Student’s Photo Of Breast Milk In Petri Dishes Proves How It Fights E. Coli And Other Bacteria

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content. She lives in Queens, NY.

Most moms who breastfeed know about the incredible benefits of breast milk.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, “The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breast milk help protect babies from illness. This protection is unique and changes every day to meet your baby’s growing needs.”

We previously wrote about a mom whose milk changed colors when her daughter got a fever. The milk had extra fat and antibodies in it when the baby was sick in order to help her recover faster.

But helping a baby get over an illness isn’t all breast milk can do; it can also protect against a number of scary bacteria.

Victoria Catherine, a student at South Devon College in Paignton, England, did a study in February 2017 to see what effect breast milk would have on different types of bacteria. Her results blew her away, so she shared a photo of the petri dishes on Facebook to spread the word.

[H/T: Babble]

On February 6, 2017, Victoria Catherine shared the picture of breast milk on Facebook.

The post immediately got a lot of attention. To date, it has over 30,000 reactions and over 28,000 shares.


Victoria wrote:

I’m a first year Biosciences student and I’m doing this for my microbiology research project. The first sample (BmA) is from a mother feeding a 15 month old and the second (BmB) is from a mother feeding a 3 year old.

I’m also doing colostrum in a couple of weeks.

science breastmilk

So proud…here you have 9 Petri dishes containing the bacteria M. Luteus.

The white spots in the middle are discs soaked in two samples of breastmilk.

breastmilk bottles

See the clear bit around the discs – that’s where the proteins in the milk have inhibited the bacteria! I’m so excited!!!

It also worked with E. coli and had a fairly good go at MRSA too….the future is bright, the future is breastmilk.

breastfeeding baby

People were absolutely amazed by Victoria’s picture — it truly shows the incredible things women’s bodies can do.

One woman wrote, “Really want to follow your research!! I am a proud breastfeeder of a 2 1/2 year old. Love the power of breastmilk!”

formula breastmilk

It’s so fascinating to actually see the benefits of breast milk.

Even though we know those benefits are there, it seems even more real when you can see it with your own eyes.

pumped milk

Another woman wrote, “Fabulous work!!!!!!! Breastfed my kids into toddlerhood. Yay for breast milk and mommies everywhere!”

“Wow! I would love to see what happens when you use formula in the dishes.”

formula bottle

Unfortunately, formula doesn’t have any antibodies, so it wouldn’t have the same effect on bacteria.

That said, formula is a wonderful option for mothers who can’t breastfeed for whatever reason.

comments breastmilk

It’s truly incredible to see what women’s bodies can do.

Did you know that breast milk could protect against bacteria?

baby nursing

Please SHARE this article if you’re inspired by Victoria’s breast milk research!