Breastmilk can help babies tell time!
We have all heard about all of the amazing benefits of breastfeeding. Of course, we know that fed is best, but everybody understands the amazing things that breastfeeding can do for baby as well as the mother. Breastmilk provides all of the essential nutrients that are required for a baby to grow healthy. Breastmilk is uniquely tailored specifically for each child so that it can provide the baby with immunity from the mother. Breastmilk really is amazing. Now, recent research has proven that breastmilk can help babies tell the time of the day.
Researchers have found that breastmilk actually changes throughout the day and children will start to be able to pick up on the taste with the time of day. When a mother is breastfeeding her child in the morning there are different "ingredients" in the milk that change the taste compared to the milk that the mother produces later on in the evening. Experts are now suggesting that mothers can use “chrononutrition” to help "program infants" to help them learn the difference between day and night. This theory is only used for mothers who are feeding their child directly from the breast or milk that was just barely pumped from their body. Babies will not be able to tell the time of day by previously pumped milk.
Researchers believe that mothers can use their breastmilk to help change their children's circadian biology. Sleep, eating, and energy levels all show circadian rhythms, which means they follow a daily cycle. However, all parents know that babies are not born with the proper rhythms fully set and that is why they often have their days and nights mixed up. Babies usually start getting their rhythms set by cues such as daylight and darkness. Experts admit that each baby varies. They stated, "some show predictable circadian fluctuations in hormones linked with alertness, sleep, and appetite, and can sleep for long stretches shortly after birth, whereas others seem to have their daily rhythms upside-down for months. Delays in the development of circadian biology can increase the risk of colic and lead to growth and feeding problems."
Researchers found that night time milk contains higher levels of certain DNA building blocks that can help promote healthy sleep for the infant. By contrast, day milk has more activity-promoting amino acids than night milk. Different minerals in the milk peak at different times throughout the day. Iron in milk peaks at around noon and vitamin E peaks in the evening. Minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, and sodium are all highest in the morning.
Experts believe that this study will allow for a chance for mothers to use their breastmilk to help put their children on a proper schedule. However, a lot more research will need to be done in order to fully educate women on how to use their milk to benefit them and their children's rhythms.