Talk:Breast milk

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There could be some better information in the Composition section[edit]

The article states, "The exact composition of breast milk varies from day to day…" but I think there could still be some better information here. Any generalization of what milk contains is going to be an average, but an average can still be informative. The German language Wikipedia page for this article ([1]) shed some light on the issue, and I've translated the table from that article to post here for consideration:

Milk composition Human Cow Sheep Goat Horse
Water 87.2 % 87.5 % 82.7 % 86.6 % 90.1 %
Carbohydrates 7.0 % 4.8 % 6.3 % 3.9 % 5.9 %
Fat 4.0 % 3.5 - 4.0 % 5.3 % 3.7 % 1.5 %
Protein 1.5 % 3.5 % 4.6 % 4.2 % 2.1 %
Dietary minerals 0.3 % 0.7 % 0.9 % 0.8 % 0.4 %
Cal./100ml 70 64 - 68 86 65 43

I think a table like this (along with some explanatory information) could be an informative addition to the article. Xerophyllum tenax 00:35, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. Nice job. (talk) 19:27, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

So seriously... why is this chart not in the article? Azoreg (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Because I and a lot of other people are not doing it, yet, and it needs this source, which includes a lot more details. (talk) 06:45, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Also - there is some controversy in medical communities as to the accuracy of some of the claims made as the the accuracy of the benefits of breastfeeding. It is fairly well accepted that data suggesting breastfeeding make for smarter offspring is willful misinterpretation of data at best, and outright falsehood. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kanai3 (talkcontribs) 21:52, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

what happens to breast milk if you do not breast feed?

The husbands may consume it. :-(
If you never start, it just dries up. If you've been breastfeeding for a while, and have a full supply, you need to slowly wean, or you could develop mastitis. A doctor can prescribe medication to help dry you up, if necessary. MamaGeek (Talk/Contrib) 12:02, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

blabla :DD —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:57, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Male milk[edit]

From what I understand, men can produce milk as well (no, I'm not using it as an euphemism for sperm), it would be interesting to have some more info on it. --kissekatt 21:59, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Take a look at male lactation. I doubt that there have been too many studies on the content of it, though. violet/riga (t) 22:14, 4 November 2005 (UTC)

Vitamin D[edit]

IS vitamin d present in breast milk?????????????? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Vitamin D is present in breast milk only if the mother is ingesting it in her diet or getting enough via sunlight. You get out of breast milk what is put into the mother's body. Some studies have shown that many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, so some women may need to take a D supplement when nursing and continue taking it for future personal health. (talk) 19:49, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Intolerant of Lactose[edit]

Uh, the dicussion of cows milk mentions as a drawback that infants can be intolerant of lactose. Perhaps, but doesn't human milk have more lactose than cow's milk? Why is this mentioned as a particular of cow's milk?

In order to digest lactose the body needs an enzyme called lactase. Babies are born with this enzyme; it's very rare for a baby to be lactase-deficient. [Occasionally if a mother has a very large supply, the baby's system will be swamped by lactose. It's a simple matter for any mother to tweak her supply to alter the lactose:fat ratio. Any lay breastfeeding counsellor or lactation consultant can help her]

Most races in the world lose lactase from the age of 8 onwards, which is why many Asians, Africans or Native Americans cannot drink cows' milk. However Northern Europeans, especailly in the British Isles and particularly in Ireland, the norm is to retain lactase. This is why diary products are so prominent in Europe.

I'm notyet able to add references but the mechanics of dealing with oversupply can be found on any breastfeeding support website. Alice Roberts presented a BBC programme in March 2011, called Horizon: Are we Still Evolving? Barbara Kingsolver also describes it in her novel , Pigs in Heaven I think. A novel I know, but I've also heard this phenomenon discussed by paediatricians, particularly Brian Vartebedian.

Derrygeel (talk) 12:13, 17 June 2011 (UTC) DocOfSocTalk 01:13, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Red and Orange Secretions?[edit]

The following uncited text was added to the Composition section. I've removed it to here. Does anyone know what this person is talking about, or where this information comes from?

There are two distinct pigments that have been identified in the secretions, red and orange. The two pigments are highly acidic compounds. They are known as red pigment hipposudoric acid and orange one norhipposudoric acid. The red pigment was found to inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria, lending credence to the theory that the secretion has an antibiotic effect. The light absorption of both pigments peaks in the ultraviolet range, creating a sunscreen effect.

MamaGeek (talk/contrib) 18:57, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

One mention of them is here: [2], and that iz a one-hit search, so it iz probable that this wuz a misfile that should hav gone into hippopotamus. (talk) 03:36, 7 February 2013 (UTC)


How much breast milk can a woman produce in one day?

I have heard that it is upwards of two quarts, but I find this hard to believe. Bristow

Average is probably about a quart, but some women are big producers, and freeze their extra milk. MamaGeek (talk/contrib) 14:02, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
My wife produces about 35 US oz per day... or about 1.09 quarts. Azoreg (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


is morphine a constituent of breast milk in any way? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:56, August 28, 2007 (UTC)

Morphine is a narcotic drug used to help ease pain. The only way breast milk would contain morphine is if the mother were taking the drug. It would be excreted in her milk and could be dangerous to the nursing infant. (talk) 19:53, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

POPs in Breast milk[edit]

Many persistant organic pollutants like DDE, endosulfan, PCBs, and other organochlorine compounds are frequently found in breast milk, and mother-to-child transfer of these toxicants is believed to be a significant source of exposure for children. See e.g. PMIDs 18193138 & 18025027. (Most breast feeding expers agree that despite these contaminants, breast feeding is still the best way to nourish an infant). This info is not in this article or in breast milk. Should it be? Yilloslime (t) 07:16, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

If you add that, it's sure that the breastfeeding people who stalk this article will remove it, just as they removed the citation needed from "very rarely women cannot produce breast milk". Because it doesn't need citation, it's a fact that women who cannot coax, supplement, or medicate their bodies into producing breast milk just aren't trying quite hard enough. BARF. go slowly (talk) 02:22, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
That is just spiteful. Everything needs a reference. That the people inserting the statement were too lazy to find a decent one is their problem, not thar of the "breastfeeding people who stalk this article". Arnoutf (talk) 23:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)


Can you make cheese out of this??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:48, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Of course you can... didn't you see the reference in the article? Clínica busca cómo hacer queso de leche materna, Nación, 17 June 2007 Azoreg (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Please Remove Idiotic, Immature Comments[edit]

Removed from article: "brest [sic] milk comes from boobs" Idiotic, immature comments come from boobs. Breast milk comes from mammary glands. (talk) 19:35, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Certaintly, that statement didn't belong in the article. Thank you for removing it. Having said that, I'd rather hang out with the guy who wrote that than you. Jesus Christ, you really felt it necessary to come here and complain about this? Did you think we'd all cluck along and shake our heads with you? Actually, "idiotic, immature comments" are often funny. Does anybody in your life ever tell you you're funny?
(Oh, am I being mean? Hey: You get out of Wikipedia what you put into it.)
-- (talk) 10:50, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Ah, defacing an article on a site meant to inform people is funny. I personally always thought that vandalism was a bad thing, good to know its welcomed as humorous by some members of the community. (talk) 19:57, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Section on Production[edit]

says nothing about how it is made and then goes on to talk about it not being made.

Extraordinary consumption[edit]

This section makes significant assertions about the use of breast milk for medical treatment of GI disorders -- but does not cite appropriate sources. Please either source or remove this information. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:04, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

Sunlight Exposure[edit]

  • Unlike animal milk, a glass of fresh human milk if exposed continuously to 'direct sunlight' within an hour, it will change its color to be 'blood red' (bloody reddish).

It's not a blood actually. Many people thought it's due to a chemical reaction.

  • Unlike animal milk, the fresh human milk if exposed continuously to direct sunlight, within an hour, it will change its color to be blood red. It's due to chemical reaction and still being studied to understand fully its causes.

It's real thing. It's doesn't work with animal milk, such as cow milk. I'm wondering, it's very rarely discussed in public, it could be considered as taboo in our culture.

Well, for it to get into wikipedia it has to be discussed in culture somewhere. It needs a ref. maxsch (talk) 15:17, 23 August 2008 (UTC)
This was in the article again - are there any references for this? Dkam (talk) 08:37, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
This is a real thing that human milk color can be change into blood red by exposing directly sunlight. Seeing is believing... If you are breastfeeding your baby, you could proof it. This is an old thing which is rarely discussed in western culture and developed countries. I was shock when my friend demonstrate it. It's real. I asked few fresh milk from my nephew, it worked, the color is changed, unbelievable, it's really red, so red as blood. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:07, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

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PETA to Ben and Jerry's: Breast is Best![edit]


It has been suggested that the article on Agalactia be merged with the article on Breast Feeding. In my opinion, Agalactia being a distinct clinical entity, may continue to enjoy its seperate status, while an internal link to it may be cited in the breast feeding article. Mainak (talk) 09:11, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

I concur. relactation should link to Agalactia if it means what I think it means. (talk) 06:29, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Useful source[edit]

Here a recent New Yorker piece with lots of sources within it, if anyone wants to add bits to our article: [3]. BrainyBabe (talk) 10:22, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

breast milk[edit]

Q. is Breast milk a natural antibiotic. My daughter-in-law says she was told to squirt breast milk into her babies eye to help clear up minor conjunctivitus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:05, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

A. it's not natural antibiotic, but contain natural antibiotic —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:49, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Breastmilk Icecream.....[edit]

so this is random I know but can you make icecream out of breast milk? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:08, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Motion to Rename Carried[edit]

Suggestion: I think this article should be called human milk rather than breastmilk. We don't call cow's milk udder milk, and every other kind of milk is labelled based on which species produced it: goat's milk, sheep's milk, etc... Just my two cents. jengod (talk) 05:19, 15 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree. Breast milk would still redirect to this article, anyhow (right now it's the other way around). Then again, I'm rather biased when it comes to species-neutrality, so more input on the matter is probably needed. Omnomymous (talk) 02:41, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
One man plus courage iz a majority. I know how to do it. Search and replace breastmilk with human milk. Copy article contents to human milk. Redirect this article to human milk. Ignore objections in light of: many other animals than people having breasts. (talk) 06:24, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


Curious to know,if there are enzymes in human breast milk that reduces colourfastness of dyes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Human breast milk ice cream[edit]

There's a new article on Baby Gaga, a brand of ice cream using human breast milk as an ingredient. I'm just mentioning it here to see whether anyone thinks it appropriate to mention in the main body of the article or the "See also" section. Cheers. -- (talk) 12:40, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

It might be at some time though I would rather avoid it. There are also very real stories of dictators drinking breast milk for believed health benefits and maybe many other curiosities. Richiez (talk) 20:59, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

Photograph of foremilk and hindmilk[edit]

The caption of the photograph is completely inaccurate: the first one is not what foremilk looks like and the hindmilk looks like. Foremilk, as the citation says, is a mixture of creamy mil and non-creamy milk. So is hinmilk, but there is usually more crema in the last drops of the feeds than in the first drops. The Australian research shows that the foremilk of the evening may have more cream than the hindmilk of the morning.

Don't knock the non-creamy portion of milk. It has a high proportion of lactose - essential for brain development. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Derrygeel (talkcontribs) 10:44, 14 June 2011 (UTC) I propose moving the picture down in the article as it also looks to me somewhat misleading. Editor above is correct. We may want to use the space for this:

Good night! DocOfSocTalk 12:56, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Unfair Citation?[edit]

I'm not sure about this citation:

It's very partisan for storage of the milk. I've read | an article about this tissue. This data must be corrected. Thanks to you. (talk) 17:39, 15 January 2012 (UTC). Additionally , the citation is an ad which is a no-no. DocOfSocTalk 03:10, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

SIDS risk[edit]

Added "somewhat" to decreasing risk of SIDS. There are no guarantees. One of the founders of La Leche League International had a SIDS baby. Although we can not use personal research, I do know two moms who were breastfeeding and had SIDS babies :-( DocOfSocTalk 03:10, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

"somewhat" iz a weasel word. Either it decreases the risk of SIDS or it doesn't. The best way to put "somewhat" in iz with a statistic from the OR. Case histories are quite useless, here. Nothing iz sertain. (talk) 03:52, 7 February 2013 (UTC)


Some jaundice in a breastfed baby is considered perfectly normal. I think this should be explored more completely. Besides personal experience, Sources: *

I will do this when I have a chance but anyone is more than welcome to jump on in. Namaste DocOfSocTalk 12:44, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

I put some information about sunlight under jaundice#neonatal; don't know what to do with it here, because it seems irrelevant. (talk) 06:10, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


i was wondering why i am producing breast milk i havent had my period i have taken four pregnany tests and they all came out negative. what does this mean? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:03, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

wikipedia can not offer medical advice. You may read galactorrhea but if you are concerned you need to ask your physician. Richiez (talk) 09:25, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Source of information in the article sentence?[edit]

Hello! I was wondering if the following sentence could be omitted as the source of the information is cited as a reference:

"According to a report by released online on Saturday, June 30, 2012..."

Thanks for your input!

--hackfish 01:01, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Moving sources from text to citations iz copyediting for redundancy. (talk) 05:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Benefits in cognitive development[edit]

Our article currently says breastfeeding makes babies smarter. It is cited to this source, which also notes that this topic is hotly debated: Science Daily

This other source which has reviewed numerous past studies, however, declares there is no relationship to cognitive improvement. King James Medical Laboratory -- Page 6

Can these sources be reconciled? Xenophrenic (talk) 18:08, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Unjustifiable reverting of well-documented editing
If you want to try to reconcile conflicting studies, you or somebody is welcome to try to do so. In the meantime, do not delete perfectly well-documented editing that presents a conflicting viewpoint. Differences of opinion and conflicting studies exist. People live with them.PollutionAction (talk) 21:55, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
"Perfectly well-documented editing" wasn't deleted. Poorly written editing was. The presentation of conflicting viewpoints must be presented neutrally, and with proportional weight given if one view refutes the other. We also don't use words like "in the above cited report...", because the structure of Wikipedia articles is constantly changing, and that "report" isn't guaranteed to be there. We also do not muddle assertions of fact with weasel-words like "According to some studies" and "claimed", unless the cited reliable sources also use that form of presentation. When citing a report that consists of 400-500 pages, please include page numbers in the reference citation. Xenophrenic (talk) 23:13, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
What was non-neutral about what I wrote? How would you suggest proportional weight might be given, in this case?

OK, the comments about "in the above cited report" and need for page numbers are perfectly reasonable. Please inform me where somebody besides you says, "We also do not muddle assertions of fact with weasel-words like "According to some studies" and "claimed", unless the cited reliable sources also use that form of presentation." Who determines that cited sources are "reliable."PollutionAction (talk) 15:45, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

See the Manual of Style's section on weasel words and the guideline on which sources are reliable for medical claims. - MrOllie (talk) 17:50, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Which "weasel"-type words in my edits do you consider to be unsupported by the references provided?PollutionAction (talk) 19:13, 8 August 2013 (UTC)
Xenophrenic mentioned them above. - MrOllie (talk) 19:18, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

The studies on which I based that "weaseling" are eminently respectable. The first one is regularly used by breastfeeding's proponents, including the U.S. Surgeon General, to support their position. The second one is by a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, who is author of many published studies.PollutionAction (talk) 22:01, 8 August 2013 (UTC)

OK, so is there no disagreement that the "weasel words" I used were adequately supported?PollutionAction (talk) 15:23, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

There is already disagreement expressed above. Since your preferred phrasing, and the same content and sources, are already under discussion at Talk:Breastfeeding, perhaps it would be better if these discussions were conducted there to reduce confusion and duplication of effort. You'll find that user:Noformation has provided additional reasoning against the use of weasel words on that Talk page. There are several knowledgeable editors there who may be able to help you craft Wikipedia-compliant content additions to these articles if asked. Xenophrenic (talk) 17:04, 13 August 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Xenophrenic. Gandydancer (talk) 17:08, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

Ohio State University cuts our list of benefits down.[edit]

It's an electronically published ahead of print issue, so it's not at pubmed, yet. I am not sure they've done all of their peer review process, whatever Elsevier requires for peer review. The biggest problem with it iz that it measured mostly diseases that breastfeeding happens to hav little to do with, and the popular press exajerated what it means.
This iz disease protections of BM from us:
sudden infant death syndrome,
middle ear infections,
cold and flu,
childhood leukemia,
childhood onset diabetes,
asthma and eczema,
dental problems.
obesity later in life,
psychological disorders, particularly in adopted children.

I do not know why adjusting for confounding factors should be done. This is the list of measures from an adjustment for confounding factors:
academic achievement and competence.

The study casts doubt on two of wikipedia's items, so I will strike them out in anticipation that this will not be ruled a biased review. If anyone wants to delete them in concurrence, please go ahead.
Bohgosity BumaskiL (talk) 12:05, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for your work but I think we need to discuss this before we start to add this information. I'm going to delete your edits for now and hopefully there will be more discussion. Gandydancer (talk) 13:33, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
You are the one who gave me an editor's barnstar (as an IP#) for this, or something like it on a related page. Thanks, again. I won't be doing anything either way in the section, until I find some more numbers to write into a table of risk ratios, find out whether the students are really qualified to judge other studies, or find some numbers about multiple sclerosis, which I'm told haz a risk ratio below one for EBF. When the study came out, I wuz convinced that it wuz industry-funded, because it hit popular press very hard one day. It's not in their funding declaration, though; could be just guilt relief. (talk) 05:45, 7 March 2014 (UTC)

Primary photo?[edit]

Since this article is about breast milk and not Breastfeeding, I think maybe the above-the-fold/lead photo should be a photo of breastmilk, not a photo of someone breastfeeding. Perhaps we can use one of these instead?

Personally I prefer the second one, but I think it is pretty appropriately included already in the "composition" section, so I don't know how to resolve that problem. 0x0077BE (talk · contrib) 19:02, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Interesting observation. Even though I breastfed my two daughters, I had no idea that the milk changed in composition/appearance. I'll go for a change (and I prefer the second one as well). Gandydancer (talk) 19:12, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

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