Breastfeeding Trivia: 16 Random Facts
August 2, 2013
Every 10 years, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant must recertify by writing an international exam. Two days ago, Cindy rewrote her exam. The following are some random, but interesting facts she learned while studying:
1) In the first 24 hours of life, a breastfed baby takes in about 7 – 14 ml. (That’s 1 ½ to 3 teaspoons of milk!)
2) Breast milk is made up of about 87% water. (Hence the recommendation that breastfed babies do not require extra water supplements.)
3) The time it takes for half of the milk to leave the stomach of a breastfed baby: 47 minutes. The time it takes for half of the milk to leave the stomach of a formula fed baby: 65 minutes. (Van den Driessche 1999)
4) By the time a breastfed baby is 8 months old, the baby will have consumed about 30,000 kcal less than a bottle fed baby.
5) In the first 3 months of life, it is normal for a breastfed baby to have more fat than a non breastfed baby. From 3 to 12 months, however, the breastfed baby will be leaner.
6) Most women experience “breast fullness” at about 3 days postpartum. Insulin dependent diabetic moms may need an extra 24 hours for this fullness to occur.
8) Moms who have breastfed at least one other child will produce more milk than a mom who is breastfeeding her first baby.
9) A woman’s right breast usually produces more milk than her left.
10) Some women’s breasts have a larger storage capacity. Their babies, therefore, may be able to go longer between feeds.
11) When a woman is weaning her baby, her breast milk will be higher in sodium and therefore taste saltier.
12) There has never been a documented case of a baby being allergic to its own mother’s milk.
13) The amount of cholesterol in breast milk increases as the baby gets older. Formula contains little to no cholesterol. Cholesterol plays an important role in nerve conduction in the brain.
14) 50% of the available iron is absorbed from breast milk. 7% of the available iron is absorbed from iron fortified formula.
15) Women lower their risk of osteoporosis the more babies they have and the longer they breastfeed.
16) Extreme exercise may increase the lactic acid in breast milk. It is not harmful, however, a baby may not like the taste.
Gastric emptying in formula-fed and breast-fed infants measured with the 13C-octanoic acid breath test.Van Den Driessche M, Peeters K, Marien P, Ghoos Y, Devlieger H, Veereman-Wauters G. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1999 Jul;29(1):46-51.
Cindy and Jana are Registered Nurses and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants who have assisted over 20,000 families.
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