This mom's viral photo shows the 'healing powers' of breast milk

By Samantha Luiz
26 February 2016

Mallory Smothers made a "cuckoo awesome" discovery about breast milk.

When she woke up in the middle of the night to feed her small baby, Mallory Smothers noticed that her baby "was congested, irritable, and sneezing" a lot.

The mom, from Arkansas, believed her daughter was coming down with a cold. The following morning, she pumped some breast milk "as we always do".

It was only when she compared the milk pack with the one she had pumped the previous evening that she made a "cuckoo awesome" discovery.

Read more: Breastfeeding benefits mother and child

In a viral photo she shared on Facebook, the two milk packs, although pumped hours apart, had a significant colour difference.

She explained the contrast by referring to a study done by Clinical and Translational Immunology in 2013.

"I read an article from a medical journal not too long ago about how Mom's milk changes to tailor baby's needs in more ways than just caloric intake," she wrote on Facebook.

Read more: Breastfeeding bumps up babies’ IQs

"So this doctor discusses that when a baby nurses, it creates a vacuum in which the infant's saliva sneaks into the mother's nipple.

There, it is believed that mammary gland receptors interpret the "baby spit backwash" for bacteria and viruses and, if they detect something amiss (i.e., the baby is sick or fighting off an infection), Mom's body will actually change the milk's immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby's particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies."

Essentially, her body had picked up on the cold the baby was fighting and "tailored" the milk to help.

"Look at how much more the milk I produced Friday resembles colostrum (The super milk full of antibodies and leukocytes you make during the first few days after birth) and this comes after nursing the baby with a cold all night long..." she wrote on Facebook.

Read more: Mom says breastfeeding her six-year-old daughter is completely normal

"Pretty awesome huh?! The human body never ceases to amaze me."

The viral photo has created quite a buzz on social media, garnering more than 73 000 shares.

Carrie Nelson commented: "I breastfed both my 2 and found this to be very true!! Our bodies are truly amazing!!"


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