Breastfeeding is more than being a good mom to your child. It’s more than feeding your child. In fact, it is a whole lot more than just mommy-baby time as they usually say.
I couldn’t believe myself as I’ve been gradually learning the deeper value of breastfeeding. Fundamentally, breastmilk is more than just ‘baby’s food’. It’s potent medicine! It contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life and has many germ- and disease-fighting substances that help protect a baby from illness. Breastfed babies do not even need to drink water because the milk provides all the necessary hydration!
Ysha only started drinking water when she was 4 months old as she started eating solid foods.
Nutritionally, breast milk is a complete and perfect food. An ideal combination of proteins, fat, carbohydrates, and nutrients. Colostrum (the thick golden liquid that first comes out of a woman’s breasts after giving birth) is engineered to be low in fat but high in carbohydrates and protein, making it quickly and easily digestible to newborns. It also has a laxative effect that helps a baby pass its first poop (a terrifying black tar-like substance!) That is why it is continuously recommended by the World Health Organization as the perfect food for the newborn, and feeding should be initiated within the first hour after birth.
Let’s not forget about microbes! There’s a ton of them in breast milk! Human milk isn’t sterile—it’s very much alive! It’s much like yogurt that keeps our digestive systems functioning properly. Filled with good bacteria! So mother’s milk contains not only the bacteria necessary to help a baby break down food, but the food for the bacteria themselves to thrive! Just writing this now makes me think again that breastfeeding is such a wonder!
I am very lucky and blessed that my Ysha hasn’t ever been hospitalized and the 2 times she had flu were only because she was teething. Thank you, Lord! <3
Breastfeeding leads to better overall health outcomes for children, which is why the WHO recommends that babies be exclusively breast-fed for a minimum of six months.
Feeding time is also a private conversation between mother and child. While my daughter lacks words, breastfeeding makes it possible for her to tell me exactly what she needs. Even before Ysha has any concept of time, breast milk helps her understand certain hours from other hours. Figuring out the difference between night and day. I bet all the other babies do too! It’s a very powerful medium of communication between mothers and their babies.
Breast milk leads to babies with higher IQs and lower rates of childhood obesity than their formula-fed counterparts. I understand why most of us find this appealing, but I personally don’t plan to raise my daughter understanding intelligence in terms of test scores, or measuring health and beauty by BMI. 😀
And check this out! To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. We literally dissolve parts of ourselves and turn it into liquid to feed our babies! Now that’s really something! 😀
Not nearly enough information is provided by doctors, lactation counselors, or the internet about this mind-blowing characteristic of milk!
According to WHO, breastfeeding is the normal way of providing young infants with the nutrients they need for healthy growth and development. Virtually, all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. You may read more breastfeeding facts and stories at WHO website!
My breastfeeding journey wasn’t easy at the beginning. We both just got the hang of it eventually with the help of my Momcy, my hubby, and some breastfeeding mommy friends. It’s great to know I have been providing these awesome benefits of breastfeeding to my Amaria Niszha for 15 months now!
Are there any other breastfeeding facts you know? Please share them with us! <3