Breastfeeding and a Baby’s Stomach

A women’s breastmilk has been feeding babies for many years. After the formula industry took off, mothers turned to bottle feeding because it seemed to save time and energy. However, after some time and research numerous health problems began to rise, such as child obesity, infections, food allergies, and issues with immune systems. Poor immune systems is one of the biggest problems we face today because babies are not getting the proper essentials they need during infancy to grow up strong and healthy.


Today we are going to discuss the benefits breastmilk has on a baby’ stomach:


If you are unaware, your gut is almost 70% of your immune system, which means your gut plays a significant role in your health and well-being. When a baby is born, and before they reach the age of six months, they have immature digestive systems, and their gastrointestinal tract does not produce the enzymes they need to protect their stomach. They are completely dependent on their nutrition they receive during this short period of their lives. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for at least six months after birth because breastmilk contains the specific nutrition and enzymes a baby needs to proper gut development.

While breastmilk contains specific enzymes your baby needs for gut development and immune protection, such as sIgA, amylase, and lipase, it also contains proteins and other good bacteria which help protect your baby from the dangers in the environment. These elements are crucial for your baby’s gut health because their stomach is then able to gather good bacteria to line their guts before bad bacteria can get in and potentially cause harm.

One of the best antibodies in breastmilk is sIgA, which is a passive form of antibody protection that lines the GI tract. SIgA also plays a key role in protecting susceptible areas such as the oral cavity and lungs, and it even helps us as we get older from forms of illness and stress. SIgA is a primary gut immune defense, and when disturbed our bodies become more prone to reactions associated with IgE, an inflammatory reaction, and IgG, which can result in sickness, food allergies, and other sensitivities.

Breastfeeding also helps with digestion. A baby who breastfeeds is able to digest their food a lot faster than a baby who is fed formula because breastmilk is easier on the stomach. Furthermore, breastfeed babies have also been known to have a more acidic stomach. This is why formula fed babies become constipated more often, and why their stools tend to be denser.


Developing a strong gut health is important for everyone, but especially babies because they are more prone to illnesses earlier in their lives. When babies are breastfeed they are able to obtain all the necessary enzymes and good bacteria they need to help ward off disease and potential harm, unlike formula that doesn’t have sIgA which is detrimental during the first few months.


Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

WIC counselor from Tawas City, MI sharing a precious, breastfeeding moment with her baby.

The annual World Breastfeeding Week started this past Saturday, August 1st! The world celebration of breastfeeding has occurred every year since 1991, when the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed. This week long event encourages women to embrace their motherly attributes and praise their abilities to give their children the essential nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong!

We’ve all heard about the benefits breastfeeding has for both mom and baby, but did you know breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of our children? Researchers and moms are continuously finding ways breastfeeding is better and better, and how it out wins formula every single time. Breast milk gives our children the best possible nutrients and protection. Moms who breastfeed are shown to have lower risks of cancers, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., and babies who drink breast milk are given immediate and long term protection and have a lower risk of infections, obesity, and cancers. What’s even more amazing about the power of breast milk is it can alter its self to meet a baby’s needs. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva communicates with the mother’s body and their breast milk can give the baby anything they need at that time. If they are sick the milk will produce extra antibodies and antioxidants to help them recover and feel better. Same goes if the mother is sick!

During this week, August 1st to the 7th, organizations such as, La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) are hosting special events for breastfeeding moms and their babies. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work! will be all about women who want to continue breastfeeding while they pursue their careers. A few spotlighted events are Camden County, NJ, who will be hosting their “Big Latch On” affair where global counts of mothers simultaneously nurse their babies for one minute, and in Caldwell, ID where the Southwest District Health WIC has their “Latch On” event, which this year will be a full day of giving breastfeeding mom’s tips on how to tie both breastfeeding and work together!


Find your local chapter near you and checkout all the excitement going on this week and celebrate breastfeeding as it should be: loving, nurturing, and supportive!



Breastfeeding Adopted Baby

Breastfeeding is a beautiful way a mother can provide beneficial nutrients to her baby. A special bond is created through the precious moments of skin on skin contact. By supplying your baby with food from your body, some mother’s believe it’s the greatest experience they can have in their lives. But what about mothers who have chosen to adopt? Many women might not be aware, but breastfeeding your adopted baby can be done. Even if you’ve never given birth or breastfeed before, your body is still capable of producing breast milk. Today we are going to discuss how breastfeeding your adopted baby is beneficial to their health and the bonding experience, along with ways to prepare your body before they come home.

Breastfeeding Adopted BabyPreparing yourself for breastfeeding your new baby can be difficult. Although it’s not an easy task, and it takes a lot of time and real dedication, it can be done and the benefits you will gain are well worth it. Creating that mother/baby bond is the most important thing you need to focus on because most infants who are adopted are known to experience and feel loss and abandonment after delivery. Babies can recognize their mothers right after they are born once they are placed on their mother’s chest. They can identify them through smell and touch. If they are not placed directly in their adoptive mother’s arms they could develop a fear of separation and begin performing a distress call/cry. By supplying your baby with your natural milk you are not only giving them the best nutrients possible, but you are also enhancing the bond and creating an even stronger relationship with your child that they need to feel loved and secure.

Getting your body ready to breastfeed isn’t a tricky process, but it can take a while before you are able to produce enough breast milk to fully feed your baby. Adoption can be an unpredictable course. Some women have no time at all to prepare while others might be given several weeks or even months. If you don’t have time you will still be able to produce milk for your baby, and don’t get turned off if it’s a very small amount at first. What’s amazing about a woman’s body is we can produce breast milk once a baby begins breastfeeding. The suckling sensation triggers our bodies to think we have just given birth! Women who have more time before their child is brought home can have the chance to teach their body how to produce enough milk. You can practice by gently massaging your breasts a few times a day. It’s also recommended and encouraged to try breast pumping to stimulate your breasts even more. The more your breasts are stimulated, and the more milk you pump, the more breast milk your body will produce.

Many women who have trouble producing, or want to make more milk, can be prescribed hormones from their doctors to influence their bodies even more. This can work for several women. Other options include formula or you can try a donor’s breast milk. Whatever you chose just remember it’s all about the bonding experience you share with your little one. And always talk to your doctor or lactation consultant about what’s right for your body and baby if you have any questions or concerns when it comes to breastfeeding.