Sunday, February 10, 2008

Microscopic View of Human Milk, Cow's Milk and Formula


The following images were taken under a microscope magnified to 400x. Imagine what we might see if we magnified even further...

Human Milk (Alive with white blood cells, glyconutrients, and immunobodies)



Formula (the pointer is pointing to an air bubble; formula is a "dead" product)



Cow's Milk (more similar to human milk than formula, but with great compositional and structural differences - for example, human babies cannot digest cow's milk proteins, and baby cows would not be able to survive on human milk. For more detailed review of research on this subject see, The Baby Bond)



Thank you to Kristi for taking these images and granting us permission to post.

33 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting this. I linked to it on my blogroll. It is amazing to see the differences. If only more people could see this and understand what they are seeing between breastmilk, cow milk and formula. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Like the cervix project, this is totally awesome! If only more people were able to see this and put a picture to a name so to say. Suddenly they could more easily understand the important of feeding human milk to their babies and the differences between all the "options" available.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Is the cow's milk raw and unpasteurized or otherwise treated (and thus dead)? Just curious, although I don't think that even raw milk is a good food choice for infants, especially when the perfect food is easily available with mommy :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. The milk in this image is homogenized and pasteurized (to demonstrate the variety that is most commonly fed to human babies when they are not drinking their own mother's milk). Note: By posting these photos and information we are not advocating for the use of cow's milk in infant feeding (it is one of thee most common irritants for infants fed directly, or nursed by mothers drinking pasteurized cow's milk).

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is very revealing of how inadequate formula is compared to human milk or even cow's milk. I understand that you're not advocating cow's milk for infants, however, I do believe that a homemade raw cow's milk formula is far better than store-bought generic formula (if the mother is unable to breastfeed for some reason). Here's a link to a recipe for homemade formula:
    http://www.realmilk.com/formularecipes.html#rmbf

    ReplyDelete
  6. When you say "infants" what age do you mean?

    ReplyDelete
  7. The photo of the formula reminds me of bacteria growing in a petri dish. I actually thought that's what it was at first. Ew.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahahahaha that's what I thought as well.

      Delete
  8. I would love to see Goat's Milk too in comparison to Cow.

    ReplyDelete
  9. yes but the protein molecules in the cow's milk were altered by pasteurization and homogenization. You need RAW cow's milk! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mommie's milk should be the ONLY source for baby, but I also agree with Kieran.

    ReplyDelete
  11. And this makes me feel so bad because i have never produced any milk for any of my 3 sons.. It just NEVER came in.. Now im expecting a little girl and was wondering if there is anything i could do to help bring it in because i really dont want to formula feed a fourth baby. :(

    ReplyDelete
  12. Jillian - have you ever had breast surgery, or did you have any medication during labor? A c-section? Sometimes those things can alter your ability to produce milk. I had a delay in my full milk coming in (about day 4-5) following a week-long induction process and c-section. Luckily I was educated in the fact that colostrum (the first milk) is more than enough for a newborn, and was patient with feeding frequently and waiting for the mature milk to come in. Perhaps working with a LLL leader or lactation consultant BEFORE the baby comes could help? They may be able to give advice based on your personal history.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Jillian, a variety of things can lead to low-supply: hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, latch problems, poor advice, etc. Contact a la leche league leader in your area to get help on milk supply. She will listen and give you suggestions on encouraging milk supply.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jillian,
    The simplest advice would be to go a La Leache League meeting or call LLL international. They have so much advice and many resources that could help.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ugh, this makes me sick. I have several endocrine deficiencies and couldn't make milk either although I nursed and went through the motions for a year. All I can say is formula is not good, but it works. I have a healthy toddler. What we need are more milk banks!

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Jillian: Oh dear friend, there are soo many options. My little one is 6 months old and we still struggle everyday with breastfeeding. Everything from multiple bouts of mastitis, to two frenulum clippings, to 'power pumping", to cranio sacral therapy, to 4 lactation consultants, to formula intolerance, to low milk supply, to weigh loss...you name it, we've been through it. D will only go to breast once a day (am) and I pump the rest of the day. He only gets 2 feedings of his 6 from me. I found Eats on Feets and connected with wonderful mamas who pump for me. D is such a happier baby on bm. I am also now trying domperidone to see if i can boost my supply. Just know, you do NOT have to resort to formula! Another mama's milk is still way better than bovine milk or synthetic milk. hugs to you my sweet friend...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Jillian - have you had any breast surgeries (i.e. a reduction)? What were your birth experiences like (any trauma)? Finally, can you do a search for "hypoplastic breasts" and "breast hypoplasia" and see if the descriptions apply to you? If the latter is the case, there might be herbs that can help you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. jillian, have a look at this website http://www.drjacknewman.com/
    i heard him speak and i believe he suggests starting to express before you have baby, particularly if you are having an elective c section.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Cow's milk is for calves, not humans. Here's an interesting article on cows milk vs. human milk.
    http://beautyminded.wordpress.com/2010/08/15/got-milk

    ReplyDelete
  20. (Wo)Man thinking they can do better than nature, or just thinking they can override nature for the sake of "convenience"

    ReplyDelete
  21. Get help from a Lactation Consultant. She can help you find out if it is a medical problem or a technique problem.

    ReplyDelete
  22. i am overjoyed at these pictures! :) i have recently (BFing son #2 he is 11 mos) started getting comments from family and co-workers ranging from, "how much longer?" to "breastfeeding is gross i could just never do it" and i am feeling attacked to a degree! glad to see this up close picture of one of the zillion reasons it is the BEST! thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Still breastfeeding my 18 month old and I get all those comments too, people acting like I'm nursing a 40 year old and not a year and half year old baby! He loves it, I love it and everyone comments on his healthy glow and good nature which I really believe is because he hasn't battled upset stomachs throughout his babyhood trying to digest another species' milk!

    ReplyDelete
  24. if you have chronic low milk supply and other repeated patterns with low milk supply that haven't been figured out, i'd urge you to check out this web site and book first, and then find a lactation consultant who's familiar with the issue - http://www.lowmilksupply.org/

    ReplyDelete
  25. Watched a documentary on the BBC last week, where young girls and boys and older, said that "boobies were for sex and looks!" - breastfeeding is at an all time low amongst UK Mothers due to the marketing of "boobs" (and the profound lack of empathy that most children are treated with..... which the program did not mention - elephant in the room)

    In the end the Dcoumnetary came down on the side of breastfeeding, and it was quite honest as the presenter had had problems with breastfeeding her own child, and she explored her feelings and rationalisations in the documentary....

    Good to receive this post.... keep 'em coming!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Raw milk is fine, but I'd still use it for adults and not infants unless problems are present.

    Raw cow is still not ideal and I believe traditionally mothers who could not nurse used raw sheep or goat - didn't they call it "foster milk?"

    ReplyDelete
  27. Jillian - I've been researching the astonishing prevalance of iodine deficiencies. After thyroid, breast tissue is the next largest concentrator of iodine in the body, and then all glandular tissues after that.

    So first, almost all people are very deficient, and second, in women breast tissue can compete with thyroid for what little there is. It's one reason women suffer much more with thyroid issues than men. Also, low iodine women have most of the fibrocystic and painful / hard breast diseases, etc, up to including cancer, and it can be helped by supplementing with large doses in the milligram and not microgram range.

    I just had a flash and although no one mentioned this specifically in the research I've come across thus far, I figured, if iodine deficiency can lead to all those conditions, then perhaps poor lactation can also be caused by this, and improved by extra iodine. It actually makes all hormones and glandular tissue work better, not only thyroid.

    For more info, start with Dr David Brownstein who has a book & a very informative video "Iodine - Most Misunderstood Nutrient," and Google also Dr Abraham, Flechas, Donald Miller, Dr Sircus, and many others.

    Along with other chronic deficiencies like EFAs like omega-6 & -3 (unrefined seed oils etc) and minerals, iodine could likely help many kinds of conditions. These are all fundamental nutrients that many overlook.

    ReplyDelete
  28. We just got a light microscope and the wet and dry mount sets. I'm so going to try this with my own breastmilk and compare it to cow's milk both pasteurized and raw. Ohhh, I do it will flash pasteurized breastmilk too.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I only wish we could get Raw milk in California here it is illegal to buy or sell it and since we live in the city limits we can't have farm animals. I am allergic to Pasteurized and homogenized milk but I can drink Acidophilus milk and raw milk because it has the pro-biotics still in it. Does anyone know where I can get raw milk in Southern California? Chuck in Barstow California.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Chuck - Do you have a Sprouts (also known as Henrys or SunHarvet) market near you? They sell it :-) So does Mother's Market. It is NOT illegal in CA to see raw milk, btw.

    ReplyDelete
  31. http://www.organicpastures.com/

    ReplyDelete
  32. Chuck, definitely not illegal, it is even sold in stores there... www.realmilk.com/where.html

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails