The Evolution of Breast Milk
In the first months after birth, babies experience the most rapid growth of their lives. Your baby’s birth weight will more than double in the first six months. During this time, your baby’s nutritional needs are changing quickly, and the composition of breast milk is constantly changing to meet these changing needs.
Breast milk is initially high in protein to support an infant’s early rapid growth, then gradually decreases over the following months in sync with babies’ slowing growth rate.
Energy requirements for infants, on a per kilogram body weight basis, decrease with increasing age. Breastmilk provides the right balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates to provide the energy your baby needs throughout the first few months of life.
During this initial period of rapid growth, the fat content of breast milk also quickly increases after the first few days of lactation, slightly increasing again over the first two months, before stabilizing or even decreasing.
One component of breast milk that progressively increases is the carbohydrate content, providing approximately 40% of the total energy in mature breast milk.