Breastfeeding is essential and important. This is now an established fact with tons of scientific research and traditional practices to support it. While there are many benefits to breastfeeding, here we are listing a few facts about breastfeeding that might help you feel motivated to breastfeed exclusively and for as long as you want for.
Fact 1: Human milk is ideal for the human baby.
As nature would expect a mother from one species to be feeding the baby from the same species, the human milk has just the right composition for a human baby. The newborn baby has a delicate digestive system which might not do well with fats from say buffalo or cow milk. The breast milk has both the right amount and type of fats and protein that are easily digested and properly utilized by the baby.
Fact 2: The Intelligent fats!
Have you ever observed that an infant’s head is bigger than her body? After birth, a newborn’s brain is ready to learn, develop and grow. Part of this development comes from myelin layer over the brain. Human milk has the right type of fats and proteins that help in myelin sheath development. A study by Harvard University has established that school performance and IQ at age 7 & 10 are directly associated with the exclusivity & duration of breastfeeding done for the child. In simple words, breastfed babies are likely to have higher IQ later in the life.
Fact 3: That Gut Feeling!
Since a lot of bacteria enter our body through food & water (& toys, phones, pets or literally anything babies put in their mouths), our gut or intestine has a layer of barrier immunity that prevents these harmful bacteria from causing infection. Babies are not born with this gut immunity but develop this after birth. Breast milk has immunoglobulins (antibodies) that help in developing this type of local immunity post birth. This is one of the reasons that breastfed babies get less diarrhea and other infections as compared to bottle fed babies.
Fact 4: So many flavors
Breast milk is made in breast tissue by taking essential compounds from blood of the mother and adding certain fats and other substances to it. This means that certain flavor producing compounds can also enter milk. This is why the taste of breast milk can vary with diet and drugs that a mom may take. Breastmilk is usually considered to be sweeter and thinner than cow’s milk.
Fact 5: Keep Going!
We have heard many moms ask “ she wants to feed more than 10 minutes, should I feed longer?” or “he wants to feed sooner than 2 hours, should I feed so quickly?” or that “she is 2 and half and not ready to wean, should I continue to feed?”. If you have asked any of these questions yourself, the answer is keep going! Best way to breastfeed is on demand, only stop when baby wants to stop, repeat when baby demands and continue till you both want to. Yes, it’s normal to breastfeed as long as you want to!
Image Source Creator: AlekZotoff | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto