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Cows milk more nutritious than breastmilk?

(26 Posts)
Coffeelover56 Wed 20-Jul-16 20:10:36

I currently ebf my 5 month old DS and I love doing it. My partner believes that I should stop bf when DS is 1 year old, and whilst my heart tells me I'd like to carry on as long as possible, I do like the idea of being able to go out and have a few drinks again by then (as it stands he won't take a bottle).

Anyway, I was speaking to MIL about toddler feeding, and how I'd seen a lovely video of this on Facebook the other day. I told her that there was loads of negative comments about it being weird, but others remarking that these posters drink cows milk which is designed for calf and the toddler is getting milk that is designed specifically for them.

My MIL (who used to be a family worker for sure start) said that cows milk is better than breast milk for babies over 1 because it contains more protein, and by this point breast milk has almost no nutrients in. Is she right? Without knowing facts, Instinctively I would be inclined to disagree - surely the milk designed for our young would be preferable over that of a cow?

Could anyone shed light on this?

Claraoswald36 Wed 20-Jul-16 20:13:23

It's rubbish. I'm a bf peer supporter and I've never heard this protein business!

alltouchedout Wed 20-Jul-16 20:13:40

She's wrong.

Lemonwords Wed 20-Jul-16 20:13:47

She's wrong. It's a myth that breast milk after 6 months / 1 year etc contains no nutrients. Sadly there are many misinformed health visitors and other professionals out there.

Lemonwords Wed 20-Jul-16 20:16:19

If you want actual research.....

FiveFullFathoms Wed 20-Jul-16 20:17:24

She's totally wrong. Some studies suggest that the protein content of breastmilk actually increases over time. Interesting summary from Kelly Mom.

Pestilence13610 Wed 20-Jul-16 20:17:29

Cow's milk is fantastic for baby cows. Human milk is fantastic for baby humans, so well designed in fact that it changes as the baby human grows up until they don't need it any more and can just drink water because they eat loads of different things.
Breast feed for as long as you want. Your DS will be getting protein from his food.
Humans also happen to like cow's milk, so let him have that if and when you want him to.
Loads of people stop BF after a good bite. Often around the age of one. [Hmm] This issue really is one for you to be in control of and the others to tow your line.

Pestilence13610 Wed 20-Jul-16 20:18:39


CoffeeAndOranges Wed 20-Jul-16 20:22:20

Breast milk is specifically designed for human babies - babies being anything from a few minutes old to 6 or 7 years in some cases! It's up to you and your little one when you stop, don't give in to anyone else's interference.

GoldPlatedBacon Wed 20-Jul-16 20:23:01

I've had a friend say this to me recently when she discovered I was still breastfeeding my 12 month old Although dc is on a slippery step to no breast milk due to biting!

Personally with this friend I think she's trying to rationale/justify her decision to stop at 9 months when she went back to work.

WellErrr Wed 20-Jul-16 20:23:10

No she's daft.

VoldysGoneMouldy Wed 20-Jul-16 20:26:23

She's completely wrong. Your boobs don't wake up on the day of your child's first birthday and think "well, that's me all out of use!". Your milk will continue to match what your child needs for as long as you breastfeed.

CMOTDibbler Wed 20-Jul-16 20:28:23

This research was carried out on women with poor nutritional status, and their milk still had the same protein before and after 1 year

J Trop Pediatr Environ Child Health. 1979 Aug;25(4):107-10.
Composition of breast milk beyond one year.
Boediman D, Ismail D, Iman S, Ismangoen, Ismadi SD.
The composition of breast milk from 197 mothers lactating for 12-34 months was investigated seeking correlation of composition with maternal and child nutrition and an estimate of nutritional value to be derived from mother's milk in the 2nd and 3rd years of life. It was found that although the composition of breast milk is not constant from 1 mother to another or at all periods of lactation or even hourly throughout the day, the mean concentration of protein, fat and lactose in milk from women lactating for more than 1 year was the same as milk composition during the 1st year. Proximate composition was not influenced by the duration or lactation or the nutritional status of the mother. Even though the lactating mother is undernourished, she continues to provide high quality milk for her child. In that no mother in this series was below 70% weight for height, severe malnutrition could not be evaluated. Among children receiving mother's milk, there is no correlation between proximate composition and the nutritional status of the child. Calculations to show the nutritional value of breast milk in the 2nd year indicate that it may supply 1/3 of all protein needs. The presence of only 1 severely malnourished child in this group of children supports a protective nutritional effect of the breast milk

MrsJoeyMaynard Wed 20-Jul-16 20:39:05

I'm biased, as I'm still breastfeeding a nearly 3 yr old, but I'm of the view that human breastmilk is more nutritious for a human infant than breastmilk from a different species.
Although I don't have facts to back my opinion up.

ICJump Wed 20-Jul-16 20:42:53

Also you can still go out and have drinks. As they get older they have less milk so you don't need to ensure they have a bottle.

Ilikedogs Wed 20-Jul-16 20:48:04

I breastfed till about 18 months and probably could have gone longer but my son started nursery and I couldn't pump much of anything by that point.

Remember you can mix feed which is what I did from 1. He was breastfed morning and night and had cows milk during the day.

Do what you think is right for your baby

53rdAndBird Wed 20-Jul-16 21:00:59

Ask her what happens if the cow's been producing milk for over a year.

dodobookends Wed 20-Jul-16 21:08:38

Ask her what happens if the cow's been producing milk for over a year Cows generally produce a calf every year.

CMOTDibbler Wed 20-Jul-16 21:10:43

53rd - of course the interesting thing is that cows pretty much stop producing milk after a year

53rdAndBird Wed 20-Jul-16 21:23:09

Er, yes, it's more of a rhetorical question than a nuanced comment on the dairy industry, tbh...

(Although if left in with their mothers, calves will feed for a long long time if the cows don't get pregnant again. At which point I presume all the other cows are saying "there's no nutrition left, Mabel, he really should be on rhino milk by now!")

finova Wed 20-Jul-16 21:29:54

Think breast milk might have less iron...but poss more easily absorbed...think a lot of iron added to formula isn't absorbed.
So poss give vitamin with iron.
Vitamin D also poss an issue.

But check with someone less vague!

I fed mine till 2 years and 2,9 years and didn't supplement though! Just gave a healthy diet.
I do know that '1 or 2 good breast feeds' will meet the calcium needs of a dairy intolerant toddler (as told to me by a dietician when I was asking about Oatley/Soya/coconut alternatives).

AnnieOnnieMouse Wed 20-Jul-16 22:25:35

Cows milk is far better - for calves.
Your baby, your boobs, your choice.
By 1 year a lot of nutrition coming from other foods, so a decent diet is all that's needed. My kids threw up when I gave them cows milk. Coconut milk worth a go when they need something to go on cereal.

Coffeelover56 Wed 20-Jul-16 23:00:35

Thank you for the replies, and for the articles and link, a very interesting read!

I guess I'll revisit it when the time comes and see what me and DS want to do - now that I've read how good it is I'd probably be inclined to continue. Plus I love the cuddles!!

barkingfly Thu 21-Jul-16 03:56:35

If you are a calf, yes. Not if you are a human.

bigmamapeach Thu 21-Jul-16 11:53:52

You definitely can go out and have a few drinks and breastfeed! The alcohol that feeds through into your milk is not enough to affect the baby, as long as it's literally just a few and not binge-drinking/really, really drunk. Here is some info on some of the safety issues:

Basically if you would fail a police breath test, you are likely not be safe to feed the baby. Best if you are pretty drunk to not BF for a couple of hours after. But mild/moderate drinking occasionally is basically fine.

Once the baby is older, they may reduce their feeds anyway (and be less likely to feed through the night), so you could do a before bed feed and then head off for your evening (leaving baby with a competent carer) and return, and still be able to feed them the following morning, providing it was basically a social evening out and not a binge.

This is all separate from the benefit of BF after a year anyway, but would agree it is still nutritionally valuable once baby is well established on solids, and to feed as long as you and baby want!

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