We call human milk “magical” for good reason: it is a live, active substance that behaves more like a medicine than food, as it makes antibodies in response to the environment.
For instance, during lactation a parent’s body is always taking in signals from their environment that tell them exactly what the baby needs. The milk of parents whose babies are born premature has increased immunofactors in comparison with the milk made for full-term babies, showing that the parent’s body adjusts to make milk that is especially helpful to the vulnerable preterm baby.
Similarly, when a baby is sick, human milk adjusts to increase the production of antibodies to help fight the baby’s illness. It’s understandable how human milk earned its description of being magical. To learn more, visit nurturely.org and take a look at our Magic Milk program, as well as a range of free support for expectant parents.
Visit our new Perinatal Lounge at 56 East 15th Avenue in Eugene.
Emily Little (she/her), PhD, is a perinatal health researcher, educator, and advocate. She is the founder and executive director of Nurturely, a nonprofit promoting equity in perinatal wellness and strengthening cultures of support for infants and caregivers.
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