Breastmilk Terms and Lingo, Preparation of Breastmilk and Mom’s Diet When Breastfeeding

Learning the language of breastfeeding helps nursing Mom’s communicate effectively about their breastfeeding journey. Reminders on safe preparation of breastmilk – freshly expressed, previously frozen – thawed, and freezing. Considerations in Mom’s diet when breastfeeding.

episode transcript:

Welcome back to first breasts to first steps. Our podcast today. I am so lucky to have Jodi Heiser with me. She is a pediatric nurse. For gosh, over 16 years that I have worked with, she has also. Certified IB CLC, lactation counselor, and has been doing that for many, many years as well. So welcome today jodi. It’s great to be with you today. We’re going to talk about breast milk. We’re going to talk about. Breastmilk terms. How to prepare breast milk and a little bit on mom’s diet when breastfeeding. We’re going to just jump right in and get started. Jodi thanks for joining me today.

We hear of lots of different types of milk colostrum, mature milk, hind milk. Can you break it down for us and tell us the different types of breast milk and what these terms mean?

Right, right. Well, I think, you know, my favorite. I’m going to start with that is colostrum. I like to refer to colostrum as your babies first vaccination because it is loaded with antibodies. And it’s an amazing substance. You’re probably only going to produce between an ounce, maybe an ounce and a half for those first couple of days. Basically what this is doing is now that your baby’s in the world, it’s giving that baby great protection for all the things that it might come across. It really protects it from anything that’s going on. I like to always call or refer to colostrum is liquid gold. It is a little thicker. Right.

It tends. Is to be a little bit more yellow. Yes. In color. And so I’m always like this is just jam packed of every nutrient and possibly could want anyone to have! Absolutely. It’s not plentiful. Like you said, but it definitely just packs a powerful punch. It has everything in it. Yeah. Super immune building.

Yeah, protecting and so, so nutrient dense. That’s why at the beginning, I know a lot of moms get concerned. Gosh, I don’t have a lot of milk. It’s like, Yes, it’s coming and it is kind of enabled trick. Here’s your baby and you have no milk. But that first milk, that colostrum is so, so important. It is. And it’s, it’s all your baby really needs. If you think about the fact that you baby stomach is basically the size of a marble. When I talk about that, you’re producing an ounce to an ounce and a half and a half, maybe two ounces that is really all that baby needs. Right, right. And so, so important to get. So it is why almost right after birth. Babies are put back up onto mom, chest to chest. They’re really encouraged to start nursing right away. Absolutely. It also is really important because it actually seals the gut. It helps seal the entire digestive track, which protects for so many things in the future. Right. It’s just important first pass through exactly that baby. That’s awesome. Yeah. How long do you expect to see colostrum production? You know, it lasts for really the first couple of days. And then you kind of see a change and you go into the transitional milk.

Transitional milk is really for about the, you might start to see it come in about two days after delivery. And it kind of continues for about the first two weeks of life. The transitional milk it’s when your breasts feel full and it’s a little bit thinner milk, but it’s, again, exactly what the baby needs. Okay. You would expect to see with this transitional milk more in volume? Yeah, definitely. Yeah. That’s where we kind of have moms that say, oh my gosh, all of a sudden. I wake up and feels like there are bowling balls on my chest. That’s that en- gorged state. And that’s when you’re getting to that transitional milk. We talked previously about the colostrum being. Pretty pretty slight in nature. There’s not a lot of it. How much of this transitional milk are the babies getting in a sitting? Well, you know, a, baby’s going to take about 300 to 400 MLS of breast milk in their first 24 hours. And by day five, that increases to about 500 to 800 MLS. So that’s why your breasts feel so much bigger. They’re really increasing that intake. And you are saying moms are feeling this more full feeling before every feed or just when they wake up or yeah, it, you know, typically every mom’s a little bit different and mom’s produced different amounts of milk, so it can kind of vary. But what I hear most often is that they wake up in the morning and they feel that. Typically your milk production is higher for most moms. First thing in the day. That’s when you’re going to have the highest engagement and it’ll kind of wax and wane throughout the day. Sure, sure.

After this, transitional milk, maybe seven days. Into life for this newborn. When do you see the next type of milk and what do you call that? You got it. What we see after that is what we call mature milk and that’s really kind of vary from about day 14 until the first month and that milk is called mature milk. We see that solidify and that’s the milk that you’re going to be producing. It’s it’s very rich in protein sugars, vitamins and minerals. A lot of bioactive components. And that starts to really support the baby’s healthy growth and development. It kind of changes based on what the baby needs. It’s really amazing that, you know, if you’re even feeding two babies, Your body knows how to produce the right amount of milk and the right type of milk for each baby. Which is amazing to me. I’m always awe-struck that mom’s bodies are so fine tuned to know exactly what that baby needs, but I think that’s where the term breast is best comes from. I think you’re right. You know, each child has a special recipe. That’s yeah. Made exactly. For him or her, which is fantastic. You couldn’t ask for anything better, right.

Next, let’s talk a little bit about preparing milk. If you’re returning to work or even out and about, and not home in latching, this baby, you might be pumping. Jodi and I have done some podcasts where we talked about pumping milk and storage, and we’ll give you a few reminders on that as well. But can you talk to me a little bit about you’ve stored some milk away, frozen it. How do you prepare that? How’s the best way to go about doing that? Well, you know, one of the things that always amazes me is sometimes. The simplest is better. The old fashioned put a cup of warm water and place that either it’s a bag or a bottle or whatever it is and let the milk just thaw out and get to that room temperature. What they’re finding is really, it doesn’t have to be warm. Babies really don’t care. We certainly don’t want to give them ice cold chilled, frosty milk, but just as long as it’s thawed out, a lot of babies are fine with it. Just the way it is. I do have a lot of moms tell me, and I’m sure you hear this as well. That. Sometimes. When we’re warming it like that, it also helps to reincorporate that fat into it. Absolutely. That’s very true. And you know, we’ve talked about this before, but making sure sometimes that, fat does stick to the outer rim of whatever your container is, whether that’s a bottle or a bag. One thing we talked about before in another podcast was using a spatula to just kind of wipe all of that out. One of the things that we want to be careful that you don’t do is shake the milk because that can actually destroy some of those important components in the milk. You can gently swish it, or you can use a spatula that you want to get all that good stuff out. Perfect. Perfect.

What if you had milk that was frozen and you’re trying to prepare for the next day. Is it okay to take that frozen milk out? Put it in the refrigerator. To thaw out for the morning and then you heat it up as you need it. You actually can do that. You know, you can keep thawed previously frozen milk, in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If it’s thawed and left on the counter, it’s one to two hours. And one thing you just need to remember once you’ve thawed that out, you cannot refreeze it. It’s kind of gone. Yes. Agreed. Agreed. The other thing too, I think is an important too. Remember whether it’s been freshly pumped milk or milk that was previously frozen and then re constituted backup to temperature. You need to use that within two hours of the baby feeding from that. Exactly. You don’t want to keep it out all day. I kind of remind clients like, think about this as a glass of milk for yourself. You probably wouldn’t just leave it on the counter and then come back to it in the evening. Right. And that’s really important because once a baby’s mouth is touched that nipple, the milk itself is contaminated with bacteria. We want to make sure that you do use that within two hours because it may grow some things that are not so good for the baby. Yeah, for sure. There is a great human milk storage guideline- table that the CDC puts out. It’s fairly easy to find, but it does talk about the type of breast milk if it was just recently freshly expressed or pumped, if it was thawed and previously frozen. And or if it’s leftover from a feeding, just to give you a good reminder, as to its safety. Just left out on the countertop. Placed in the refrigerator or, when freezing and how long things are good for. One other thing that I wanted to kind of point out with that Bev is about warming up milk or getting it up to temperature. Yeah, it’s really important. We do not put breast milk in a microwave. We put everything in a microwave, that would be one of those things that a lot of people might go towards, but it really does break down a lot of the important properties of it and it also leads cold and hot spaces in the breast milk. We can never really be assured that what the baby is getting is safe. That’s a big no-no is putting breast milk in a microwave. Just like any food that you put into microwave, you can get burned because there are parts of the food that are hot. Yeah. Parts that are cold. But the biggest thing to remember with a microwave is it’s just destruction of the proteins and the nutritional content of that milk. We want to make sure not to do that for sure.

Lastly, we’re going to touch base a little bit on mom’s diet when nursing. I wanted to ask Jodi. If she’d had a lot of experience hearing for mom’s obviously in her experience of helping with babies. Are there foods in mom’s diet that possibly could affect taste or smell of the milk.

Yeah. I think. Foods are really fascinating. Typically one of the rules of thumb is if something such as brussel sprouts or something like that makes your stomach a little upset or gassy. It can cause the same in your baby. That being said, that’s not always true. And it might be one of those things that you have to identify by trying a few times to see if you always get that consistent reaction to a specific food.

Are there absolute foods that moms should avoid in their diet when nursing. No really, it’s all about a balanced diet and that means a solid proteins. Good greens, things like that are really important for breastfeeding mom and just a varied diet and obviously good fluid, absolute intake. A big one. You’re asking the mom to make 28 to 32 ounces a day. Plus she’s got her own water requirement. It’s like, wow. That’s just a lot of things. Absolutely.

On the opposite end of that. Are there foods that can encourage milk production or things that you know, increase quality of milk? Well, you know, I think we need to think about the fact, especially, you know, if you’ve had a hard delivery, if you’ve lost a lot of blood, if you’ve had a C-section. All these things require an increased amount of protein in your diet. In addition to that, you’re trying to feed another human being. It is again, really important to increase the protein in your diet. What I find sometimes is that moms aren’t even really hitting that three meals a day type of thing. It’s important that you’re really conscientious about that. Sometimes a good thing to do is to have a protein shake, get the pre-made ones. So it’s one of those things you can just. Grab and go and do that, not in replacement of a meal, but in addition to a meal. Maybe you take it and you drink it while you’re breastfeeding. Just to increase the protein in your diet. The other question that you kind of talked about Bev was different things that affect milk flavor for babies. And so I just wanted to touch on that really quick, because again, we talk about how certain foods make baby’s gassy. Some of the newer literature says that babies actually like the fact that milk is always changing flavors and they actually like a garlic tastes sometimes to their milk. What we’re supplying is it babies that are breastfed are typically less picky eaters because they’re used to the fact that that breast milk is always changing flavor based on what the mom is eating. In difference, formula is always going to taste the same because it’s just one particular thing. May promote, even as babies get older, have varied diet, right accepting of a varied diet, they’re not quote unquote picky eaters, right. There are studies that say breastfed babies for that reason. Are less picky eaters. Wow. That’s amazing.

I think Jodi, I wanted to kind of go back to.

I think it’s pretty easy for moms to forget. Having a baby is a pretty big health. Effect on your body, right? It takes a lot to go through labor and delivery. Even if you don’t have a C-section. You know, it’s recovering from a major. Right. Let alone C-section is a major surgery. So I think you bring up some really great points that the protein is super important. The quality of the food that you’re putting in, you should have a colorful plate. Yes. Seeing greens on your plate, lots of different fruits, vegetables. But also that water content is so important to just to help you to recover. Yes. It’s almost like training, fine athletes right? We’ve got these moms. Absolutely. Quote, unquote fine athletes. Yes. Need all the recovery they can get. So, and especially just to make quality milk. Absolutely.

All right. I think that’s all we have for today, but hopefully you found it helpful. Just in reviewing terms. We talked about different types of milk. Colostrom, transitional milk, and then mature milk. We also talked about best ways to prepare best practices to prepare milk. Especially in warming it back up and then ended up with just important things to include a mom’s diet.

If you found the information in this podcast, helpful, you can click on link found below and get some notes of Jodi and I’s conversation. You can also reach out to If you’re interested in me helping to coach you and your newborn from first breaths to first steps. Until next time be well