Knowledge is power, especially in navigating the many choices faced in motherhood. That’s why Lactation Lab aims to educate and alleviate the concerns many mothers have about how nutritional their breast milk is. The at-home breast milk testing kit was founded when mother of two, Dr. Stephanie Canale, went on the hunt for a proper way to test her own breast milk.
Perplexed when her daughter was not gaining enough weight, Canale sought reasons and ended up looking to her own breast milk for answers. In the process of her search for enlightenment, she found that the reason 35% of women struggle with breastfeeding during the first few weeks of the postpartum period is not because of the quantity of their milk, but rather, the quality.
Even though Canale could pump two six ounce bottles of breastmilk in 15 minutes and her daughter was feeding often, her little one was failing to thrive. “I really struggled with the mother I wanted to be. I put so much pressure on myself to make breastfeeding happen,” she remembers.
When an MRI revealed that Canale’s daughter had developed spina bifida, the new mother felt guilty. She had recently found that she had low iron anemia and a congenital b12 deficiency. She explains, “If I had the breast milk test, I would have definitely wanted to know more about the b12 level in my milk… or at the very least, how many calories it had.”
Stemming from her personal experience, Canales wanted others to learn from what she hadn’t known. She formed Lactation Lab to provide breastfeeding moms a convenient and comprehensive test about their breast milk.
The kit requires small amounts of breast milk to be gathered over a 24 hour period, which are then shipped off to the “Lactation Lab” in a prepaid envelope. Within a week, mothers will receive an easy-to-read PDF of their milk’s personalized test results, as well as clear action items of nutritional recommendations (such as adding supplements and increasing nutrient-rich foods to target those missing areas). These tests provide a detailed breakdown of lipid and protein content, calorie count per ounce, and also focuses on 17 key nutrients, fatty acids and toxins that are most impactful for your child’s growth and development.
Meant to be used as a tool for mothers to learn more about their milk and feel less worry, guilt, or shame, Lactation Lab testing kits are never to take the place of a one-on-one relationship with a healthcare professional or specialist.
“Our kit is for the mom who really wants to know more about nutrition,” says Canales. “It’s for the mom who wants to optimize her breast milk.”