Have you ever wondered what’s in your breastmilk? We’ve all heard breastmilk is optimal for feeding babies but I never knew what was actually in it. When my first baby was born I firmly believed breastmilk was best, and had no interest in formula feeding. She did receive some formula in the NICU before we went on to successfully breastfeed.
After that moment in time I was all about the breastmilk and I did not look back. I’ve gone on to nurse three babies back to back, including tandem breastfeeding a newborn and a toddler at the same time, and breastfeeding during two pregnancies.
Throughout my breastfeeding journey I’ve always been curious about the nutritional make up of breastmilk, even though I was convinced it was the right choice for me. Now years later I have been given the chance to test my breastmilk and find out what’s in it by Lactation Lab.
What is Lactation Lab?
Lactation Lab was founded by Dr. Stephanie Canale, MD when she wanted to find out more about the quality of her own breastmilk. Since a test like this did not already exist she used the resources available to her to go out and create it. It’s encouraging to know this test was created by a mother who cares about helping women and babies.
Here is a little more information about Lactation Lab:
Lactation Lab provides families with the tools they need to monitor and improve the long-term health of their children. With our simple and easy-to-use tests, mothers can learn for the first time about the nutrient make-up of their breast milk, improve their diet and nutrition, and safeguard against exposure to heavy metals and other toxins that are harmful to a child’s growth and development.
Testing my breastmilk:
When offered the chance to test my breastmilk I hesitated at first, what if my breastmilk wasn’t as nutritious as I hoped? I am also nursing a toddler now so I am sure my breastmilk has changed as she has grown and I wasn’t sure what the test would show, or what to expect.
Despite my concerns I was intrigued and I decided to go for it testing my breastmilk with Lactation Lab. And, I am so glad I did!
I was sent my home test kit which was super easy to use. It came with easy to follow instructions and all the supplies I needed. All I had to do was pump a small amount of breastmilk, put it in the vial sent to me with the kit, freeze it, and then send it back with the included ice packs and packaging. I had my results within a few days.
While I was hoping everything in my milk would look great there were a couple of surprises. Some of my vitamin counts were lower than I expected. I still take a prenatal too so it was interesting information to receive.
There are two different test kit options. The basic kit tests for protein, carbohydrates, fat and calories.
The premium kit tests for the same basic nutritional content of your breast milk (protein, carbohydrates, fat, calories) plus calcium, iron, vitamins A, C and B-12, DHA Omega-3, ALA Omega-3, LA Omega-6 and ARA Omega-6. It also includes toxin screening for arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.
I was able to use the premium kit and it showed me that my vitamin B count was somewhat low. With this information I was able to start taking a vitamin B supplement and test again a few weeks later. My new results showed that my vitamin B had risen. Seeing all the information in my results was rewarding to me. I also was able to tweak a few other items in my diet, and was reassured to see there were no high levels of toxins in my milk.
The Lactation Lab test is an invaluable way to find out more about our breastmilk. As much as we know about the miracle of breastmilk, there is always more to learn. This test is a great tool for nursing moms who would like to know more about their breastmilk and improve their nutrition as a result, and impact the health of their children.