Advanced search

Breastmilk has no nutritional value beyond 6 months...

(20 Posts)
MoonUnitAlpha Sat 13-Nov-10 17:39:39

...or 12 months, 3 years etc.

I hear/see this said quite often (along with mothers only doing it for their own benefit) but I've never really understood what people mean by it confused

Do they simply mean that breastmilk is no longer enough on it's own - the child needs solids to?

Or that breastmilk has no nutritional benefits over formula milk, or ordinary cows milk?

Or that breastmilk literally contains no calories or nutrients after a certain point?

MumNWLondon Sat 13-Nov-10 17:42:45

I am guessing they are meaning no nutritional benefits over formula.

Because if my 4 or 7 YO were to drink it, it certainly contains more calories than water!

BertieBotts Sat 13-Nov-10 17:43:36

It means that it's possible (and more likely than say for a 1 year old) for the child to get the same nutritional benefits from food and other drinks at that age, and applies at around 2 years of age.

However it doesn't take into account the other benefits of breastfeeding like shared antibodies, and the emotional side of things. It's purely talking about nutrition alone.

Even then I'm not really convinced TBH, because they still don't know what exactly is in breastmilk, so how can they be sure?

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 13-Nov-10 18:14:26

Interesting. It doesn't seem logical to me that there comes a point where a child needs animal/artificial milk but not breastmilk. I'd have thought that if a child is going to drink milk, then breastmilk always has the benefit simply of being human.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 13-Nov-10 18:17:21

It is a very odd thing to say, as if the stuff suddenly turns to dishwater or something.

StealthPomBear Sat 13-Nov-10 18:18:39

not only that BertieBotts, but you could say that about any food. After all there is no need to eat bread. Or meat. Or drink milk. Or eat eggs. Or eat onions.

5DollarShake Sat 13-Nov-10 18:19:32

I have never heard this said...?

StealthPomBear Sat 13-Nov-10 18:19:43

(as I'm sure you know, not correcting you )

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 13-Nov-10 18:28:13

Most recently heard it from my dad 5DollarShake, when I mentioned breastfeeding toddlers. "Well of course bf is important when they're little, but after 6 months there's no nutritional value so you have to wonder why the mother does it".

Saw a poster on another thread today commenting that in her NHS breastfeeding class they were told bm has no nutritional value after 3 years.

MumNWLondon Sat 13-Nov-10 19:27:27

Am guessing that at 3 years, child would have such a varied diet, that the benefits of BFing would be fairly negligible. Bit difference between 6 months (still def a baby on v limited diet) and a 3 YO (child, on proper food).

MummyBerryJuice Sat 13-Nov-10 19:36:40

Yes, but in and of itself, breastmilk has the nutritional value it has. By that I mean that, if it say has 70KCal/100mls it has 70KCal/100mls as well as a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and a multitude of mcronutrients AND immunological factors. As a food it doesn't lose it's intrinsc value but I can accept that it plays a progressively smaller role in the overall nutrition as the child grows. (As formula/cows milk would f child were ff)

thesecondcoming Sat 13-Nov-10 19:41:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MoonUnitAlpha Sat 13-Nov-10 20:00:54

I think this particular poster was saying at her class they were told something happens to the quality of the milk to make it nutritionally valueless.

MumNWLondon - but surely you could say that of anything that forms part of a varied diet? By the same logic bread/banana/chicken has neglibile benefit to a 3 year old.

pastyeater Sat 13-Nov-10 20:39:30

Well they need a pint of milk a day at three. Why is it that they need a pint of cows milk but human milk is useless?

The logic escapes me...

reallytired Sat 13-Nov-10 20:44:34

Breastmilk has nutrional value who ever drinks it. It was easy to buy breastmilk as cow's milk then I am sure we would all be drinking it.

A three year old can live without any milk in their diet. Many three year olds around the world have no milk of any description. Most human beings lose the ablity to digest lactose.

Maybe a three year old in china who has lost the ablity to digest lactose would have no nutrional benefit from milk. Who knows, howevr the majority of white people are not lactose intolerant.

TruthSweet Sat 13-Nov-10 20:57:44

But as time passes the milk a mother produces has more fat in it so it's even more nutritious (not saying it should take the place of solid foods but as a complement to it) .

A study was done that compared milk from mums who had nursed for between 2-4 months and milk from mums who had nursed between 12-39 months. The 2-4 month group had milk with 7% fat on average and 740kcals per litre while the 12-39 month group had 11% fat on average and 880kcals per litre.

If you compare 200mls of whole cows' milk with 12m+ bm it stacks up as follows:-

wcm = 7.8g of fat and 132kcals
12m+ bm = 22g f fat and 176kcals

Whole cows' milk not looking so great nowwink Worth mentioning to your Dad MoonUnit

coldcomfortHeart Sun 14-Nov-10 06:14:30

argh yes Moonunit I was on that thread and have directed tiktok to it!

It just makes no sense at all. The poster was told 'hormonal changes' make the milk less and less nutritionally valuable as time goes on, but a woman might start her periods at 3 months postnatal or 19 months postnatal, and 'hormonally change,' does that mean the mother of the 3 month old's milk is now of 'no nutritional value?' confused

And it was apparently an nhs bf class, how depressing.

tiktok Sun 14-Nov-10 09:48:34

It's very tiresome, isn't it?

TSC - your HV is correct about the vitamins though. This is not a deficiency in breastmilk, but a deficiency of sunlight on our skin, because of the way we live our lives and the fact we are in a northern latitude. Guidance is that babies over 6 mths who are bf need vitamin d because of this (it's already added as a supplement in the formula). Many babies will be fine without because they go outside every day and because they have solids with vitamin d and because their mothers' diet has vitamin d. But there are many experts who would say that everyone could benefit from supplementary vitamin d, like the Scandinavians who routinely have cod liver oil as a supplement.

In generations thousands of years ago, human beings this far north would have been outside all year a lot of the time, and in the UK, with many parts of the inhabited areas close to the coast, we would have eaten more fish oil and other vit d containing foods.

2greatboysandabump Sun 14-Nov-10 10:11:08

Tiktok thanks for the guidance on vit d. If a baby is given a vit d do you know what is recommended? Is there a particular brand to buy at a chemist?

DS3 is nearly 6 months (24 weeks today) and EBF. I'll be starting solids at 26 weeks. We do go outside everyday and I'll make sure he has a varied diet but just need a bit more info on this. Thanks.

thesecondcoming Sun 14-Nov-10 12:15:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: