Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby’s growth and development. Breast milk provides easily absorbed nutritional components, enzymes, and antioxidants. It has immune properties and live antibodies that get transferred from mom to the baby. A baby’s immune system is not quite mature yet and the mothers immunity passes through the breast milk, and coats the lining of the baby’s intestines to prevent germs and things from passing through and making your baby ill. Breast milk also contains substances that will naturally soothe your baby, and it’ll protect your baby against gastroenteritis and diarrhoea and things like allergies, urinary infections, and just other a whole slew of other conditions.
Breastfeeding also has numerous benefits physically and mentally for both mom and the baby. First of all, for mom. It gives you the opportunity to connect with your baby in a really deep way that’s satisfying for both.
I remember when I first had my daughter and you know, I was a new mom and this was a very new thing that I had to learn. But once you learn and my daughter was able to latch on and I was able to see this and share this and and feel this connection and bond with her just from breastfeeding and then knowing after also that she was getting the best possible start from my breast milk. Watch my video for all the amazing benefits breastfeeding gives to moms.
If you’re having trouble at the get go with breastfeeding, you can start with skin to skin contact with your baby and this will immediately trigger a strong hormonal response because it’s so amazing that this connection creates this and this is linked with greater breastfeeding success. Even if you’ve had a C-section, you can have this skin to skin contact for your baby soon after birth and the first few days after birth are when your babies just learning just as you are. They’re learning to breastfeed and you’re learning to nurse.
Did you know that the first let down from the breast, the first milk, is known or called colostrum? And it’s more of a clear fluid, but it’s highly nutritious and plays a significant role in protecting your newborn against diseases. After the colostrum, maybe about 2 weeks later, your milk will become whiter and thinner and appearance, and increase in volume to meet your growing baby’s needs.
This continued milk production is dependent on frequent stimulation and emptying of your breast. So it’s really important that the baby nurse and empty the breast fully and then the second breast fully for your milk production to continue. This is dependent on stimulation and emptying of your breasts either by continued breastfeeding or pumping. And during this breastfeeding or expressing of your milk, a hormone called oxytocin is released. This hormone pushes the milk through the ducts to the nipple openings. This action is also called let down or let down reflex and it takes about 60 seconds and you may feel like a tingling sensation or fullness in the breast.
So let’s recap the benefits of breastfeeding, your baby’s strengthens their immune system. So that means less bacteria and allergens pass through the intestines, as the moms milk coats the intestines. Then we have the gut issues. There’s less diarrohea and constipation and gastroenteritis that a baby will have, fewer colds and respiratory illnesses like pneumonia and whooping cough, fewer ear infections, especially those that can damage hearing. Also, breastfed babies have fewer cases of bacterial meningitis and importantly, lower rates of infant mortality, lower rates of sudden infant death syndrome, which is linked to breastfeeding and less illness overall.
It’s also known that parents are less absent from work as your baby is healthier. Breastfed babies become healthier children as well, with fewer instances of allergies, eczema and asthma, fewer childhood illnesses like cancers, leukemias, and lymphomas, lower risk of diabetes (type 1 and type 2), lower instances of Crohn’s disease and colitis, lower rates of respiratory illness, fewer cavities, less likely to develop obesity later in childhood, improved brain maturation, and greater immunity to infection.
Teens and adults will also benefit for life. They’re less likely to develop lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. It’s known that they’re less likely to have heart disease in adulthood, lower risks of multiple sclerosis, and lower risks of pre and post menopausal breast cancer.
So if you’re struggling with breastfeeding, it’s important to keep going. Every every woman struggles with it, this is something they have to learn, something the baby has to learn, but it is the best possible start you can give your baby.