Step up for breastfeeding, Educate and support
- Breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day. That means some moms might end up losing weight without any additional exercise.
- Breast milk is a living substance that contains live cells, including stem cells, which go on to become other body cell types like brain, heart, kidney, or bone tissue.
- Breast milk also contains antibodies and live white blood cells that help your baby fight against infection. And, when you or your baby are sick, the amount of these cells in your breast milk increases.
- Colostrum (your first milk) contains special proteins that coat your baby’s intestinal tract to protect from harmful bacteria right from the start.
- Your brain releases the hormones prolactin and oxytocin during breastfeeding, which help you to bond with baby and ease those normal feelings of stress and anxiety.
- The smell and taste of your breast milk changes depending on the foods you eat. Exposing your little one to more flavors during breastfeeding can lead them to be less picky eaters once you begin introducing solids.
- And when your baby does start eating solids, you can use breast milk to replace cow’s milk in recipes.
- Breast milk is not always white. It can be blue, green, yellow (ahem- gold!), pink, or orange depending what you eat or drink. Don’t worry, it’s OK for baby.
- The amount of breast milk you are able to produce has nothing to do with your breast size. A mom with small breasts can have just as much (or more!) milk-making tissue as a mom with large breasts.
- Your breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of your growing baby. From month-to-month, throughout the week, day-to-day, and even throughout a single feeding.
- Mothers who breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, heart disease, stroke, type-2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. And, the longer a woman breastfeeds in her lifetime, the more protection she receives.
- Breastfeeding lowers your babies’ risk of common childhood illnesses, including ear infections, respiratory infections, gastroenteritis, and Necrotizing Enterocolitis.
- Moms of preemies have breast milk with more protein, fat, and other minerals for bone and brain growth as well as the most protective factors to prevent illness and infection.
- Premature babies fed more breast milk in the first 28 days of life have better brain development by the time their original birth date arrives, and see benefits to IQ and memory skills later in childhood.
Myths and Misconceptions about Breastfeeding
Here are some corrected common myths:
- 10 Minutes on each side This is now known to be wrong advice. The latest advice is to feed as often and for as long as baby wants (“baby-led or demand feeding”) and to allow baby to finish feeding on one side and then offer the other.
2. Big babies need top-ups!
If a baby is allowed to feed as frequently as they want then the mother will make as much milk as is needed. Artificial “top-up” feeds can and will interfere with this natural process.
3.You don’t have enough milk!
Often growth spurts are seen as signs of insufficient milk supply. At key stages a suddenly hungry baby is actually letting Mum know it’s time to make more milk, If Mum demand feeds through this and avoids artificially “topping up” then her supply will respond.
4.Mastitis means to stop feeding
It used to be thought that Mastitis meant you must stop feeding through the affected breast. It has since been found that a mastitis affected breast should be fed from as often as possible to allow the milk to flow and for the best chance of shifting the inflammation. In fact, if a breast with mastitis isn’t fed from then the mastitis will more than likely get worse.
5.Breastfeeding when pregnant is dangerous
Breastfeeding during pregnancy is safe for the majority of mothers. It can help maintain a close relationship with the older child and between siblings when the baby is born.
6.You can’t breastfeed more than one baby
It is perfectly possible to breastfeed more than one baby, either multiples (twins or more) or baby and an older child (tandem feeding). There are lots of health and practical reasons why this may be a good idea.
7.Breastfeeding an older baby or child is pointless and wrong
The health effects of breastfeeding don’t disappear when a baby gets older, they continue, for mum and baby for as long as the breastfeeding continues. It is not possible to force a baby or child to breastfeed and continuing to breastfeed for as long as mum and baby wish is a perfectly natural and normal aspect of parenting.