Well, various tests throughout a 24 hour period give my milk about a 21 calorie per ounce average. I say about because I need to double check on one of the numbers, if it was 20 or 21 or in-between - but the answer does not change the point much.
Formula has 20 calories per ounce unless it is a special fortified version. And, Calvin is 15 months old. The milk I produced a year ago would logically have had a higher amount of fat. That is the typical trend: Mom's store "baby fat" to be used for nursing. That fat should run lower and older babies and toddlers do not need as much fat. Our bodies know what to do to not only reproduce but to support what is most nutritionally sound for our offspring.
Anyways, I was relieved to find out the calories. I figured it was enough, but now I have the numbers to go along with it and support what we are doing. (By the way, this is based off of testing the amount of fat in the milk, not protein or carbohydrates)
The lactation consultant I have worked with was one that helped me when we were in the NICU, so it is neat to be able to be at a different point in the process than we were then.
We started chatting a bit about nursing and breast-milk. Here are a few things I learned:
- Some people are starting to consume breast-milk to treat gut related issues like colitis and also some cancer patients are using it for treatment.
- There are stem cells in breast-milk! Very interesting! I can imagine the potential use could be huge.
- Research is pointing towards breast-milk being correlated to a gene linked to obesity. In other words, the milk may trigger a specific gene or the genetic make up could be transfered via breast-milk - I was not clear on that but there is time to learn.
- Older babies, 12 months on up, can nurse sporadically. A mothers milk supply will stay in tact even if the toddler does not nurse every day.
- If I am healthy, I should be kissing Calvin because when I will create antibodies to help fight any illness he has. I knew that, but I did not know that my body also receives those messages while he is nursing. They are also transfered to me through my skin/nipple
- I asked why I was so sore for a couple of weeks with each of the boys. She said plain nipple soreness is because they are supposed to be sensitive so my brain registers the nursing and knows to produce milk - part of an insurance policy you could say!
This food was made for humans. Cows milk? Not so much. I cannot wait to learn more!