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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Breast-Feeding and your Child's Brain

Updated: 7 days ago


cows

Milking cows during my youth taught me invaluable lessons about the interplay between agriculture and nutrition.



The quality of feed and the loving care we extended to our cows directly affected the quality of the milk produced, illustrating a wider principle: the quality of what we consume begins with the quality of what we supply. Similarly, the diet of a breastfeeding mother influences the nutrient content of her milk.


You are what you eat, and this applies to when breast-feeding a baby.

In 1972, as a research assistant to Dr. Frances Broad, I explored the significant role of breastfeeding in children's cognitive development. Her pioneering research was the first to demonstrate that boys who were not breastfed were more likely to require special education services, such as remedial reading. Her findings suggested that breast milk contains critical nutrients for the development of male brains, a pattern not observed in girls. This indicates a gender-specific impact of dietary influences on early cognitive development. Unfortunately, since this research was conducted in the pre-internet era, I can't find any online references to her work, which was conducted through Waikato University.


Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, such as fresh, full-fat dairy from grass-fed sources that are high in A2 protein, essential fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamins, is crucial for the health of both the mother and the baby. Foods such as nuts, fatty fish, olives, flax, coconut, and avocados are sources of healthy fats and oils, essential for brain development, immune support, and growth.


Factoid:

The human brain is remarkably fat-rich, with fats making up about 60 percent of its dry weight. This high concentration underscores the critical role that fats play in brain structure and function. Essential fatty acids, particularly omega-3 and omega-6, are vital components of neuron cell membranes and are crucial for brain health and cognitive development. They're involved in everything from memory and learning to mood regulation. This composition highlights the importance of a diet rich in healthy fats for maintaining brain health and supporting cognitive functions throughout life.


The quality of breast milk is directly influenced by the mother's diet, underscoring the importance of a nutritious diet for breast-feeding mothers. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals enhance the nutritional content of breast milk, affecting the infant's development. Mothers should ensure a rich intake of these nutrients for high-quality milk production.



Grass-fed dairy products, especially those containing A2 protein, are beneficial for lactating mothers. These products support the health of both mother and infant by providing a rich source of nutrients vital for cognitive functions and physical health. Fresh, full-cream grass-fed dairy from New Zealand is particularly recommended for its superior nutritional value.


Remember this: Consume full-cream, non-homogenised milk, preferably A-2. If it is fat-reduced milk, then it has fewer essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins.


Breastfeeding mothers are encouraged to follow a varied and nutrient-dense diet to support their infant's optimal growth and development. This is vital for the child's future health and cognitive abilities.



The Super Smoothie, formulated for breastfeeding mothers, as follows, enriches breast milk with essential nutrients, supporting the growth of the infant and the health of the mother.



Incorporating this smoothie into the daily diet of a breast-feeding mother offers a convenient way to consume a broad spectrum of nutrients, including essential fatty acids, vitamins, and proteins. The bonus is that this recipe is suitable for the entire family to share: adults and children.


For further details on the Super Smoothie's recipe and its benefits, please visit my website:

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2 Comments


willoughbys
willoughbys
Mar 31

Hi Gary - just wondering if you'd checked for Dr Broad's work in the Ruakura Ag Research library. Interestingly, I worked for Ruakura as a lab tech in 1973-4. Cheers. Alan

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Gary Moller
Gary Moller
Mar 31
Replying to

No, I hadn't, Brian. I've written to them.

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