Breastfeeding was a not all rainbows and butterflies for me. My toddler and I, both, had our ups and downs with it. Now, in the 20th month of breastfeeding, though deemed The One Boobed Bandit, I am still going strong… we both are.
So I thought I’d put together this collection of mine, in case it can help you keep your chin up. If you happen to need a bit of inspiration to keep going, here are my go-to breastfeeding facts that helped me stop crying, breathe, and try again (and again). Here we go…
When your baby’s tummy is at its smallest — the first few days after birth — your “early milk,” called colostrum, is released in tiny amounts, so as not to overfill your baby. It’s high in protein and antibodies from the mother — it contains three times as much as mature milk — but low in fat and sugar, which your baby doesn’t really need in the first few days.
Breast milk is always changing, and it can’t be duplicated. No two mothers have the same breast milk, and breast milk taken from one woman during one part of the day won’t even be the same as a sample taken from the same woman later in the day.
A mother’s body knows the temperature of the baby, then warm or cool the infant accordingly. This is why skin-to-skin contact is so important, especially in the first few weeks/months. It regulates water content to prevent the baby from dehydrating.
Breast milk has the capability to infuse milk with more milk
Formula cans and bottle supplies create more trash and plastic waste. Your milk is a renewable resource that comes packaged and warmed.
A typical household can save up to 4 thousand dollars per year breastfeeding instead of buying formula.
Regardless of whether mom is left of right handed, in general, the right breast produces more milk.
Breastfeeding Facts on Baby Health
Breast milk is like a natural immunization for your baby. Colostrum – which is the thick, yellow milk produced in the first few days after delivery – is full of antibodies and protein. It helps build your baby’s immune system (some people even refer to colostrum as “liquid gold”). Babies only need about 2 teaspoons of it to fill their tummies – it’s that packed with nutrients. The milk that comes after colostrum continues to bolster her immunities: breastfed children have a lower risk of asthma, diabetes, and childhood obesity.
Breastfeeding can actually reduce baby’s risk of disease later in life, including:
- Type I and II diabetes
- Hodgkin’s disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system big time—helping baby fight viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections, including:
- Respiratory tract infections
- Ear infections
- Bacterial meningitis
- Urinary tract infections
- Infant diarrhea
- Common colds and flus
It has all the vitamins, fats, and proteins needed by your baby in exact amount she needs it.
Breast milk changes to fit your baby’s needs. Breast milk is the ideal nutrition for your baby and contains all of the water, protein, and vitamins she needs for the start of her life. Not only that, but the content of your breast milk changes as your baby’s needs change. At the beginning of every feeding your milk is more watery, and gradually becomes thicker and more fat-filled. The milk also changes as your baby grows, automatically adjusting to exactly what she needs in that moment. In fact the W.H.O. recommends that moms breastfeed exclusively up to 6 months old because additional foods and drinks are unnecessary until then.
There is good evidence that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (cot death) is less common in breastfed babies. This is not fully explained, although the fact that breastfed babies have fewer infections is possibly a contributing factor.
Breast milk is a natural pain reliever for the baby.
Breastfeeding Facts on Baby Development, IQ, and Social Skills
Children that are breastfed the longest show higher overall IQs than their peers who were formula fed or breastfed for a shorter duration. With as much information that is being absorbed into those busy little minds, it’s great to know that breast milk is helping with that intellectual development!
Studies show that children who are breastfed into toddler-hood are more independent, have better social skills, and are better at coping with stressful situations. Aside from the physical benefits, it is a wonderful way for them to cope with pain or anger or frustration—it’s a great bonding tool and the perfect way for to meet their emotional needs.
Breastfeeding Facts on Mama Health
Breastfeeding can help mama return to her pre-baby weight. It takes 1000 calories a day on average to produce breast milk. Women are advised to consume an extra 500 calories a day, and the body dips into reserves it built up in pregnancy to make the rest (it’s important to consume those extra calories or the body actually goes into “starvation mode” and holds onto the reserves).
Breastfeeding helps mama heal faster in the postpartum, helping her uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and lowering overall postpartum blood loss.
Breastfeeding reduces mama’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The longer she breastfeeds, the higher the benefit.
Tips on Breastfeeding
Women who breastfeed are more thirsty than normal, and the USDA recommends that they drink one glass of water for every breastfeeding session. This definitely hit home for me. In the first few months, until she was 4 months probably, each time we started a breastfeeding session, my mouth turned into Sahara! Make sure you have that glass of water near by!
Landolin is a lifesaver!!! If you have sensitive, cracked, and bleeding nipples, this stuff is magic! It healed both of mine up in about a week’s time and soothed my sore nips like nothing else did so the healing time wasn’t complete torture. Hint: it’s amazing on little cuts too!
It’s more nature than science. Relax and let it go. Stress will KILL your supply. So, stop worrying so much and let nature run it’s course. Do what you can. And if you can’t, it’s okay. Pat yourself on your back. You’ve done everything you could, mama. And that’s something to be proud of! I’m going to say it — You go girl!!!
http://www.intimina.com/ http://www.nursingschools.net/ http://www.breastfeedingplace.com/ http://www.womenshealth.gov/
Together, they explore the topics of gentle parenting, healthy eating, grateful thinking, yoga bending, nifty hacking, green living, soul searching, and mindfulness practicing.
She has lived many lives. She has seen great beauty and utter darkness. It makes her whole. She is strong and with your presence, support, and love right here, right now ever stronger!!!
Read more about her by visiting the Meet the Bee page or email her right now!
We hope you enjoy the adventures of Chewy & Bossy!