Is there calcium in breast milk? That would depend on what you define as calcium. The actual calcium elements, calcium cation (Ca2+) and calcium anion (CaO+), are in breast milk. But let’s be clear: breast milk is not a source of supplemental mineral or vitamins and it never will be if you want your child to get the best benefits out of it.
Is There Calcium In Breast Milk
Adequate calcium intake is vital for infant health, and some cases of rickets have been associated with a low concentration of calcium in breastmilk. The concentration of calcium in breastmilk has been shown to vary widely both between mothers, and over the course of lactation. To address potential concerns about the adequacy of calcium intake for infants who are exclusively breastfed, we discuss the factors likely to be affecting the concentration of calcium in breastmilk. We review and provide new evidence for a physicochemical model of the interactions of calcium with other components of breastmilk, particularly phosphate, citrate and casein. A proposed mechanism for the control of the concentration of calcium in milk is described that highlights the influence of the concentrations of citrate and casein. Understanding these interactions clarifies why the concentration of calcium in breastmilk is not affected by manipulations of maternal dietary calcium and vitamin D.
Breastfeeding: your choice
In the end, it’s an individual choice – but it should be an informed choice.
If you decide not to breastfeed, it’s good to know that formulas give your baby adequate nutrition. And if you need to supplement breastmilk with formula, it doesn’t mean that breastfeeding has to stop completely.
How long to feed your baby breastmilk
It’s recommended that you breastfeed exclusively until you introduce solid foods when your baby starts showing signs that they’re ready. This usually happens around six months. It’s around this time that babies start to need extra nutrients for growth and development.
Your baby needs only small amounts of food for the first few months of solids, and breastmilk is still baby’s main source of nutrition. Once you introduce solids, it’s best for your baby if you keep breastfeeding along with giving your baby solids until your baby is at least 12 months old.
After that, it’s really up to you and your baby how long you keep going. If you decide to breastfeed for longer, your baby will get added benefits like protection against infections in the toddler years.
Breastfeeding in the First Few Weeks
Don’t count minutes. “You can leave your baby on the first breast until she comes off on her own and then offer the second breast. It’s typical for some babies to take one breast at some feedings and both breasts at some.” – Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, lactation consultant in the Chicago area and author of Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple
Avoid pacifiers at first. “The AAP recommends delaying the pacifier for the first month because it can suppress hunger cues and steal time from the breast during a critical period. After that, offering a pacifier shouldn’t hurt.” – Dr. Jones
Lie on your side. “It lets you rest your shoulders and lower back if you tend to hunch over, and it’s good for moms who’ve had a C-section, who have carpal tunnel syndrome, or who are just exhausted. Put a pillow between your knees and your arm under your head, and bring the baby in facing you. Have someone help you at first.” – Brown
Try a nursing stool. “It can help give you more of a lap, especially if you’re short, and it takes the pressure off if you’ve had an episiotomy. When I watch a mother use one, I can see right away on her face how much more comfortable she is.” – Brown
Offer the first bottle at 4 to 6 weeks. “If you wait until 8 weeks, you risk bottle refusal. Have someone other than you give the first one – and get out of the house so you’re not tempted to help out.” – Dr. Jones
Don’t buy a whole nursing wardrobe. “It can be easier to just lift up your shirt. If you wear a blouse over a camisole, you’ll have a lot of coverage