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‡ Colostrum is produced in the breasts by the seventh month of pregnancy and

continues through the first few days after birth. In appearance, colostrum is thick,
sticky, and clear to yellowish in color.



‡ The milk of a mother giving birth before 37 weeks gestation, preterm breastmilk, has
more protein, minerals including iron, and more immune properties than
mature milk, making it more suited for the needs of a premature baby.


‡ Mature breastmilk contains all of the major nutrients ± protein, carbohydrates, fat,
vitamins, minerals and water in the amounts the baby needs.

‡ Breastmilk has over 200 known constituents as well as constituents that are not yet

‡ A mother's milk is especially suited for her own baby. It changes to provide nutrition
suitable for the baby¶s needs.

Colostrum and breastmilk are adapted to gestational age, and mature breastmilk
changes from feed to feed, day to day, and month to month to meet the babyµs needs.
Breastmilk is a living fluid that actively protects against infection.


‡ The amount of protein in breastmilk is perfect for infant growth and brain

‡ Fat is the main source of energy (calories) for the infant..


‡ Lactose is the main carbohydrate in breastmilk.

‡ The amount of iron in breastmilk is low.

‡ Breastmilk is very rich in water.

‡ The flavour of breastmilk is affected by what the mother eats.


‡ Breastfeeding is important for the short and long term health of children and
women. Both the action of breastfeeding and the composition of breastmilk are


‡ The action of breastfeeding helps the child¶s jaw to develop as well as muscles
such as the tongue and muscles of the Eustachian tube.

‡ Infants appear to be able to self-regulate their milk intake. This may have an
effect on later appetite regulation and obesity.

‡ Breastfeeding also provides warmth, closeness and contact.


‡ Breastfeeding is important to children, to mothers and to families.

Breastfeeding protects infant¶s health. Children who are not breastfed are
more likely to be:
- Ill or to die
- Underweight and not grow well,
-Overweight and to have later heart problems.

‡ Breastfeeding is important to mothers. Women who do not breastfeed

are more likely:
- To develop anaemia and to retain fat deposited during pregnancy, which
may result in later obesity.
- To become pregnant soon after the baby¶s birth.
- To develop breast cancer and
- To have hip fractures in older age.

-Breastmilk is readily available.

-Breastfeeding is simple.

-If a baby is not breastfed, the family will need to buy replacement milk for the
baby and find time to prepare feeds and keep feeding equipment clean.

- If a baby is not breastfed, there may be loss of income through a parent¶s absence
from work to care for an ill child.