Breast milk contains just the right nutrients in just the right proportions for your baby. It is crucial for the optimal development of the infant and is irreplaceable! Artificial breast milk simply cannot hold a candle to the original - no matter what the advertising promises.

Breast milk is packed with thousands of bioactive molecules that protect against infection and inflammation and promote the development of the immune system and microbiome.

Many prospective mothers have questions about breast milk and breastfeeding. We have answered the five most frequently asked questions for you.

1. How long should you breastfeed?

Breastfeeding should be exclusive for the first 6 months. However, you should continue to give the child breast milk afterwards. The child should be weaned after one and a half to two years.

2. How to optimize the nutrients in breast milk?

Studies show that the fatty acid profile of breast milk depends on the mother's diet. Omega-3 fatty acids are an extremely important nutrient for optimizing breast milk. These can be found, for example, in chia seeds, salmon, egg yolks or walnuts. In addition, omega-6 fatty acids should be reduced in the diet.

3. Do babies need vitamins in addition to breast milk?

The mother should eat a healthy diet and in this way provide the baby with all the nutrients through breast milk. However, it is recommended that you support your diet with vitamin supplements while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers often take a combination of vitamin D3, vitamin K and a multivitamin. Omega-3 fish oil is also recommended to optimize the fatty acid profile of breast milk.

4. How long can you store breast milk?

  • Room temperature: 4-6 hours
  • Refrigerator: 3-5 days
  • Freezer compartment: 6-12 months

If breast milk is stored in this way, it can be fed to the baby without any problems. However, this can change the nutrient content.

Studies suggest, for example, that breast milk no longer has any antioxidant effect after around 48 hours.

A study showed that the vitamin C content of breast milk drops by 50% after just 20 minutes.

5. How does alcohol affect breast milk?

Alcohol can also be consumed in moderation while breastfeeding. The key here is the timing of breastfeeding. It takes a woman weighing 55kg about three hours to drink a glass of wine. So you have to multiply each glass of wine by three to get the number of hours you can't breastfeed.

However, a study from the Monell Chemical Senses Center showed that infants consumed an average of 23% less breast milk after the mother consumed alcohol.

6. How does caffeine affect breast milk?

The study situation here is not clear. It's best to observe whether your child's sleeping habits are disturbed when you drink coffee. Some infants are sensitive to caffeine, while others are unaffected.

Nutrient breast milk – a perfect composition

Immediately after birth, the mother's body produces colostrum. This liquid is also known as “liquid gold”. Colostrum is packed with nutrients and antibodies and gives your baby exactly what he or she needs after birth. After about three days, the body begins to produce normal breast milk.

Breast milk contains on average 1.1% protein, 4.2% fat and 7% carbohydrates, is rich in antibodies that strengthen the immune system and contains the antioxidants vitamins C and E. It also contains many enzymes, including superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidases .


Human Milk Composition: Nutrients and Bioactive Factors. (Olivia Ballard JD, PhD (candidate) and Ardythe Murrow)

Essential fatty acids in full term infants fed breast milk or formula. (Decsi, I. Thiel, and B. Koletzko)

Maternal Caffeine Consumption and Infant Nighttime Waking: Prospective Rohort Study. (Iná S. Santos, MD, PhD, et. al.)

Energy Drinks: Implications for the Breastfeeding Mother. (Thorlton J et. al.)

Perspectives on Immunoglobulins in Colostrum and Milk. (Walter L. Hurley and Peter K. Teil)

Beer, Breast Feeding, and Folklore. (Julie Menella and Gary Beauchamp)

Techniques for the storage of human breast milk: implications for anti-microbial functions and safety of stored milk. (Ogundele et. al.)

Comparative analysis of ascorbic acid in human milk and infant formula using varied milk delivery systems. (Francis J. et. al.)

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