Dr Virginia Thorley, OAM, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA
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|Posted on November 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM|
Years ago there was an Old Wives' Tale told to breastfeeding mothers as their baby reached the second half of the first year - that their milk would "turn to water" at a particulr age, usually the age the baby was then. This comment was both illogical and unscientific - milk continues to be milk. These days, although the extreme belief of the past seems to have disappeared, mothers and health professionals still wonder if the milk is still nutritious enough for breastfeeding to be worthhile in the second year.
Here is a useful resouce for information about the continued quality of mother's milk, even when the child is eating other foods in addition to breastfeeding.
Dewey KG. Nutrition, Growth, and Complementary Feeding of the Breastfed
Infant. Pediatric Clinics of North American. February 2001;48(1).
Pediatr Clin North Am. 2001 Feb;48(1):87-104.
The author calculates that 448 mL of breastmilk per day provides a child of 12 - 23 months with significant nutrition, as the percentages below attest. These are of course, percentages of the child's recommended daily requirements.
* 29% of energy needs
* 43% of protein " "
* 36% of calcium " "
* 75% of vitamin A " "
* 76% of folate " "
* 94% of vitamin B12 " "
* 60% of vitamin C " "
In addition, there are the various protective mechanisms provided by the milk, not listed here, and the breast provides comfort to the toddler who has a tumble or fright.