5 Breastfeeding Benefits for Both Mother and Baby
Breastfeeding is unique and special for each mother and child. It comes with a lot of judgments and opinions. It is also very personal and the decision to do so solely depends on the mother and their baby.
Immediately after I gave birth to my youngest he attached to my breast and from there our breastfeeding journey began. Looking back I do not think I had much of a choice. When I thought he wasn't consuming enough milk I tried pumping, offering bottles, formula and pacifiers but he refused all methods and stuck to the "boobies". Although babies go through similar developmental milestones, their designed uniquely by God with specific preferences. Some prefer their breast milk straight from the source, others may drink from the bottle or even spoon feed. Whichever technique is used, breast milk is considered the best source of nutrition for a growing baby.
Breastfeeding is not all rosy. At times, it will be calm and relaxing other times it may feel like a chore. Some babies attach to the nipple immediately others have a difficult time latching on. Nursing takes a lot of time, patients and self care. I had a rough time eating and drinking frequently which may not affect milk production but it does influence your overall health and well-being. There are times I didn't have enough energy to function effectively because I was not consuming sufficient amount of food and water throughout the day. Although I continued to produce milk I became dehydrated. This condition left me feeling exhausted, drained and frustrated. However, ensuring that you eat foods that provide adequate amount of water content, drinking water before and after nursing would help eliminate feelings of dehydration, exhaustion and increase your overall mood.
As revealed on both the Womanshealth.gov website and Webmd.com There are many breastfeeding benefits for both mother and baby.
5 Benefits of Breastfeeding That I Consider Important For A Growing Baby
Contains Antibodies for baby's
Provides nutritional values for the baby and is considered to be the easiest milk to digest
Fresh and ready to go
Helps mothers maintain good health
Aids in developing a special mother-child bond
Breast milk Contains Antibodies
The antibodies contained in breast milk is immunoglobulin as noted on verywellfamily.com web page (https://www.verywellfamily.com/immunoglobulins-antibodies-in-breast-milk-431993). It's beneficial for building baby's immune system and protecting them against germs, infections and diseases. The mother's antibodies is passed on through breastfeeding allowing the baby to develop immunity against certain bacteria. Have you ever noticed when your infant/baby gets sick the colour of your breast milk changes to a darker yellow? I have noticed my breast milk change in colour every time myself and son are sick. In the article 6 Magical ways that breastmilk changes to meet your baby's needs (written by: Alex Mlynek), it discloses that researchers believe the baby's saliva is what sends the signals to the mother. In this case it is believed once the signal is sent the mother's body begins to produce the antibodies to aid in the babies health being restored.
Nutritional values provided in breast milk
Breast milk is perfectly balanced and has the right amount of proteins such as carbohydrate, water, fat, vitamins and minerals for the baby to thrive and develop. These vitamins are recommended for baby's to have an healthy immune system. Breast milk is also easier to digest than formula because it contains enzymes. Babies digestive tract is immature so the enzymes in breast milk makes it easier for a baby to digest and in return saves the baby from the agony of becoming constipated. As the baby develops and approaches its growth spurt breast milk changes in quantity while still providing the right amount of nutrients to meet the baby's needs.
Fresh and ready to go
Breast milk is always available at the perfect temperature for the baby when needed. Parents do not have to pack bottles, thermos or formula to travel with on their journey. With my first son It felt like a hassle traveling around with multiple equipment to ensure I had everything he needed to be bottle fed. Now that I have the benefit of breastfeeding my second son all I need is myself 😊. It is comforting to know that our baby's are getting milk at the right temperature and in full control of the milk flow through their suction. Because breast milk "on tap" is fresh and ready to go, this makes it worry free and limits the amount of travel equipment required when feeding. Therefore, making the task of nursing your baby a lot easier.
Helps mothers maintain good health
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for mothers. It lowers the risk of developing postpartum depression, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and it helps mothers develop a bond with their babies. Breastfeeding contributes to weight loss, which for some is great news. Elizabeth LaFleur an R.N in and article on the Mayo Clinic web-page (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/breastfeeding-and-weight-loss/faq-20094993revealed) disclosed that during the breastfeeding process fat and calories from the body is used to aid in milk production. My son is 22 months old and I’ve lost all my baby weight due to breastfeeding. I feel a lot healthier when running around with the kids and my tummy is now bikini ready😁.
Breastfeeding aids in the development of a mother-child bond
Positive nursing moments that leads to undeniable bonding between mother and child entails being in a good state of mind. While nursing the simple touch, the gaze, kisses, cuddles and cradling builds trust and confidence in both mother and baby. I have also gained confidence in my parenting skills knowing i am able to console my baby and provide him with the right nutrients when needed. The quality time spent during nursing is very precious and develops memories that last a lifetime.
Essentially, the Joy of Parenting is ensuring our baby is healthy and provided with the best resources to aid in their development. Breastfeeding ultimately supplies the babies with the essentials needed to successfully thrive.