Our world is on fire, as we shield ourselves from an invisible threat that has taken so many lives and scarred others. If the fear, isolation and pivots of extraordinary 2020 have taught us anything please let it be to shift our focus from quantity into quality. Let it teach us to understand that everything we do, everything we consume, is connected.
For me this starts with a new life, a new promise, a new beginning. A blank slate that we are responsible to nurture and nourish. Breast milk is liquid gold, specially designed by nature for babies. We know that most beautiful, comfortable nursing bras can help us feel valued in a time fraught with transition. It’s important to declutter our minds and our closets, invest in durable, multi-functional pieces, and in the same way, we also need to rethink decluttering our diets.
As a previous infant nutrition industry executive it became apparent to me that in an industry so obsessed with quantity, we seem to have forgotten about quality. Yet, when one understands the scientific research available, it’s the quality of breast milk that can be influenced and it’s the quality of breast milk that matters.
This is important because better quality breast milk helps give children a healthier future.
Breast milk quality is influenced by two factors:genes and diet.
While we can’t influence our genes, we can all influence our diet. However, that’s easier said than done for new moms. In a time when it is difficult to find a minute to shower, it is equally difficult to find an opportunity to research, buy, prepare and consume healthy foods. Yet this is vital for every breastfeeding mom because the quality of her diet impacts the quality of her breast milk.
Of course, as with most things in life, it is not quite as simple as this. Breast milk is constantly being researched with new findings emerging all of the time. Currently, we know that there is a stress component, a caloric component and a diet quality component. These three factors combined can influence the quality of breastmilk.
Here’s what better quality breast milk looks like when put into an equation.
Decrease Maternal Stress + Eating + Eat Well = Better Quality Breast milk. Let’s unpack it.
1) Decreasing maternal stress.
Clinical evidence suggests maternal stress affects the quality of breast milk. A study published in the Journal of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association has shown that maternal psychological state may affect the immune properties of breast milk.
2) Remembering to eat.
In the early newborn days, remembering to eat can be difficult—especially when trapped under a tiny human! Breastfeeding takes up to 500 additional kcals/day, so prioritizing mom’s nutrition matters.
3) Eating Well.
Energy is simply not enough, it’s what’s inside it that counts! A few nutrients can’t come from your body while breastfeeding, they have to come from your diet. Two of these nutrients are fatty acids and B vitamins. Nut butters are a great source of fatty acids and brewers yeast is a good source for B vitamins. Both of these key ingredients are found in Nunona's Mama Balls .
All of this adds up to better quality breast milk.
Why does it all matter? Because better quality breast milk helps give children a healthier future. This is because good nutrition during the first 1000 days (when tiny cells are being programmed) sets children up for a lifetime of health.
This is not to say that quantity doesn’t matter. It does. And for the 4-5% of women who experience chronic low milk supply, ensuring infants receive enough energy is paramount.
However, it is important to understand that with quantity as a primary focus for all breastfeeding mothers, we are missing the importance of quality nutrition.The quality of a mother’s diet affects the quality of her breast milk and better quality breast milk can help create healthier humans due to the powerful effects of nutritional programming.
We owe it to this next generation to do better. Like many things in life, remember to focus on quality over quantity.
Nunona is a whole food plant-based maternal and infant nutrition company for the first 1000 days (from conception until 2 years of age). Founder Krista Maas de Villiers, a former infant nutrition industry executive, trained dietician and mom, founded Nunona when she realized products on the market for new moms were full of synthetic supplements and were not aligned with the demands of a modern mom. Focused on translating science into solutions, Nunona’s purpose is to help create healthier humans for a healthier planet. In May 2020, Nunona launched its debut product, Mama Balls- energy balls specially formulated to help to optimize the quality of breast milk. Mama Balls allow new moms to better feed their bodies so they can nourish their babies. Currently available in 'Chocolate Chunk' and 'Cashew Confetti' with new flavours dropping soon.' Nunona Mama Balls are available as a weekly subscription from www.nunonalife.com