The Heart of Women, Unifying Your Roles in Life

A beneficial talk by Yasmin Mogahed.

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Breastfeeding Myth: Colostrum is ‘Dirty’

Infants Stomach Capacity

In many cultures throughout the world infants are not given the first milk known as colostrum because it is believed to be immature and unclean.  In an article I was recently reading, a Latino woman expressed how her mother urged her not to breastfeed her newborn in the first few days because “pus” would come out her breasts.  This nutrient dense milk is commonly squeezed out the breasts and discarded, as was illustrated by a West African mother during a Spero News interview, “It [colostrum] was dirty and I needed to get rid of it in order to be able to feed my daughter correctly.”  This myth is also widespread in parts of Asia, where baby’s are given tea and sugar-water in the first few days after birth.  Also, in India infants are not commonly given colostrum because it is considered dirty and stale (checkout the commercial below encouraging women to give their babies colostrum ).  Some cultures even go as far as to call it “witch’s milk” and claim that it can cause any disease.

In reality, colostrum, known as “liquid gold”, is very beneficial and is specially formulated to give newborns a healthy start in life.  After birth, this thick, yellow milk helps to seal holes in the intestinal tract, protecting the gut from any harmful substances.   It is low in fat, high in proteins and carbohydrates, and very easy to digest.  Consequently, it has a laxative effect which helps a baby to pass the black, tarry stool known as meconium.  This is very important because excess bilirubin is excreted, preventing jaundice.  Colostrum is also known as the “first vaccine” because it is high in white blood cells and antibodies which help fight infections.

Over a period of two weeks after birth, the infant’s suckling stimulates the production and transition of colostrum to white, thin “mature” milk.  This provides the child’s nutrition for the remainder of time that he is breastfed.

Breastfeeding in the First Few Weeks

What is Colostrum? How does it benefit my baby?

A Day in the Life of a Modern-Day Wet-Nurse in Morrocco

Many people consider wet-nursing to be old-fashioned. However, there are women who fulfill this special role in modern-day society which, is mentioned as an alternative to the mother breastfeeding in verse 233 of Surah Al-Baqarah.  In addition to the obvious nutritional benefits, wet nursing has many social benefits, giving women the “best of both worlds”.  Watch the following video to see how Sara, who makes a living wet-nursing, makes life easier for working mothers and  helps a woman who is unable to breastfeed.

Video: Modern Day Wet-Nurse

Video: Breastfeeding is Sunnah

This is an excellent video about the importance of breastfeeding in Islam and also provides practical advice on how to successfully breastfeed. It was shot at the Malaysian Twins of Faith Conference held in December 2011. The speaker, Sister Rita Rahayu Omar, is a well known International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and founder of Mom’s Little Ones.