• Breastmilk Different for Boys and Girls, says Research

    A journal article discusses new insights and discoveries about breastfeeding.
  • breastfeedingDespite years of knowledge backed by science about breastfeeding, there have still been recent discoveries about its benefits and what makes breast milk one of a kind.

    An article in the December issue of the journal Nature discusses the composition of breast milk and how it far outranks formula milk when it comes to an infant’s first source of sustenance.

    In fact, in a study published recently in the journal Pediatrics, researchers confirmed that exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months of life boosted academic performance 10 years later.

    According to the article in Nature, breast milk for boys has more fat and protein than breast milk for girls.

    When asked about how such a difference could occur, coordinator of lactation services at the University of Washington Medical Service in Seattle, Ginna Wall said, “We know that boys grow faster than girls, and perhaps this is due to the milk, or the milk may be responding to the commands of the child.”

    “It could be triggered by prenatal chemistry or by the infant's sucking style, although in real time they sure don't look different when they're nursing.”

    While the reason may still be unclear, experts surmise the difference may be due to the reaction of the mother’s body to the way the baby sucks, so perhaps baby boys suck differently compared to baby girls, thought Barbara Holmes, a lactation specialist at the New York University Langone Medical Center.


    Photo from upload.wikimedia.org

    SOURCES:
    •    Denise Mann. December 23, 2010. “New Insight on Benefits of Breastfeeding” medscape.com
    •    December 23, 2010. “Different breast milk for boys and girls, says University of Washington” examiner.com

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