Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful acts of being a mother for women who are able to breastfeed. It’s so fascinating how our bodies work and communicates with our babies.
I wasn’t able to breastfeed my son for very long (just a few weeks) because I got extremely ill and couldn’t continue. Unfortunately, not all women who would love to breastfeed are able to due to complications. And even when there isn’t, breastfeeding doesn’t come easy. I feel like we are so misinformed about this natural act and because things get a little tough at times and it’s viewed as “not normal” and the nursing relationship ends.
The second time around, when I became pregnant with my daughter, I was determined to equip myself with as much knowledge as possible so that I could handle any complications along the way. Let’s face it, there can be A LOT of hiccups. Bad latching, plugged ducts, nipple soreness, thrush, over-active let down, underproduction of milk… the list goes on. My midwife had recommended the book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. And I have to say, this book was my savior for building a strong and lasting nursing relationship with my daughter. I’d recommend it to any mama who’s considering breastfeeding. It’s only 12 bucks and totally worth it! One year later, my baby girl and I are still going strong!
Here’s a few more reasons why breastfeeding your baby is so exceptional:
- Helps with faster postpartum recovery – Every time your nurse your baby, your body releases the hormone oxytocin which helps the contraction of the uterus.
- A natural form of birth control – If your exclusively breastfeeding your baby (no bottles of pacifiers), you will have an effective form of birth control being at 98% effective.
- You will have the ultimate mothering tool – Hungry baby? Nurse. She got hurt? Nurse. Needs a nap? Nurse. Fussy baby? Nurse. Breastfeeding your baby solves nearly everything!
- Feeding your baby is so much easier – If you were not breastfeeding your baby, you’d have to wake up several times a night to walk into the kitchen to mix her formula and heat up her milk, wash bottles and sanitize them. Formula feeding is also much more of a hassle when you want to get out of the house as well. You’d have to pack extra bottles, formula and find a way to heat it up while you’re out. With breastfeeding, it’s baby + boob = ready!
- You lose weight FAST! – The weight that you gained during your pregnancy serves a purpose after the baby is born too. As your body begins to produce milk, it’s using that little extra to compensate for the amount of calories that goes into making your breast-milk. Your body burns about 20 calories per ounce of milk you produce!
- Lowers the risk of postpartum depression – If you’re nursing, the oxytocin hormone is released every time your little one latches on. This helps promote those loving feeling and helps you bond with your baby.
- You protect your baby from getting sick – Your breastmilk contains living cells that help your baby’s new digestive system adapt to living outside of the womb. Every time your baby nurses, her body communicates with yours through the contact of her saliva on the nipple. Your body receives this information and will make adjustments as your baby needs them. Cool fact: If your baby gets sick, your body will automatically make milk that contains the antibodies to fight the SPECIFIC virus/bacteria that your baby has!
Nursing is so much more than just providing exceptional nutrients to your little one. It also builds an incredible bond between mother and child. I started out nursing with the reason being it was better for my baby nutritionally. Taking a look back on the past year of breastfeeding, it was so much more about the loving bond that we’ve established through each and every time she was at my breast. Nursing is beautifully intimate and has been so much more than a feeding. It’s been her source of comfort, a chance to re-connect and a special relationship that’s shared just between us.