In recent years, breastfeeding has made a real comeback for young mothers. There is a good reason for this, because, as numerous scientific studies have shown, breastmilk is, with some exceptions, the best food for infants. The reasons are many. On the one hand, in addition to valuable protein, breast milk contains a lot of micronutrients, which are extremely important for the child's development.
On the other hand, further studies suggest that breastfeeding has a tremendous impact on the development of the immune system, the brain, and also on the reduction of obesity and diabetes type 2 risk. But what makes breast milk so special? How can milk production be optimized? And does the intake of whey protein have a positive effect on breast milk?
How is breast milk composed?
As with all mammals, breast milk is the natural food for infants. Accordingly complex is the matrix of micro- and macronutrients of which it is composed. Naturally, water is used as the basis for this with a share of 87 percent. This is followed by an equally high proportion of high-energy macronutrients. While lactose makes up a good 7 percent, fat accounts for 3.8 percent and proteins for around 1 percent of the total mass. However, the fascinating thing about breast milk is that it always adapts to the needs of the baby and changes its composition.
Which proteins are in breast milk?
In principle, the protein content of breast milk is composed of both casein and whey. How high the concentration of both types of protein is in relation to each other, depends on the "milk stage". However, the casein to whey mixing ratio generally varies between 70 to 30 and 80 to 20. An interesting comparison here is a cross-comparison between human breast milk and the breast milk of other mammals.
This shows that the proportion of whey protein (English Whey protein) in human breast milk is significantly higher and thus plays a major role in the development of humans. In addition, breast milk is characterized by a high proportion of glutamine. The amino acid has excellent bioactive properties and plays a major role in the organism both in the context of the citric acid cycle and as a possible neurotransmitter.
What influence does nutrition have on milk production?
As we have already seen, whey or whey protein is very important for the development of infants. Against this background, of course, the question arises, how the diet affects the milk production. Interestingly, there are not too many studies on this topic yet. However, studies from India and Nigeria indicate that there is a positive correlation between milk volume and dietary protein intake. For example, a comparative study showed that milk production increased significantly in women, who increased their daily protein intake from 50 grams to 100 grams. However, significantly increased fluid consumption, which goes beyond the natural level of thirst, has no effect, according to current research, which increases the amount of milk produced.
So how can milk production be increased?
Nature is a real miracle of efficiency. This of course also affects the production of breast milk, because if the baby does not register any need, no breast milk is produced. So to optimize the milk production, the mammary glands should be stimulated frequently. Either by the child or by pumping.
In this way, it can be ensured that the daily production of milk is on average between 750 and 800 milliliters. In addition, the amount produced can be promoted with the help of some herbs. For millennia, women in many parts of the world have been using herbal "galactagogos", herbs that increase breast milk production. Typically, the choice here, for example, on kitchen herbs such as fennel, aniseed seeds, caraway seeds or dill.
Can I optimize the whey protein content in the milk?
We already know that Whey Protein plays an important role and makes up a large proportion of breast milk. But how can the proportion in breast milk be optimally maintained? Simple question, simple answer. About an increased protein consumption, which of course should best be covered by high-quality proteins. High-quality whey protein powders are available at this point. Especially in stressful everyday life, when the diet does not always work smoothly, one to two protein shakes, each with 30 grams, are an optimal nutritional supplement for nursing mothers.
However, it is important that you reach for a high-quality whey protein with the highest possible protein content of at least 80 percent. So the bottom line is that there's nothing against using Whey Protein while breastfeeding. After all, this is honestly nothing more than a food that also supports the optimal quality of breast milk and therefore provides you and your child with high-quality protein in the best possible way.