Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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Stem Cells in Breast Milk! May 12, 2008

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Rachel @ 1:49 pm
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If you read pregnancy magazines, you’ve heard about stem cells which are typically harvested from cord blood at the time of birth.  Collecting and storing your baby’s stem cells for use later on (which is called cord blood banking) is big-business.  Mega-corporations like CBR cash in on parents’ deep-rooted desire to protect their family’s health by claiming that known and unknown diseases may be treatable by stem cells when they manifest in later years.  

This year Dr. Mark Cregan, a molecular biologist at The University of Western Australia, discovered that human breast milk actually contains stem cells!  Not only does breast milk provide ideal nutrition for baby, it also “contains key markers that guide his or her development into adulthood.”  That’s why breastfeeding makes many diseases less likely and has been shown to increase IQ, for example.  The existence of stem cells in breast milk may explain these benefits and potentially provides many more benefits that are as yet unknown.  Dr. Cregan says that mom’s mammary glands “provide the development guidance to ensure a baby’s genetic destiny is fulfilled.” 

For more on the study visit Breast milk contains stem cells by Catherine Madden.