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Lecture 12

Health Sciences 1001A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Breast Milk, Colostrum, Breastfeeding

Health Sciences
Course Code
HS 1001A/B
Shauna Burke

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I. Breastfeeding: The Basics
A. Stigma
1. Lots of societal reactions against mothers that breastfeed in public in
a) I.e., women being blocked from facebook for sharing pictures,
women being kicked out of public spaces
2. Depiction in television
a) Generally positive depictions, though limited in scope
(1) Usually educated, caucasian women, breastfeeding
(2) Did not breastfeed past infancy
(3) Did not breastfeed in public
b) Many sexual depictions of breastfeeding
c) No depiction of challenges
3. Social Pressures
a) Women feel a lot of pressure to breastfeed and breastfeed
4. TIME magazine
a) Provocative image of 26 year old mother breastfeeding her 3 yr
old son
b) Lots of negative reactions, calling it “offensive”, “almost
pornograohic”, “sexualized image”, “son was too old”
B. Human Milk is species specific; mother makes milk that is perfectly suited to her
baby’s requirements for growth and development
1. Human milk contains a lot of lactose due to infant’s brains doubling in size
within 2 years
2. E..g., cow milk is high in protein due to cows needing to walk hours after
C. Breast milk is the ultimate “superfood” and the only single food for humans that
can independently sustain life for the first 6 months after birth
D. Breast milk provides all the fluid and nutrients for optimal growth and
1. Protects the infant from bacteria and viruses that the mother comes in
contact with
E. Breast milk adapts to the age of the infant
1. Constantly changes to meet the infants nutritional needs
2. If the mother or infant is sick, breastfeeding should still be done as it
passes antibodies to the child
F. Composition changes in the early postpartum period, from colostrum to mature
1. “Colostrum, the yellowish, sticky breast milk produced at the end of
pregnancy, is recommended by WHO as the perfect food for the
newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.”
(WHO, 2015)
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