What does breast milk taste like
Lactose is one of the main ingredients in breast milk – giving breast milk it’s sweet flavor. It’s not the sweetest type of sugar, but when there is a lot of lactose present, the sweetness is greater.
Breast milk also contains fat, which makes it creamy. During the transitional stage, it has less fat and may look thin and watery. As mature milk comes in the breast milk becomes higher in fat and much creamier.
I see it first hand with my nursing moms at the hospital, worrying if the milk she is making is enough for her baby. Rest assured, our bodies are simply amazing, not only can they create humans, but they also create food specifically tailored to your baby’s needs at a certain time.
Stages of breast milk
Breast milk has three distinct stages in the first month after baby is born. We gathered some information to break down these three phases easily for you. There are times however when a baby is not getting what they need at the breast, and supplementation is required. That is something that a lactation consultant can help you determine.
Colostrum: Days 1-4
Colostrum is the first stage of breast milk. It occurs during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the birth of the baby. It is either yellowish or creamy in color. It is also much thicker than the milk that is produced later in breastfeeding.
Colostrum is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that pass from the mother to the baby and provide passive immunity for the baby. Passive immunity protects the baby from a wide variety of bacterial and viral illnesses. Two to four days after birth, colostrum will be replaced by transitional milk.
Transitional Milk: Days 5-20
Transitional milk occurs after colostrum and lasts for approximately two weeks. The content of transitional milk includes high levels of fat, lactose, and water-soluble vitamins. It contains more calories than colostrum.
Mature Milk: Day 20 and beyond
Mature milk is the final milk that is produced. 90% of it is water, which is necessary to keep the infant hydrated. The other 10% is comprised of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats which are necessary for both growth and energy.
Fore Milk vs. Hind Milk: What is the difference?
Fore-milk: This type of milk is found during the beginning of the feeding and contains water, vitamins, and protein.
Hind-milk: This type of milk occurs after the initial release of milk. It contains higher levels of fat and is necessary for weight gain.
Both fore-milk and hind-milk are necessary when breastfeeding to ensure the baby is receiving adequate nutrition to grow and develop properly.