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Thread: Question about relactated milk

  1. #1
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    Default Question about relactated milk

    Ok, I did not relactate, as I never really dried up. . .but this question has been bugging me and I am very curious about the science behind it.

    We know that a woman's milk changes depending on the age of her baby. When a woman relactates, does her body think it has a newborn, or does it still fit the age of her baby? If so, how would her body "know" that?

    Same question applies to wet nurses from the olden days. . .did babies with wet nurses not get colostrum at all?

    Just curious

    And I will throw it out there to anyone who is reading that I'm not saying relactated milk is bad or anything. Breastmilk doesn't change *that* much as baby gets older.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    I've always wanted to know this
    Yai

    Mamá de Aini 19-09-10 (or, for my English speaking folks: 09-19-10)

    Pregúntame sobre pañales de tela Ask me about cloth diapers!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    The milk composition (I believe) is more related to how the baby nurses rather than how long it's been since the baby was born. Babies at different ages have different sucking patterns. I'm sure there is a lot more to it than that, but that's all I've got.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    I agree there is nothing wrong with relactated milk.

    However, there is quite a difference between colostrum and milk. And milk banks won't take milk from a mother whose baby is over 1 year old - which leads me to believe that there is a pretty significant difference between the earlier milk and the toddler milk.

    I don't understand how the milk from someone who EPs can change, as I thought the mechanism for the milk changing had something to do with how the baby nurses, and the pump is the same all the time.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    and how about tandem bf? When a mother is breastfeeding both her toddler and newborn, does the newborn receive colostrum?
    Yai

    Mamá de Aini 19-09-10 (or, for my English speaking folks: 09-19-10)

    Pregúntame sobre pañales de tela Ask me about cloth diapers!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    The newborn still gets colostrum. Most of the time (not always) the milk slows down or dries up completely during pregnancy and then restarts again with colostrum after the birth of the baby.

    Tracie I think there is a difference when you are nursing the baby rather than expressing, which is why the milk banks won't take milk past a certain age. But I also wonder how much science there is behind that decision by the milk banks and how much is culturally influenced by the idea that the milk isn't as good past the age of one.

    Hormones are also involved in the changing milk as well as nutrition. I don't think it's all completely understood how it works. I've even heard the child's saliva has an effect, but I don't know if that's really true or not.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    Cool replies! Idk, I find this really fascinating.

    I've actually been on PubMed and Science looking for scientific research done, but most of it is only about breastmilk vs. formula, or really old papers. It is really overwhelming the number of articles they have about EVERYTHING.

    I am also wondering for my own self because I am EPing and at one point I was making only 4 oz a day and am 6 oz away from 32 oz (what I will say is a "full supply", at least for my baby). I wonder if it's the amount of time that has past or the amount of milk expressed or even something else (saliva or lackthereof).

    I'm studying bio too

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    KATIA!!! THAT IS FANTASTIC!! You are doing a great job mama!
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    I read in "Adventures in Tandem Nursing" that when you're nursing a toddler through pregnancy that the milk you make for the baby isn't exactly colostrum. It's got properties that colostrum has and also properties of more mature milk.

    It's quite fascinating.

    You know what I wonder, off topic, but in cultures that they think colostrum is bad for the baby - what do they feed the baby until the colostrum is gone? And how do they get their milk to come in, these generally aren't societies that would be pumping.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Question about relactated milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommy2lilah View Post
    KATIA!!! THAT IS FANTASTIC!! You are doing a great job mama!
    Haha I thought I said that on the pumping thread? Thank you very much

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