Literatus: Born a mother’s child-A A +A
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
CHRISTMAS is not merely about the birth of God’s only Son, but also the emergence of a Mother. We can say that the new year is also all about birth and everything starting anew. This is a relevant thought because even in this age of test tube babies and surrogate parenthood, a child will not see the light without a mother. So wherever the son is, the mother must be there also. In the same manner, whatever the mother has the son will get also.
That’s the essence of the scientific breakthrough we will be on this week. While no one challenges the health value of breast milk as the optimal nutrition for newborn infants, it has not been explored in the past how far the milk and dairy intake of the mother affects the newly born child.
That’s the scientific puzzle that the team of five researchers, led by Anne Lise Brantsaeter of the Department of Exposure and Risk Assessment of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Oslo, Norway), embarked to find out.
In a report published in the Food & Nutrition Research on Nov. 23, the team found out that there had only been mixed results on the relationship between maternal milk and dairy diet, and an infant’s birth length and birth weight. That means that while some studies found a relationship, other studies did not.
What the team found to be strongly associated with a mother’s milk and dairy products consumption during pregnancy was the child’s growth increase. Increased milk intake of the mother during pregnancy showed strong relationship with the child’s growth after birth. Has anyone ever noticed that in this age of cow’s milk children are much taller than their parents were?
In addition, drinking cow’s milk during pregnancy had been shown to reduce the risk of cow’s milk allergy once the child is born. This finding came from a study in 2011 among Finnish mothers. One negative impact is the substantial contribution of milk to the saturated fat intake of both mother and child. While the high-strung metabolism of a child’s body can handle high-fat milk, the mother’s system may not manage such a heavy load as well. That’s why experts advise pregnant mothers to drink low-fat milk instead.
Come to think of it, how much milk the mother drank measures the growth potential her child would have post natal.
In the same way, the milk that the Blessed Mother drank while still carrying Jesus, our Lord, must have benefited her Son when she gave birth to him. That closeness of the Mother and the Child we must never forget or underestimate.
At Christmastime I often find it beautiful to imagine the picturesque words of Jose Mari Chan’s When a Child is Born: A silent wish sails the seven seas; The winds of change whisper in the trees;
And the walls of doubt crumbled, tossed and torn; This comes to pass when the Child was born.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 09, 2013.