Three Bags of Milk

 

Three bags of milk. The first was pumped in March 2014, less than a week after Marella was born. The middle bag was pumped in March 2015, almost a year later to the day. The one on the far right was pumped March 2016.

The difference in color, volume, and fat content speak to the dynamic nature of breastmilk over the course of a nursing relationship.

The 2014 milk is a good representation of transitional milk, pumped shortly after my milk “came in,” featuring a mix of colostrum, hindmilk, and foremilk. At that point, my volume was relatively high, as my body worked to regulate and establish milk production.

In 2015, I was breastfeeding on demand, and Marella nursed a lot, still slowly warming up to solids. My milk was fatty, and high volume, meeting her growing needs.

In 2016, I’m making skim milk. The blueish tint to my milk indicates less fat is required to meet her needs, even while she continues to nurse frequently. But the ever so slight yellow hue that lingers in the milk reflects a striking similarity with my early milk. As it turns out, with a handful of exceptions (including certain fats and volume), milk for a nursing toddler closely resembles that of early colostrum in terms of nutrient density.

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