A five-year-old video of the founder of Isha Foundation Jagadish 'Jaggi' Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru, talking about the production of breast milk in humans has resurfaced once again.
In the video, Vasudev can be seen claiming that lactating women produce different qualities of milk depending on the gender of the child. He then goes on to add that the milk produced from each breast for twins of opposite sexes is also different.
The comment was made during a conclave held at the Indian Institute Of Technology, (IIT) Delhi in March 2017.
Responding to a question on how nourishment and intelligence work inside the womb, Sadhguru said, "If a woman delivers a male child, the quality of the milk that she produces is a certain way. If you deliver a female child, the quality of the milk is totally different. If she delivers twins, one male and one female, one breast will ooze certain type of milk another breast will ooze another kind of milk. This is the level of intelligence invested in this body."
His comments can be heard from the 2:05:00 mark.
We decided to look at what research says about the quality of breast milk and the child's gender.
In the subsequent sections, we will look at these two claims made by Sadhguru:
Quality of the mother’s breast milk differs depending on the gender of the child.
In case of opposite gender twins, quality of the milk produced by the two breasts is different.
DOES THE QUALITY OF MILK DEPEND ON THE GENDER OF THE BABY?
The quality of breast milk is determined by the presence of various nutrients such as minerals, vitamins, fats, lipids, carbohydrates, amino acids among others, which are required for the growth and development of a child.
A 2018 study conducted in Sudan tested the milk quality of 48 lactating women – 24 were breast feeding male infants and 24 female infants. The study found that the concentration of lipids and calcium was higher when the breast feeding infant was a male.
The study, however, couldn't take into consideration the diet of the mothers and age of the infants.
A 2009 Harvard and Boston University study conducted on 25 women from Massachusetts with infants between two-five months of age found that the milk produced for male infants had higher caloric content and density.
The findings of the study was consistent with findings of a previous 2007 study conducted on rhesus macaques and red deer.
In an article published in The Guardian, the author of the 2007 study, Professor Katherine Hinde, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, suggested that the "recipes for milk for sons and daughters may be different, and the difference may be greater depending on where the mother is at in her reproductive career."
In 2012, a study was conducted by the Michigan State University involving 72 women from rural Kenya to study the production of human milk depending on the lactating person's socio-economic status and on the kind of nourishment received by infants.
The study found that women who were financially stable generally produced richer (higher percentage of fat) milk for male infants while those who came for lower economic strata produced richer milk for female infants.
Contrary to the results of the previous studies, a 2013 research done on 103 Filipino mothers nursing infants less than 18 months of age found no differences in milk composition by infant sex.
Researchers in New Zealand analysed the results of six studies conducted to determine the composition of milk based on the gender of the baby and found that while lactating women produced different quality of milk for male and female children, the composition was different in different parts of the world.
DO BREASTS PRODUCE DIFFERENT QUALITY OF MILK FOR TWINS OF OPPOSITE GENDERS?
We could not find any study conducted to determine whether the milk quality is different in mothers who give birth to opposite-sex twins.
But a study conducted in London found that same-sex twins, who were breastfed, were taller and heavier than breastfed twins of opposite genders.
Though there is no direct reference, this does contradict Sadhguru's claims about each breast producing customised milk for each offspring.
The study was conducted over 14 years and included 546 same-sex individual twins (277 females and 269 males) and 233 opposite-sex individual twins (120 females and 113 males).
The study concluded that breastfeeding is beneficial for same-sex twins and that milk of the mother cannot be tailored for either sex.
(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on , or e-mail it to us at and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories .)