5 Fascinating Facts About Breastfeeding
If you think about it, breastfeeding really is miraculous. It also is one of the most effective ways to keep a baby healthy, prevent illness and help them develop well, but it also has many other benefits. We found 5 fascinating facts that surprised us about breastfeeding:
#1 Benefits Mom as Well as Baby
Breastfeeding can help lower the risk of postpartum depression, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and many other diseases in moms. It can also help moms lose baby weight. Moms can burn up to 600 calories a day without additional exercise when breastfeeding which may help them get back to their pre-pregnancy weight.
It also helps moms heal faster after birth, lowering overall blood loss and helping the uterus return to its pre-birth size due to the hormones that are released - really breastfeeding is a miracle cure!
#2 Reduces Risk of Disease
It is more well known that breast milk boosts a baby’s immune system, leading them to be ill less - lowering their risks of stomach problems, diarrhea, and ear infection.
But as well as this, breastfeeding has lifelong benefits as it can also reduce the risk of a baby contracting certain diseases later on in life. Diseases include diabetes, asthma, obesity, leukemia, and many more.
If a baby girl is breastfed her lifetime risk of breast cancer is reduced by 25%!
#3 Best For Bonding
A mom’s brain releases hormones during breastfeeding, prolactin and oxytocin, which ease anxiety and stress but also help mom and baby bond. Newborns have a very strong sense of smell and know the taste of their mom’s milk - this is why babies turn their heads towards their mom when they are hungry.
Skin to skin contact is also vital to bonding. A mom’s breasts have the ability to detect change in the baby's body temperature, even a fluctuation of one degree. They can adjust to heat up or cool down baby as it needs.
#4 The Changing Taste (and Color) of Breast Milk
The taste and smell of breast milk changes slightly depending on what mom eats. Exposing a baby to a bigger variation of flavors during breastfeeding can lead to them being less fussy when they move onto eating solid foods.
Also, breast milk surprisingly isn’t always white. It changes color depending on what mom eats or drinks - usually yellow, white, clear, cream, tan, blue-tinged, pink, green or orange!
#5 Breasts and Breastfeeding
Breasts are classed as an organ when they lactate, and it is actually a myth that a woman’s breast size makes her more fertile. Cup size doesn’t at all determine the amount of milk a mom can produce - milk storage and production all depends on hormones!
75% of new moms find their right breast makes more milk than their left, which surprisingly has nothing to do with being right handed. Some moms choose to feed from both or only one, but after weaning breasts can return to their pre-birth size or sag, with both breasts not necessarily coordinating.
What did you think of our facts? We’d love to know if you have one to share, or if we surprised you at all?
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