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Milky Matters Blog

A-Z of Breastfeeding Words - W-Z At last!

Nikki Adlam

We’re on the home run and Z in in sight in the Breastfeeding Norfolk, slightly sideways look at breastmilk and breastfeeding A-Z. I hope I’m not being too boring, but I must complete this marathon. A marathon is 26 miles (plus a little), and the alphabet has 26 letters so that’s an apt description! Here are the last 4 of the big 26.

W for Whey. This is one of two proteins in breastmilk. The other protein in casein. The whey is the liquid part of the milk when separated from the curds or casein. I always think of Miss Muffet etc. Whey is much greater than casein in breastmilk, reckoned to be 90%/10%, when babies are very young, becoming around 50%/50% after 6 months. So clever. Whey provides the immunological, and bacterial defences, plus nice sloshy inoffensive poo. This helps the baby’s digestive system mature gradually.

X for prevention of Xeropthalmia. Sorry – I had to really search for the X factor. How about this. Xeropthalmia is an eye disease and is found particularly in parts of Africa. Its caused by a deficiency in Vitamin A, which is one of the fat-soluble vitamins in breastmilk. Human milk is a known preventative of this disease because of this vitamin.   

Y for “Yes, I want to breastfeed”. More mums than ever in recent times say this before they have their babies, yet, there is a big drop out rate by 6-8 weeks after their babies have been born. Breastfeeding is a whole body, mind, and emotional commitment. Mums don’t take it on unless they really want to keep going. The answer is to keep asking questions and get answers if breastfeeding is not going well. There is always a reason, and in most situations, an answer leading to a happier experience can be reached. Do get support. You deserve it.

Z for Zebras. What? Well; zebra milk is most similar to human milk. Interested? I found this lovely piece as I really struggled with a nice Z!        http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160707-the-surprising-links-between-human-milk-and-the-wild