We often read about how breastfeeding is effortless, biological, beautiful; a loving source of nourishment and comfort. While all that’s true, the reality is that for most women breastfeeding takes a lot of patience, observation and work! Yes, it gives your child the very best start in life, but it is not as easy as it sounds. Keep reading to find out why breastfeeding is worth all the hard work.
Baby’s First Vaccine
The first few times you breastfeed your newborn right after birth you are providing them with premature breast milk known as colostrum. This is often known as the ‘baby’s first vaccine’ because of how rich it is in immune strengthening compounds. At this stage of life, your baby is at a very vulnerable stage and by giving this intense source of nutrition you are protecting them from common bacteria.
Lose the Baby Fat
Breastfeeding burns 300-500 calories per day, meaning you can get back to your pre-baby body faster if you do choose the all natural baby feeding route. Try to squeeze in at-home workouts and also eat healthy to boost the weight loss effects of breastfeeding even more.
Keeping Up with Your Baby’s Needs
Remarkably, the composition of breast milk is dynamic and as your baby grows your milk will also change to keep up with your baby’s needs. For example, the fat content of your breast milk increases the longer you breastfeed to provide extra energy for your growing baby. Human milk is also easier than formula for your baby to digest, which means less mess and fuss.
Convenient, Portable, and Free
Forget formula milk powder, lukewarm water, sterilising, and measurements. You can breastfeed your baby at any time. If you are not always around or you are out somewhere where you cannot directly breastfeed, you can simply express your milk using a pump beforehand and have it ready in a bottle for when your baby gets hungry (Note – Expressing your milk is a great way of sharing night feeding duties with your husband, too).
Health Benefits for Mom
Breastfeeding provides protection for mothers against a whole host of diseases later on in life, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and weak bones. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your baby.
This is a point that is often skipped over, but human milk is produced and delivered to the consumer – your baby – without any pollution, unnecessary packaging or waste.
Natural Pain Relief
Breast milk actually contains endorphins that suppress pain. Aside from this, the comfort a baby derives from being held close and suckling is remarkable.
More Sleep for Mom
No bottles to prepare and warm up in the middle of the night. We know how much moms are lacking in the sleep department, so save yourself a few extra minutes in bed and start breastfeeding.
Supports Immune System
Antibodies and probiotics are two compounds found in breast milk that are absent from formula milk. About 80% of the cells in breast milk are macrophages; cells that kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. This provides better immediate protection, but also protects your baby from diseases throughout their lifetime.
There is nothing more comforting for your baby than being held close while breastfeeding. Breastfeeding stimulates the release of oxytocin in the mother’s body – the love hormone! All the hard work that comes along with breastfeeding helps you discover your baby more and bond in ways you didn’t know were possible. It is not easy, but it is most definitely worth it.