Moms Can Now Find Out Exactly What Is In Their Breast Milk
Have you ever wondered exactly what was in your breast milk? Sure, you've heard that breast milk is made of elusive things like “liquid gold” and sure, you probably have some idea of what's in there–a little bit of fat here, probably some vitamins there–but how much do you really know about the milk your own body is producing?
I have to admit that I've never thought that closely about it. After our children's pediatrician commented that I seemed to be producing “whipped cream” for my chubby babies and our daycare provider mentioned how my milk seemed to have a different color and consistency that anything she had ever seen before, I started to suspect that my own breast milk might have a pretty high-fat content. But other than that, my babies seemed to grow happy and healthy and eventually lost their baby fat, so I didn't really worry about it. And after all, who doesn't love rolls on a baby? Bring on the whipped cream, I say!
But if you've ever been curious what exactly is in your breast milk, you can now test your own breast milk at home to find out exactly what's in it. Pretty cool, huh? The breast milk test kit comes from a company called Lactation Lab. As the website explains, the Lactation Lab offers a “complete milk analysis” along with explanations of what exactly is in your milk, and tips to “make your breastfeeding journey as empowering as possible.” For instance, if the analysis reveals that you are lacking a certain vitamin in your milk, it may offer suggestions to improve your nutrition and boost your breast milk.
Although it's certainly not a necessity for any mom to test her milk, it may be something that you're curious about, or it may be helpful if you're a mom with a baby who may be struggling gaining weight or if your doctor suggests that an analysis of your milk might be helpful. You should definitely keep in mind though that there will never be such a thing as “perfection,” even with breast milk and every woman and baby is different–in fact, that's what can be so cool about breastfeeding in general, because your breast milk will be unique to your baby and your baby only.
That being said, if you are interested in finding out more about what's in your breast milk, the Lactation Lab kit does sound pretty cool and simple to use. You can even order the kids right on Amazon, because you know I'm all about that Amazon Prime life. The basic breast milk kit is $99 and, according to the website, tests for calories, carbohydrates, protein, and fat content present in your milk. There is also a mid-range option that tests for additional ingredients, and if you're wanting the full package, you can spring for the Premium Breast Milk Test Kit, which costs $349 and will tell you the precise levels of calcium, iron, vitamins A, C, B-12, and DHA in your milk as well as screen for the presence of environmental toxins arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury in your milk.
You can also add on additional testing for silicone (measured as Silicon), platinum, and aluminum if you are concerned about risk factors associated with breast implants and chemotherapy drugs, according to the site. The FAQ section on the site also explains that with any premium breast milk kit, you can request testing for the levels of any chemical element that appears on the periodic table, including boron, beryllium, copper, chromium, cyanide, magnesium, platinum (used in the chemotherapy drug Cisplatin) and silicon (used in silicone implants).
Once you've ordered your kit, the collection and processing are very simple. According to to the website, you express some fresh breast milk (one to two ounces will do the trick, and they suggest you collect a small amount over the course of the day for most accurate testing) and include in the sample collection vial, pack it all up with the included freezer gel pack, and use the pre-paid return shipping (for USA orders only) to send it in for testing. All lab fees and test results are included in the price you pay initially. And that's it! In two to three weeks, your results are emailed to you.
What do you think? Would you pay for an analysis of your breast milk?