Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Scientists and Mother's Milk

Yesterday child #4 had her 8-12 months check with the HV. One of the quesions was what #4 eats. Well, at the moment she tries things, grabs and play, eats little as we are doing baby-led weaning, but I didn't go into this with HV. She actually seemed to assume that I was spoon-feeding #4 (I think that, otherwise, she wouldn't have asked if she was having '3 meals a day' to which I lied and said yes) and her questions were about what she eats. She asked if she had had meat or fish. #4 hasn't had meat nor fish. The HV then told me that I should give her some as, at this stage of her developpment, she needed... proteins. So... the fact that breastmilk contains 75% of proteins apparently doesn't count.
I must add that the HV's first question had been if I was still breastfeeding (I am). She then said "It's just for statistics. Because we want to encourage it." If she wants to encourage it I wonder why she says that asking if the mum of an 8 months old is still bf is 'just for statistics' and why she leads her to believe that her breast milk isn't a sufficient source of proteins for her baby. She even actually used the words 'Introduce proteins'. Please note the INTRODUCE !

Well, here is a little story about the composition of breast milk. Maybe I should send it to my HV...


In the farway land of Fiddlydy everyone was happy. Feed-your-baby-yourself mothers fed their babies themselves and growers of dontmakesuchafuss plants grew their plants.

Of course it could not last. Somebody had to feel discontent. Well, the scientists were feeling just that. When the harvest of dontmakesuchafuss plants had been lost nearly two years ago and Fiddlydy had had to find different ways to feed their babies, the scientists had discovered a lucrative market. They had synthetised the juice of dontmakesuchafuss and made a few nice royaldoughs (the Fiddlydy currency) in the process. But the last harvest had been better than ever, more and more mothers were feeding-their-babies-themselves, and the syntethised juice of dontmakesuchafuss was not very successful at all anymore.

So they thought, why not syntethise mother's milk? They set to the task with much enthusiasm.
They found that mother's milk was high in proteins. That one is easy they thought, there are proteins in cow's milk too, let's have a bit of that.
For the fats and oils a bit of fish oil and egg yolk.
"I think we need some water, said the Head Scientist.
- But the water in Fiddlydy is not of very good quality, said another one.
- Maybe we could make it come from the land of Aplenty, suggested someone wearing thick glasses. Although it would considerably to the cost...
- Nothing wrong with that! boomed the Head Scientist. What's next?"
Next were minerals and vitamins. The Scientists loved the idea of adding lots of minerals and vitamins. The mothers would certainly like that.
The drink would also need an emulsifier, the best choice being protein from soybeans, according to the Head Scientist.
"Won't we need a petroleum gas to extract the protein? Asked someone.
- Yes?
-But there will be some traces in the babies drink.
-Oh, it will be tiny! exclaimed the Head Scientist."
They added some starch and gum as thickeners and starting congratulating each other.
"Not bad eh? Said the Head Scientis.
-It doesn't smell very nice, said a rather fat scientist.
-Babies won't mind. It's the nutritionnal value that counts anyway.
-We haven't got cholesterol for the development of the nervous system...
-Can't have everything.
-Immunoglobulines, immune factors, anti-bodies?
-Not nutritionnal. We're making food here, nothing else.
-Well it seems, said a scientist with her nose in a book, that mother's milk is something else.
-Don't worry it will be as close as can be. "

Finally the Scientists decided that there were enough ingredients in their like-mother's-milk-drink. The label would look nice with a list suitably long and impressive. It wasn't quite as long and impressive as the list of what is actually in mother's milk but, as the Head Scientist had said, you can't have everything.

The scientist were confident that the like-mother's-milk-drink had just as good nutriotionnal qualities than mother's milk, and they could sell it for a handsome price.
"That's what you call progress!" said the Head Scientist.

Copyright 2012 Mother Goutte

References :

For a real list of what's in breast milk and what's in formula :

No comments:

Post a Comment