Breast is Best – These 25 breastfeeding facts will further assure you that this statement indeed is true. Read on to know a couple of quirky yet positive facts about breastfeeding. All of them will give you a little push to continue breastfeeding even if it’s a tad difficult for a while. This too shall pass!
#1 All Paediatricians recommend Breastfeeding for at least a year.
All babies should be breastfed for 6 months. But then most moms wean babies completely after 6 months instead of weaning partially. Introducing solid foods at 6 months is fine but a mix of solid foods and breast milk might work better for your baby and you too. Let your baby gradually reduce the number of nursing sessions.
#2 Nursing Gives You A Natural High!
Yes, mothers can get milk drunk too, not just babies. Ironically, they get drunk without actually drinking anything. There have been no studies that have backed this ‘euphoric’ feeling yet. But, many mothers have testified to be in a calm and relaxed state while feeding, some going far enough to call it addictive. It’s not a hidden fact that breastfeeding might turn you on. And it’s okay if it does.
#3 Breastfeeding Works on the principle of Supply and Demand
One of the most common suggestions you will get for your supply problems is to feed more. It might puzzle you on how it helps but it turns out it does. Your body adjusts the milk production according to how much your baby feeds and nurses. This means if you have undersupply, your body will produce more milk and if you have oversupply, your body automatically produces less milk.
#5 Around 15% of all the Breastfeeding Women Actually Suffers from Supply Issues.
And only 5% mothers suffer from permanent supply problem and have to completely or partially substitute with formula. You can increase your milk supply by nursing frequently, getting all your macros (try these recipes), having galactagogues like brewer’s yeast, fenugreek, flax seeds, oats, nettle, red raspberry leaf etc.
#6 Sore & Cracked Nipples is the most common breastfeeding problem.
Dry, cracked nipples is the most common problem nursing mothers have. Baby’s saliva makes the dryness worse. It’s very important to be well prepared. Lanolin Creams work the best for moisturisation. You can also go for coconut oil, olive oil etc. Remember to wash the nipples before feeding in case you have applied anything topically.
#7 92% of the mothers have some problems within the first 3 days of Breastfeeding.
Most women face some kind of problem during their breastfeeding journey. It could be latching problems, dryness, soreness, thrush, engorgement etc. Breastfeeding doesn’t come at ease so easily.
#8 Baby’s health at birth (Preterm labor, low birth weight) is significantly associated with latching and sucking problems.
Premature Babies or Low birth weight babies generally don’t have enough power to suckle properly. Their muscles get tired before they have had enough milk. Nursing requires effort and coordination which depends on a lot on baby’s health. For a preemie baby (less than 34 weeks), tube feedings are done if he is not able to get enough milk properly. In tube feedings, a tube goes directly into the baby’s stomach. This way the baby gets enough nutrition for healthy growth.
#9 Breastfeeding Contraception is about 98% effective.
Also known as Lactation Amenorrhea, it is not 100% effective just like any other form of birth control. But it only works if you follow a certain set of rules like if your baby is below 6 months old, the baby is exclusively breastfed at regular intervals and your period has not returned yet. Regular breastfeeding sessions are really important for breastfeeding contraception to work. This means 6-8 breastfeeding sessions in a day.
#10 Breastfeeding lowers various health risks for moms.
Breastfeeding has so many benefits for mothers. It helps in reducing postpartum bleeding by producing oxytocin that helps in shrinking mother’s uterus. Since it produces oxytocin – the feel good hormone, it also reduces the risk of postpartum depression and intensity of baby blues. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, ovarian cancer, breast cancer and endometrial cancer. (1)
#11 Breastfeeding really is MAGICAL for babies.
Breastfed babies have higher immunity, lower risk of cavities, asthma, allergies, ear infections, diabetes, respiratory illness, bouts of diarrhea etc. Breastfeeding also helps in developing mother-baby bond too. So, breastfed babies are happier and less colicky.
#12 Breastfeeding can save you Rs.3000/- to 1 lakh per year.
That’s a lot of money considering you have just had a brand new human being to take care of. Formula feedings do take up a lot of money from your bank balance.
#13 Breastfed babies are less picky eaters.
Good news momma! You won’t have to work too hard on your baby’s meal plan. Since breastfed milk does change its taste slightly according to what the mother eats, the breastfed baby will welcome varied choices while transitioning to solid food. Not to forget that the transition itself will be easier too.
#14 Breastfeeding can burn around 500 calories a day.
Breastfeeding uses up your fat stores and nutrients to produce breast milk. Not to forget the energy it takes up from your whole day. There is a reason why new mums feel so tired. A part of it is because of postpartum recovery and other due to calories that are used up. If you are eating healthy then you would lose your baby weight in no time. After that, you just have to work on toning your body.
#15 Breast Milk is a living substance.
Breast Milk contains leukocytes. Leukocytes are living cells that help fight infection. They are only found in breast milk. Leukocytes play a major role in developing immunity of the baby. The combination of these living cells, leukocytes, protein, fat etc. is what makes breastfeeding so ideal for the baby.
#16 Breast Milk has 300 more ingredients than any type of formula.
As mentioned in above point breastmilk composition is a whole lot different and incomparable to the formula. And thus it is the perfect blend of nutrients that the baby needs in the first few months of her life.
#17 A healthy newborn’s natural instinct to nurse peaks 20-30 minutes after birth.
A newborn, when placed on the chest of the mother after 20-30 minutes of birth, can find the breast all by himself. This is also known as breast crawl.
#18 Breast Milk comes out of several holes.
Yes, it’s not just one hole that squirts out breast milk. These several holes are called milk duct orifices. There are around 4-20 holes on each breast. This is why many lactation consultants recommend that your baby should take in the full areola to create a proper suction around all the holes to feed effectively.
#19 Bigger Breasts Doesn’t Mean More Milk.
Bigger breasts don’t mean the woman has more mammary glands. It just means that the woman has more fat tissues. All the breasts have almost the same capacity to produce breast milk even though it’s a whole different story when it comes to storage. The amount of breast milk produced is determined by the hormones prolactin and oxytocin and nothing else.
#20 Breast Milk changes itself in texture and color and develops antibodies if the mother is sick.
You should breastfeed the baby even when you are sick. You would have already passed on the infection to the baby before you realized you were sick. Second, your body starts producing antibodies to protect the baby. This means that the breast milk texture changes according to your health. Breast Milk also changes according to the temperature and becomes more diluted when it’s hot to hydrate the baby. Strange Magic!
#21 One breast has more milk than other.
It’s true. Most women produce more milk from their right breasts than left. One breast will also get much more fuller than the other. It’s completely normal to experience this.
#22 You will leak at most unexpected of times.
Breast Pads are your savior. You can leak at any time and it’s very important to be prepared. There is no scientific evidence so as to what situation provokes leakage of breasts. However, some women do leak during sex because orgasm produces oxytocin too, the same hormone that is produced during feedings.
#23 Lack of support and help for mothers is the number one reason why most mothers quit breastfeeding after 6 months or before that.
According to WHO, new practices which foster mother-baby separation such as newborn nurseries, supplementation with formula etc. puts the mother in a more stressful situation. It’s important that a mother gets some alone time and skin to skin contact with the baby. This is the only way she would be able to act on her own maternal instincts and remain motivated to breastfeed every day. Working mothers should also be given adequate information and a good deal of moral strength to not fully wean after returning to work. Safe places to breastfeed and express milk is crucial for moms and should be provided at work places too.
#24 Your body can actually detect and change the temperature of the breast milk according to baby’s body temperature.
This is also the reason why skin to skin contact is so crucial.
#25 Each boob can gain around 2 pounds to prepare for breastfeeding and support milk ducts.
Mothers who are reading this and have been through it must be shouting out loud in their minds on how true this is. Your boobs will grow around 2 cup sizes and become hard due to milk production. They will go down in size once you are done breastfeeding, so don’t worry!
We have proved our first three words on the blog. Which one of these breastfeeding facts baffled you the most? Do tell us in the Comments section below.