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This is the photo Mallory Smothers posted on her Facebook page a little over a week ago. It has since been shared over 70,000 times.

The side-by-side comparison of Mallory Smothers' breast milk that has since gone viral.
The side-by-side comparison of Mallory Smothers’ breast milk that has since gone viral.

In Mallory’s Facebook post, she writes that the breast milk on the left was pumped on Thursday before her child went to bed. Around the early hours of Friday morning, her child began exhibiting the beginning symptoms of the common cold, congestion and frequent sneezing. Mallory fed her child and they went back to bed; when she went to pump later on on Friday, the milk had drastically changed in color and consistency! How could this be?

Mallory explains that, according to an article in a medical journal she had read before this incident, breast milk can deviate from the norm due to a phenomenon called “baby spit backwash.” To explain, when a baby nurses, the baby’s saliva enters the mother’s mammary gland. The mammary gland can detect and interpret such things as viruses and bacteria from the saliva, and if the glands detect a change in the baby’s condition – such as the common cold – the mother’s body is capable of changing the breast milk’s immunological properties to produce antibodies for the baby.

Mallory Smothers with her daughter.

Mallory says that her milk from Friday resembles colostrum, the type of breast milk full of antibodies and leukocytes that is produced by the mother in the first few days after giving birth, which was triggered into production again by Mallory’s child’s cold.

Mallory Smothers concluded: “The human body never ceases to amaze me.”