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We know all about the many benefits of breastfeeding. Anectdotal evidence says it may help moms shed the baby weight too, although that one is up for debate.
The point is, breast milk is pretty incredible stuff. New mom Paige Peterson's recent Facebook post proves that in a jaw-dropping way.
Paige, who is mom to daughter Raina, shared a photo of two bags of her frozen breast milk. The milk on the left is quite pale in color while the one on the right has an almost yellow hue.
Paige offers an explanation for the difference between the two bags, writing, “Raina tested positive for flu this past weekend. I didn't believe the nurse when she told me because she hasn't had any symptoms of flu that I have noticed. The frozen milk on the left is from 2 weeks ago. The frozen milk on the right is from this past weekend when her swab came back positive. Notice the change in color? My breast milk created antibodies to fight off any infections that Raina may have had. I never gave her Tamiflu. THIS is why I breastfeed!”
It seems almost unbelievable, but science backs up Paige's theory about the superpowers of breast milk.
“A baby, when they're nursing at the breast, their mouth and saliva exposes the breast itself to what baby has been exposed to," explains Rachel Miller, a registered nurse who works at South Carolina's Piedmont Medical Center.
It seems the composition of mom’s milk then alters to provide protection against the illness. Studies have shown an increase in the number of white blood cells, a key component of the immune system, that are present in breast milk when an infant has a fever.
In her post, Paige acknowledges that breastfeeding isn't always easy - something we talk about a lot here at the blog - but encourages moms to try, writing, "If you're a new mom and can breastfeed, please be patient and seek help if you need it. Breastfeeding is SO important for our babies."
Images via iStock, Paige Peterson
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.