Monday 17 April 2017

The building blocks of milk protein – the first 1,000 days

* Advertorial post 

It’s not long now until Ethan’s fourth birthday. As it stands, he’s been in our lives for more than 1,400 days, excluding the time when he was affectionately known as ‘Bean’ and when my tummy was his home. It’s a cliché, but just where has the time gone?

Photo taken when Ethan was 8 days old, by Shaun Fellows

The early days were a blur of sleep deprivation, feeding every couple of hours, changing nappies 14 times a day and also dealing with my own recovery following birth. They were also a mixture of first smiles, funny sounds and oh so many selfies with our beautiful little boy, and the door to our house was somewhat like a revolving door with proud family and friends keen to have a squeeze with our little bundle. Those days are precious memories now and as much as I long for a time machine to take me back, I too know now that being a parent just keeps getting better the older your child becomes.

I’ve written in the past about nutrition and our weaning journey and I was interested to do so again, following research from SMA ® Nutrition into how important those first 1,000 days are in helping to build a nutritional foundation for life, from pregnancy to toddlerdom, particularly when it comes to protein. I know that I didn’t know a great deal about nutrition, baby development, heck, pretty much anything about having a baby and raising a child! And I’m still learning, but I’ve found since day one that reading books, magazines, expert advice and posts from other parents has really helped build my knowledge and understanding.

As explored in the infographic below developed by SMA® Nutrition, protein is particularly important in those first 1,000 days as it provides the building blocks needed to develop and grow. This is one of the many reasons why breastfeeding is recommended; because milk protein has been proven to support an appropriate rate of growth* in infancy (*UK-WHO growth charts based on the growth of breastfed infants, and World Health Organisation/Department of Health advice to exclusively breastfeed for 6 months). What’s really clever is how protein levels in a mother’s breast milk change and decreases as babies grow, meaning it always contains just the right quality and quantity of protein needed at that time to help them grow at a steady rate.

We all want to support our children, from the moment they are conceived and born through to toddlerhood and beyond, so having information such as this to hand can really help support us as parents as we make decisions as they take their steps through those important first 1,000 days… and beyond.

ZTC1823a/04/17 SMA® Nutrition UK


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