Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"For God's sake, please breast feed."

The New York Times ran an article Monday titled Breast Milk Sugars Give Infants A Protective Coat.  It explains a new discovery by researchers at the University of California, Davis who are trying to "deconstruct" breast milk "on the theory that the fluid has been shaped by 200 million years of mammalian evolution and holds a wealth of information about how to best feed and defend the human body."

Until recently, no one knew why as much as 21% of breast milk, composed of long-chain sugars, was undigestible.  These researchers discovered that the sugars feed a strain of healthy bacteria which "coat the lining of the infant's intestine, protecting the infant from noxious bacteria."  Breast milk contains not only the world's best probiotics, but also the sugars to feed them, all in one source.  As explained in the article:
Such findings have made the three researchers keenly aware that every component of milk probably has a special role. “It’s all there for a purpose, though we’re still figuring out what that purpose is,” Dr. Mills said. “So for God’s sake, please breast-feed.”


  1. Agreed! Have you heard all the commotion about Gisele Bundchen's comments? I didn't understand what the fuss was all about...but then again, I'm pro-breast feeding and agreed with her, and you!

  2. I think it's so sad that something that is truly better for your baby is still so controversial. Had she said that about prenatal care, I don't think anyone would have thought twice, but somehow postnatal care becomes all about "mother's choice." I read the comments on one of the online news articles covering the debacle, and the comments were so SAD- so many people clueless about breastmilk, one who even said a nursing woman makes herself look illiterate and like she's living in the dark ages because we "have so much these days." SAD. All the more reason we need to share information with others on the benefits of breastfeeding!!!

  3. Wow, yes, very sad indeed. I'm grateful for modern medicine and all it provides us, but often think that the more natural and less intervention, the better. Our own bodies have served us for thousands of years.


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