is that be in infants is meant to digest the HMOs of breast milk and set you up for a gut that is healthy, that can process and keep away pathogenic bacteria.

So that’s probably why. Yeah. And now take this with a grain of salt and I’ll tell you why, but we’re looking at about 16 kcals per ounce, so that’s calories. Now the thing that we’ve realized since like most of this breast milk sampling has happened is we didn’t know enough about how milk changes throughout the day.

And there weren’t a lot of controls about like when people were expressing milk and how people were expressing milk. Right. Remember when Similac used to be 19 calories and now it’s 20? Yeah. So, you know, now we’re looking back at these studies with more information being like, oh, if somebody expressed milk at 9:00 AM versus 9:00 PM we might have a caloric difference.

If this person expressed milk after a feed and this person did it before a feed, we might have a difference. Right? So, I, I do just have to say that kind of for all of this is that all of this information, a lot of it’s from pretty old studies. Mm-hmm. Some if it’s newer but the newer studies are focusing more on like bacteria and, you know, just and NICU kids.

Right. This workhouse that complicated stuff to, so we can prevent, you know, necrotizing inter colitis or things like that. And not necessarily at the big picture like, wow, milk is cool. You know? Can I give a quick shout out? Yeah. I need to shout out to Rebecca who had a NICU baby. Mm-hmm. Who was born very early, I think 22 or 23 weeks, and required a very special diet and he ended up getting too chubby, which has kind of hindered a lot of his other progress.

Interesting. And she pumped and you know, did all of that, but they could never really figure out how to toggle it correctly for calories for him with protein and everything else to go easy on his kidneys. So she advocated recently and. Persistently for a machine that evaluates breast milk for NICU babies.

So they could more easily add the human milk fortifier and things like that. Yeah. And she just got word that WVU medicine is in the process of getting one. Awesome. And like she joined boards to like advocate. That’s really cool. That’s how cool. So anyway, shout out to Rebecca making changes. You guys can do these things too.

Yeah. Okay. So transitional milk. Most of the time we’re gonna see this between about five days and two weeks postpartum. But when I was looking at a lot of studies about when like milk is fully mature, most of those said four to six weeks. Mm-hmm. So this transitional milk can actually last kind of a long time.

And it’s really not that different, right? It’s a little bit lower in the immunoglobulins, right? And total protein. And it’s just slowly getting higher in lactose and fat and caloric content because it doesn’t switch overnight, takes a while for that to transition to fully mature milk. And when we get there, We’re gonna have a protein ratio that is higher.

It’s still a little bit higher in whey, but it’s much closer to equal for weighing cassin. And overall, our protein levels are decreasing. Protein content is not as far as we can tell affected by the maternal diet. By the way. It is however affected by the age of the infant. Yes. So if you have a preemie, your milk is much more likely to be higher in protein.

Mm-hmm. Because your baby’s muscle tone is not where it needs to be. Yeah. But if you also think about this logically, and of course I’m pulling this out of my ass, but. You know your baby the first six months doesn’t really need a ton of muscle. Yeah. Because it’s not mobile. But when your baby goes mobile and starts spacing out their feeds, the protein can increase to help build those muscles so baby can walk and run and do all those other things.

Yeah. And what we’re looking at with this mature milk is we have a really big increase in the amount of carbohydrates or lactose cause that’s the main sugar and the main way your baby gets their carbs. And we’re gonna be generally stable on these macronutrients until about 18 months, but those macronutrient contents are really highly influenced by the way that your baby eats.

Like how much, how often, et cetera. Which I’m gonna go into it in another episode in much more detail, but that’s why these are all kind of estimates of time, right? We can’t say, oh, exactly. At 18 months it’s gonna change. Cuz if your baby’s still nursing, like. A six month old at 18 months, it’s not gonna change.

Or if you’re tandem nursing, it’s not going to, and our micronutrients here are much more dependent on the maternal diet, right? So things like thiamin and ribo, flan and b6, and B12 and vitamin A and iodine and selenium, all that stuff goes up and down in all kinds of different ways, depending on what you eat.

Now this milk is gonna be closer to about 22 calories per ounce on average. But again, studies where we found that out, kind of needed more controls. Okay, wait. Yes. Did I say something weird? No, I just have a follow up question. Okay. So when you’re talking about the 22 Kcals pronounced, yeah. Are you talking about all mature milk for the most part or just after 18 months?

Before 18 months. This is about like six weeks to 18 months is the mature milk. Then why is most standard formula 20? Is that to compensate for the lower calorie in the beginning of the day and higher calorie in the end of the day, they took the average. Yeah. I wanna know, maybe it’s hard to add that many calories in.

I don’t know. Or maybe they don’t wanna put too much sugar cause they get pushback on it or they took the total number of calories they need in a day and divided by probably that. But that’s also one of the reasons you see like babies having a higher volume of formula and breast milk is cuz it is a little bit lower calorie.

Interesting. Yeah. And it’s always the same. And it’s always the same. And so yeah, this mature milk is gonna be basically the first year and a half of your baby’s life, you know? And those. Macronutrients, the protein, the carbs, the fat are all gonna be pretty stable and your fat content is gonna be between like two and 5%.

Guys. It’s still low no matter what. Okay. It’s still gonna be just like a little bit more than whole milk and that’s kind of where humans stay at. That’s funny. Yeah. That’s really interesting. I humans, you know, we’re just animals and that one’s always frustrating to me cuz I’ve heard just weird. You know, secondhand stories from parents about things pediatricians have told them and like, oh, they said I should switch my son to home milk at 12 months cuz it has more fat.

And I’m like, but it doesn’t, it has, what’d you say, fat? It has 19 calories, it has 19 calories. Pronounce so interesting. What? And a lot of those calories come from the carbs in our milk. It’s not all fat. It’s in fact like mostly those carbs. Right? Sugar is, sugar is a lot of calories, guys. Interesting.

Mm-hmm. But I spoiler, am planning an episode just on milk fats. Ooh. So I don’t wanna go too deeply into it today, because that’s a whole other hour. Of me talking. Yeah. Well, let’s take a quick break to digest all this information and when we get back, what are we talking about, toddler? We’re gonna taco toddler milk.

Okay. Yeah, I’m excited. Okay. All right.

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Welcome back everybody. Are you still nursing your toddler? Would you like to learn more about that? Yeah, I’m still nursing My toddler Lyra is two plus a month. Yeah. For sale. So what does that look like? What’s your nursing looking like now? Well, we pretty much just nurse to sleep. We nurse for naps.

We nurse for bedtime, unless I’m not the one doing bedtime. And like very occasionally if she’s really sad or something, so like one to three times a day. Nice. And sometimes I just leave for two days and we don’t nurse. Mm-hmm. Because I have stuff to do. And are you pumping when you leave for two days? No, no.

At this point, I think the longest I’ve gone away from her without pumping is like almost 72 hours. And I was like, okay, I am a little uncomfortable now. And that was okay though. It’s not, I didn’t like immediately get mastitis or anything. I was just like, well, I feel kind of. Full. Yeah. Tend but let’s talk about what’s in my boobs right now.

Yeah. So how is it different right now than it, than it was when it was colostrum or mature milk? Yeah. So the difference is way less significant between mature milk and toddler milk than colostrum and mature milk. Right. Colostrum is gonna be more unique. Than either of these. This really isn’t that different.

Okay. I just wanna like, don’t freak out if you’re, you know, giving your infant milk from a toddler mom. It’s okay. So this is a lot. The contents are a lot more dependent on toddler behavior because some two-year old’s nurse 10 times a day, some two-year-old’s are like mine and they nurse twice a day. But when you get down to much longer weights between nursing, we’re gonna have a.

A pretty significant decrease in the carbohydrates and we’re going to increase the fats and proteins again. So it’s kind of like going back to the beginning because we have a smaller quantity and we need to get more out of that. So the primary source of calories becomes fat rather than carbs after. Is this why we see a lot of toddler moms get MA status?

I don’t know. I don’t, I don’t see a lot of toddler moms get mastitis too. Not necessarily toddler, but when they’re towards the end of their journey, they stop pumping at work and they’re mostly just nursing before bed. I think I would put it down to just like behavioral changes and stuff, and that toddlers are dirty, grimy little creatures.

And it’s gonna be actually higher calorie now. Yeah. Our calorie count’s gonna go up just a little bit and we’re gonna have a lower volume and. An increase in our immunological factors. And so, you know, your body’s kind of like winding down the volume. And so we’re getting like just more of these fats and stuff per ounce.

Now I have some, some fun facts for you. You know, I like fun facts cause this whole episode is kind of fun facts. But there was one study that had actually like pretty good controls on this. You know, so I’m gonna pick out the, the cherries from that study. Mm-hmm. So this one, as we said, lactose significantly decreased after 18 months, but they don’t really need it cuz they’re eating carbs from other places cause they’re eating carbs from foods.

The highest fat and protein in the moms tested in the study were those who were nursing babies older than two years. Ah. Those babies are mobile. Yeah. And for those nursing, after two years, they had about 60% more calories than the group from 12 months and younger. So it was 60% get more calories per ounce.

Yeah. Oh, well that’s a lot. Yeah. It, it’s pretty significant. That’s like a 30 cow. Shocked. Pretty close to it. Yeah. Okay. And those nursing, their second child had higher protein levels in their breast milk than those nursing, their first Interesting. Don’t know what to do with it. But it’s interesting, every, everyone whose second kid crawled it five or six months is like, yep.

And they also saw that if these toddlers increased their nursing frequency, they saw the body respond with less fat and protein and more carbs. Right. So like I said, it’s behavior dependent, not age dependent. It’s just that at certain ages, babies tend to behave a certain way because they’re all developing on the same, you know, neurological train or whatever.

Okay, so here’s a question. Mm-hmm. Can I throw a huge wrench in your plan? Go for it. Let’s do it. What about people that get pregnant while they’re still nursing their toddler? Okay. So as far as we know, At some point in pregnancy, we’re going to transition back to colostrum. However, as we’ve said, like this, toddler milk, like isn’t all that different from colostrum.

It’s higher fat, higher protein, higher immunological factors. But I thought colostrum is lower in fat, in protein, it’s lower. So no colostrum is higher protein, but lower fat ah and low sugar. So, but like taste wise and volume wise, it’s not that different, right? Hmm. So I think first a lot of toddlers just don’t notice and, and it doesn’t matter and they don’t care.

Doesn’t matter. They don’t care. Theoretically, you still switch sometime in the second trimester, but we just haven’t done that many studies on parents who are pregnant and still breastfeeding a toddler. Right. However, when the new baby is born, the. You kind of take the frequency of feeds all together, like it’s one baby.

So, you know, even if say like you have a six month old and a two year old nursing at the same time. Oh yeah. That would explain why the protein’s higher in your second baby. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So it’s like the baby who nurses more frequently is the determinant. Of the milk content. Yeah, that makes sense.

Yeah. God, we’re magic. Yeah, it’s pretty cool, you know? And it’s not that like it’s bad for a two year old to have milk that’s more water and lactose. No, it’s not. It’s just that if your two-year-old is only nursing like once or twice a day, you know? Your body’s like, let’s give them all the immune factors we can.

They’re still getting them in other milk. If you’re tandem nursing, it’s fine. It’s just gonna taste sweeter, you know, and they’re just gonna get a higher volume. Great, great. No problem. Yeah. There was an interesting fact from that too. The highest levels of lactoferrin were recorded between 12 and 24 months of lactation.

And reminder that that is an iron binding protein. It inhibits the growth of certain iron dependent bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract and it can protect against gastrointestinal infections. Is that because those kids are so mobile in putting everything in their mouth? I mean, it certainly sit all the time that it happens at that time.

Right? I mean, and these things like, you know, we look at these facts and we’re like, wow, that is amazing that this, you know, protein that helps prevent infection. Happens to be present in high quantities when my kid is literally licking the floor at Walmart. Awesome. One time my son licked the entire length of the counter at Big Lots.

Oh God. That place is one of the most disgusting stores. Yeah. The cashier looked down at him and like it was a slow motion, like, no, and she just goes, Ew. I was like, yeah, well, man. Yeah. Griffin broke out of that little toddler seat in the Walmart bathroom once and licked the floor and then crawled out under the door.

Oh. And I was pooping and I like couldn’t get up to follow him. I was like, oh no, someone will catch him. I mean, he couldn’t get out of the bathroom, but he did them. Like throw paper towels everywhere, which was fun. Why are they like that? I don’t know, but I like monkeys was so upset and at this point with Lyra, I’m like, wow.

That hasn’t happened yet. Great. Yeah, I know. They’re so different. Amazing. Our sons, oh my gosh. Our sons are a challenge. I used to have to take a buddy with me to go grocery shopping. This is before you could order groceries. Mm-hmm. Because he would literally get away from me while I was bagging up groceries, and he would run out the automatic door directly into the parking lot.

Well, so Lyra’s my runner, not Griffin. Oh, he. He ran away from me one time in a grocery store. Otherwise he would literally hold onto my shirt tails, like all of my shirts were stretched in the back. Oh, how annoying. Yeah, so I never had to keep track of him because he was literally dragging me everywhere.

But Lyra, I have like done experiments to be like, how far will you get? She won’t stop. We’ll, she will not. Like, we’ll be in the woods and I’ll be like, I’m just gonna stop and see. She will go out of sight. As, and then I’ll like sneak up, you know, so she can’t see me and watch she just keep going. She doesn’t care.

No girls. The girls were like, yeah, I’m an adult. Bye. No. The one time Griffin ran away from me, I was not ready. Of course, because he literally never did that. And he was like three. And I looked and I just saw like the wisp of his hair, like go around the corner, you know? And I ran and then I looked and I didn’t see him.

And I shouted down the grocery store, I was like little blonde hair boy wearing a green shirt, you know? And like this big dude was like, I see him and like started sprinting down the aisle and like, Jumped and grabbed him. Oh my God. And Griffin was like, I just got manhandled by a stranger. He, Griffin was totally fine.

This dude laid himself out though. That’s awesome. It was great because I could not catch him. He was so fast. Oh yeah. And like had an amazing head start. Jimmy, John should just hire a bunch of three year olds to deliver their sandwiches. Yeah. Lira though I do not let go of her for one second. There are kids that you could put on leashes and feel pretty good about it.

I honestly have thought about it a lot with Lyra, but I think she would just be like a cat on a leash. Mm-hmm. Where she would just refuse to go anywhere. Mm-hmm. Or she just dangles two inches above the ground. Like a mission. Impossible. Yeah. She would just freak out. She would walk with a limp like the cat, like when you put a cat in a collar and they’re like, oh, I can’t walk.

That would be her. That’s awesome. Any who, So question we, we were talking about lactoferrin and iron binding protein. Yeah. So breast milk allegedly, which is probably true, is lower in iron after six months. Mm-hmm. Yeah. Or lower in iron all the time. And they just lose their iron. We did a whole episode on this.

We did an episode on it. It, it’s low in iron all the time compared to formula. Mm-hmm. But it’s a more absorbable iron, right? Yeah. Arguably we possibly don’t need to, you know, supplement it’s, it’s hard to say, but the lactoferrin is what can keep them from getting infections, even if you are giving them an iron supplement.

Right? Cuz we did talk about that as a possible risk of supplementing with iron. That’s really cool. I would love to do a whole episode on. Lact Fert. That’d be cool. Yeah, why not? Why not talk to some? We should just do 300 episodes each on its own little piece of breast milk, a little piece, little piece of heaven on when?

When are we gonna stop doing this, by the way? You know what, Heather? I’ve definitely thought like maybe when we get to 200, we should just do like seasons and be like, okay, we’re just gonna do like 10 episodes a year. And just like release them during our like, busiest listening time. And then just take the rest of the year off.

I don’t know. Don’t throw away. What do you think? What do you think? All just, we are getting a little bit tired. No, with, with all the things we have to do. Not of the podcast, but I’m like, I’m a tired human. Well, it’s just that, you know, eventually it’s going to end. So it’s like, Do we have any control over that and when, yeah.

I don’t know. What do you want from us guys? I definitely, I wanna make it at the very least, a 200 episodes for sure. And we’re close. We’re gonna get there this year. Oh yeah, for sure. Email if you have any thoughts about that? Yeah. We’re not quitting anytime soon. No, we were just, we’re opening discussion.

Yeah. I think that we may end up changing our release schedule at some point. Yeah. Weekly is a lot. Weekly. Weekly is a lot. We have other things going on. There’s so many kids. We’re having another kid joining us so soon. Oh my gosh. Halfway through. Crazy. Oh my God. Help me. All right. Well let’s take a quick break and when we get back, we are going to give an award in the alcove.

Okay. Sounds good.

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Welcome back everybody. It’s time to give an award in the alcove, and today goes to one of our listeners, Brandy Nicole. Brandy says, sharing my story to hopefully encourage others. And she posted a picture of the first breastfeeding session as well as her last at 28 months of life. And she says that it was the most wonderful, empowering and challenging journey of her life.

And then she goes on to say some very nice inspirational things, like if you’re struggling and feeling like you can’t, you can, and. I would encourage anyone to try it and experience the bond. Don’t give up. And that’s great. Brandy, we’re gonna give you the Master of Challenges award. Oh yeah. You definitely met all of the challenges that you faced in the first, I mean, more than two years of your child’s life.

And you did a great job. That’s a lot. Plus you had to grow that child, so really it’s like almost three years. Yeah. It’s really amazing what you’ve done and we wanna congratulate you and just encourage everybody else out there that you can do it too. You got this. Everybody let us know what you need.

And thank you for listening to another episode of the Milk Minute podcast. If you liked this or any other episode you’ve ever heard, you should tell a friend about it. You should share about us on social media, or you can join us on Patreon. You can write an Apple review as well if you have an iPhone, which is always nice, and we read every single one of them, we do.

And if you want to join our Patreon, which gives you access to all the exclusive Beyond the Boob episodes, you can do that at Minute podcast. Beyond the Boob is a journey of my pregnancy. The, my third pregnancy with Maureen as my midwife, and she’s giving me all the best prenatal advice.

And trust me, I do not have my midwife hat on for those episodes. I am fully a pregnant person who is just there to receive education because let’s be honest, that part of your brain shuts off when it’s you. Yeah. And we would love to see you guys there too. I think it’s an incredible show. I’m really proud of what we’ve built there, so Me too.

And we built it like. Outta nowhere. We were like, okay, today we’ll just make a whole new podcast today. Oh goodness. Well thanks and we’ll see you next time folks. Bye-Bye.


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