Let’s delve deeper into the world of motherhood as we unravel some interesting breastfeeding facts. Whether you’re a mom-to-be, a new mom, or an experienced nurturer, these facts are sure to shed some light on this beautiful, yet often mysterious, aspect of motherhood.
The journey of motherhood is a unique blend of joy, challenges, questions, and discoveries. Among these, breastfeeding stands as one of the most profound experiences. Breastfeeding is undoubtedly the best way to provide nourishment to your baby. Yet, it’s a topic surrounded by tons of hearsay, assumptions, and often, misunderstandings.
Read on to know more!
Quick breastfeeding facts
Here are some interesting breastfeeding facts for you!
- Highly nutritious: Breast milk is packed with essential nutrients and antibodies that provide the perfect nourishment for your newborn. It also helps to boost their immunity.
- Changes over time: The composition of breast milk changes over time as your baby grows. Colostrum, the thick milk produced after you give birth is the first type of milk. Over time, the milk undergoes changes to suit your baby’s growing needs.
- Burns calories: Breastfeeding is a calorie burner! You can burn around 300 to 500 extra calories a day while breastfeeding.
- Helping with sleep: Hormones released during breastfeeding can make you feel more relaxed and sleepy. That’s Mother Nature’s way of making sure you get some rest!
- Lower risk of cancer: Breastfeeding helps lower the mother’s risk of developing certain types of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancer.
- Unique to every mother: Each mother’s breast milk is unique and is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of her infant.
- Bonding Experience: Breastfeeding releases the “love hormone” oxytocin, which helps in the bonding process between mom and baby. It’s nature’s way of strengthening the mother-child relationship!
- Adapts to baby’s needs: Incredible but true! Your breast milk can change its composition based on your baby’s needs! It can even produce antibodies when your baby is sick.
- Improves vision: Breast milk is rich in long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are crucial for the development of the retina.
- Breastmilk changes color: The color of breast milk can change mainly based on your diet. It can range from white to yellow, to green, or even pink!
- Breastfeeding is intuitive for babies: Babies are born with reflexes to find their mother’s breast and latch on all by themselves within just hours of birth. Suckling is also a natural reflex for babies.
- Breast size doesn’t matter: The size of your breasts has no effect on the amount of breastmilk you can produce. You are able to produce sufficient milk to meet the needs of your babies, as long as you don’t have any underlying medical condition.
- Supply and demand: Breast milk operates on a supply-and-demand basis. Your body adjusts the amount of milk produced based on how much your baby drinks.
- Soothes baby’s pain: Studies have proven that breastfeeding during vaccines and other painful medical procedures can reduce pain in babies.
- Twin-mom friendly: Yes, mothers of twins (or even triplets!) can exclusively breastfeed. The supply and demand principle applies—with two babies drinking, a mother’s body can adjust and produce enough milk for both.
- Healthier mothers: Besides the lower risk of certain cancers, breastfeeding also reduces a mother’s risk of heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Taste of breastmilk: The flavor of your breastmilk can change based on what you eat, thereby introducing your baby to different tastes early on. This might help in accepting a variety of foods later as they start solids.
- Natural pacifier: Apart from hunger and nutrition, babies also breastfeed for comfort which can naturally calm them in stressful situations.
- Pump or nurse: Whether you breastfeed or you extract the milk with a breast pump, the supply of milk and its fat consistency is the same.
- Babies rest: It is normal for babies to rest during a breastfeeding session. They might stop and resume suckling.
- Ideal temperature: Breastmilk, when it is given to the baby via a natural latch, is always at the perfect temperature and does not need any heating or cooling. This is great for feeding your baby on the go!
- Breastfeeding beyond 6 months: Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of your baby’s life. However, WHO recommends breastfeeding beyond six months up to two years of your child’s age. Of course, this decision depends on your preferences and your baby’s natural weaning tendencies.
Breastfeeding is a complex yet fascinating biological process. We hope these cool breastfeeding facts will help you feel encouraged to navigate this transition. In spite of the challenges, breastfeeding is a uniquely rewarding and gratifying experience. Happy breastfeeding!