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How to support your baby’s growth and health

Breast milk contains the right quantity and quality of proteins to boost your baby’s growth and health—both now and in the future.

2 mins to read Dec 28, 2021

What are proteins?

Proteins are the building blocks of your baby’s body. All their muscles and organs are mostly made up of proteins. They consist of tiny components called amino acids, and are essential for human life.

How much protein is in breast milk?

Breast milk contains the perfect mix and amount of high-quality protein for your growing baby. In the first few weeks, when they need a lot of protein for intense body growth, the concentration in your breast milk will be relatively high. It will naturally decrease as your baby’s growth slows down in the later months and they don’t require the extra protein.

“Breast milk contains all the essential amino acids in the right balance and the appropriate amount and type of protein for your baby’s healthy growth and development,” explains Dr. Evelyn Spivey-Krobath, PhD, Nutrition Scientist at Nestlé Nutrition. “High-quality proteins, like those provided by breast milk, can build a strong foundation for life. Protein content of breast milk is initially high (about 20 g/L) and progressively decreases to approximately 11 g/L by two to three months. In early breast milk, the whey fraction provides mainly proteins that play an important role in the development of the infant’s immune system.”

What do proteins do?

Proteins help your baby’s body work properly. They are needed to build their organs and tissues and keep them healthy. Proteins are also key components of your baby’s muscles, enzymes, hormones, blood, skin, and hair.

 

5 reasons why your baby needs the right amount of high-quality proteins

Scientific studies have shown that the proteins your baby receives in early life have an influence on her health as she grows up. Here are some reasons why:

5 reasons why your baby needs the right amount of high-quality proteins

Sources

  • Arenz S, Ruckerl R, Koletzko B et al. Breast-feeding and childhood obesity—a systematic review. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord 2004; 28(10):1247-56.  

  • Breastfeeding handbook for physicians. 2nd ed. Elk Grove IL. 2014. 

  • Lönnerdal B. Erdmann P, Thakkar SK et al. Longitudinal evolution of true protein, amino acids and bioactive proteins in breast milk: a developmental perspective. J Nutr Biochem 2017; 41:1-11.  

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