What is in breastmilk?
Breastmilk is a miracle of nature because it contains everything your baby needs for healthy growth and development. Click on the ingredients below to find out what they do for your baby.
Ingredients in breast milk
- Nutritionally complete
Breastmilk contains all the nutrients your baby needs for the first few months of life, including protein, energy, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, in the perfect quantities. It’s important that you eat a healthy, balanced diet while breastfeeding and drink plenty of water, to ensure that your milk is nutritious and plentiful.
- Omega 3 & 6 LCPs
Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids are types of unsaturated fats that play many useful roles in the body. Two of the most significant LCPs are the Omega 3 LCP known as DHA, and the Omega 6 LCP known as AA. AA and DHA are important components of the retina of the eye and of the brain and they are therefore of major importance during the visual and neurological development of young babies.
- Prebiotic oligosaccharides
These are indigestible carbohydrates (or dietary fibres), which support the growth of ‘friendly bacteria’ in your baby’s tummy, promoting healthy and comfortable digestion. Breastmilk contains large amounts of prebiotic oligosaccharides which help to soften the stools of breastfed babies.
- Friendly bacteria
Friendly bacteria are live probiotic cultures that support the growth of healthy gut flora and therefore play an important role in the development of the baby’s immune system. To see how they work, watch our friendly bacteria video.
- Other important natural substances
Breastmilk contains other substances that contribute to your baby’s healthy development, including:
- Antibodies (immunoglobulins) or lysozyme: act directly against ‘bad’ bacteria
- Antioxidants and various neurotransmitters: helping the immune response
- Lactoferin: helps the body to absorb iron and also acts against ‘bad’ bacteria
- Many other ingredients that have not been identified or explored