As a supermom planning ahead and conquering your day, it is common to pump breast milk and fridge it for when you’re away from your baby. But did you know the composition of breast milk changes throughout the day?
Research has found that substances in breast milk follow natural circadian rhythms, creating a difference between “day milk” and “night milk”. This plays a crucial role in your baby’s sleep pattern if they are drinking pumped milk.
Levels of cortisol – a hormone that promotes alertness- is three times higher in day milk than in night milk, while melatonin- which promotes sleep and digestion- rises in the evening hours.
TIMING OF BREAST MILK:
- Iron in milk peaks at noon
- Vitamin E peaks in the evening
- Minerals like magnesium, zinc, potassium, and sodium are at the highest in the morning
- Melatonin peaks around midnight
TIP: Breastfeeding moms who are looking to build up a freezer supply should label milk with the time of day it was pumped, and try to feed it to your baby around the same time of day or night!