Breast milk is the perfect food for babies, and can be used alone up to three months of age. It is cheap, easily digested, results in minimal faeces production, protects against numerous infections (eg. gastroenteritis, bronchiolitis) and is conveniently packaged for immediate use without any messy preparation.
Colostrum is the type of milk produced from one to five days after the birth of a baby, transition milk from five to ten days after birth and mature milk after that.
Breast milk can be scientifically analysed to detect the reason for infant feeding problems, a failure of the infant to thrive and inadequate or inappropriate milk production. The normal results are summarised below:-
|UNIT||COLOSTRUM||TRANSITION MILK||MATURE MILK|
|Total protein||mg/100 mL||1460 to 6800.||1270 to 1890||730 to 2000|
|Lactose (milk sugar)||mg/100 mL.||1100 to 7900||6100 to 6700||4900 to 9500|
|Amino acids||mg/100 mL.||700 to 4000||600 to 1000||900 to 1600|
|Total fats||mg/100 mL||2740 to 3180.||2730 to 5180||1340 to 8290|
|Specific gravity||SG||1.034 to 1.036||1.026 to 1.037|
|Total solids||g/100 mL.||10 to 16||10.5 to 15.5||10.3 to 17.5|
|Sodium||mEq/L.||26 to 135||19 to 53||6 to 43|
|Iron||mg/100 mL.||0.02 to 0.05||0.04 to 0.07||0.02 to 0.09|