August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month
August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month because it corresponds with the summertime being when most babies happen to be born. And when there are many babies being born, there is a heightened interest in breastfeeding. As humans are mammals, we lactate and can feed our young through our own made supply of milk. Continue reading to learn more about breastfeeding awareness month and the benefits of having a breastfed baby.
Why Should I Breastfeed My Baby?
The main reason to breastfeed a baby is likely because that is how nature has intended the baby to receive the nutrients from the mother. After giving birth, the body has milk produced from the mammary glands. An infant will attach itself to the mother’s breast, and the suckling will result in the flow of milk. Milk has the necessary vitamins and minerals that promote the growth and development of the child. It is important that because of this development, a child does not get ingest anything that may stunt this growth. This would be included if the mother were to smoke, drink alcohol, or do drugs. Whatever the mother consumes, will be found in the breast milk. The mother has a social responsibility to monitor her environment, and make certain that it promotes a healthy disposition for her child.
One of the second most popular reasons to breastfeed is that it is free. This fiscally responsible service would allow new mothers to not need to actively spend money on formula to feed their newborn. Formula is traditionally known to cost a lot of money, which is why sometimes you will see it locked in stores, or behind the counter. Breastfeeding will alleviate those costs, and in some studies, scientifically better for your child to consume. These studies have often shown that women who breastfeed have smarter children and children that are emotionally and physically closer to them. Keep reading to see some breastfeeding tips!
What is Breastmilk Made of?
Breastmilk is made up of millions of cells. These cells are immune-boosting, as well as some stem cells. Components of breast milk include thousands of proteins, enzymes, amino acids, hormones, antibodies, and growth factors. A chain of fatty acids helps the baby’s brain and eyes develop, along with mRNA for the remodeling of the mother’s breast. A ton of nutrients are found in colostrum, which helps to cover the lining of a baby’s digestive system. After a few weeks, a baby will ingest transitional milk, and then after a month, it is mature milk. After about six months you can start to introduce solid foods to the baby’s diet, but can also continue breastfeeding.
Bonding Between Mother and Child
The major reason that some women like to breastfeed is that it promotes alone time for the mother and child. This intimate experience allows for the baby to receive its nourishment, and for the mother to monitor what the baby is eating. There have been multiple studies that deduce that the bond between a mother and child is so strong, that it promotes happiness in both parties. On the hierarchy of needs, Maslow deduces that safety and physical touch are both necessary components in feeling good. Babies need physical touch for survival. Studies have shown that babies who are frequently snuggled and cuddled, have higher rates of survival and happiness. The bonding of a mother and child may start at breastfeeding and continue well into childhood.
Below are some breastfeeding tips! Let us know if these helped you in the comments below!
- Your baby will know how long to nurse for
- It is normal to lactate milk and leak
- Make sure that your skin is hydrated and does not dry out
- Find a comfortable position by relaxing or using pillows or a prop
- It will take some time before you are well acquainted with the practice
- Remember to relax and breathe during this time
- If you are a working mom, create a schedule to pump milk for the times when you won’t be around to breastfeed
- The baby’s head should be forward or tilt slightly back
- Make sure that the mouth is at the same height as the nipple
- Once your baby is done feeding, dry the area they were feeding on
- A wet diaper will be a good sign that the baby is being well-fed and hydrated.
- Make certain that every few days your baby is actively gaining weight
- Drink a lot of water, and have a glass when breastfeeding
Breast Milk Facts
- Breastfeeding actually burns calories and can have new mom’s losing weight
- You bond easier with your baby during breastfeeding because oxytocin is released during
- Breast milk will be naturally beneficial to the brain development of premature babies
- Babies that are breastfed tend to be smarter than babies fed formula
- The antibodies in breastmilk are naturally good for fighting infections
- The more diverse your appetite is, the less likely your child will be a picky eater
What Happens if I am Unable to Breastfeed?
Unfortunately, there are some babies that do not latch on to their mothers, or some cannot get the milk out, or perhaps the entire experience causes severe discomfort. Women who are unable to breastfeed should not take any shame in this. The most important part is for your child to receive the nutrients that promote health and the development of their minds and bodies. Mothers can give their child formula. Formula can be purchased at any large chain store, or a pharmacy type store. Did you know that the shape of a baby bottle is designed to mimic the shape of a breast? This can promote an easier type of sucking action for the baby to feed off of. The rubber also makes it easier for babies who are not teething, to suck on the bottle to get the formula out of it.
Have you ever breastfed a baby? Do you know if you were breastfed as a baby? Were you someone who gave their child breast milk, or formula? Do you believe that formula and breast milk make very little difference in the health of a child? Comment below!