Breast milk is the best nutrition for infants. It is nutritionally complete and helps protect a newborn against infections. The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for two years and beyond, even after a baby starts eating complementary foods.1,2

A growing body of evidence demonstrates the importance of the right nutrition during the first 1000 days or the period from conception to the end of a child’s second year. Breastfeeding is uniquely beneficial during this specific period and has a profound impact on long term health, including future gut and immune health outcomes3.

During the first 1000 days, extensive research supports the important role lactoferrin plays as a key dietary protein in breast milk. Lactoferrin is found in abundance in both colostrum and mature breast milk – the milk from approximately four weeks of age.

A child’s gut and immune system develop rapidly from birth, and lactoferrin plays an important protective role, helping support healthy gut immune function and support the immune system to fight illness.

An infant’s intake of lactoferrin in a 24hour period can vary, as breastmilk composition is influenced by many factors including the individual mother and stage of lactation.

Rai, D, et al. Longitudinal Changes in Lactoferrin Concentrations in Human Milk: A Global Systematic Review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(12):1539-47.

Mean estimates determined from analysis of World Health Organisation.Butte, NF et al.  Nutrient adequacy of exclusive breastfeeding for the term infant during the first six months of life, and Rai, D, et al. Longitudinal Changes in Lactoferrin Concentrations in Human Milk: A Global Systematic Review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(12):1539-47.

  1. World Health Organization. Health topics: Breastfeeding [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2018
  2. World Health Organisation.Butte, NF et al. Nutrient adequacy of exclusive breastfeeding for the term infant during the first six months of life.
  3. Moore, T.G., Arefadib, N., Deery, A., & West, S. (2017). The First Thousand Days: An Evidence Paper. Parkville, Victoria; Centre for Community Child Health, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.
  4. Kent JC et al. Breast volume and milk production during extended lactation in women. Exp Physiol. 1999;84(2):435-447.
  5. Kent JC et al. Breastmilk Production in the First 4 Weeks after Birth of Term Infants. Nutrients. 2016 Dec; 8(12): 756.
  6. Villavicencio, A, et al.  Factors Affecting Lactoferrin Concentration in Human Milk: How Much Do We Know?   Biochem Cell Biol. 2017 Feb; 95(1): 12–21
  7. Rai, D, et al. Longitudinal Changes in Lactoferrin Concentrations in Human Milk: A Global Systematic Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(12):1539-47.