This week is national breast feeding awareness week! I love supporting women on their journey through breastfeeding. There are so many benefits and this can be an exciting but challenging time for many women. Here are some benefits for mom and baby:
Benefits for Mom:
- Bonding with baby
- Emotional satisfaction
- Reduced risk of breast cancer
- Stronger bone density
- Postpartum weight loss is a little easier due to the calories expended in breast milk
- Hormones released during breastfeeding encourage healthy uterine contractions to reduce blood loss after delivery and help the uterus return to its preconception size.
- It puts a hold on a returning menstrual cycle, especially if night time feedings done.
- It’s cheap and bottles don’t need to be prepared or washed
Benefits for Baby:
- Bonding with mom
- Provides the perfect mix of nutrients (with no cheap or artificial ingredients)
- Healthy immune system and less illnesses as a child
- Helps to encourage good gastrointestinal health which is where 70% of our immune system is located.
- Reduces risk for chronic health conditions later on in life
- Lower SIDS risk
- Reduces risk of some childhood cancers
- Breastmilk has the ability to change nutrients based on baby’s needs creating the most precise nutrition for proper growth.
- Higher IQ score later in life
Wow! That’s impressive! However, despite all of the benefits of nursing, the process can be challenging for many mothers. Nursing in public can be a bit of a challenge sometimes. It is becoming more acceptable to breastfeed in front of people and in public, but even if it is accepted, it can still be challenging for the mother. Many mothers feel the need to cover themselves and the baby and sometimes babies do not like anything over their heads, touching their toes, or covering them making it a challenge for nursing. Many mothers try to work their life around breastfeeding and try to create a schedule, which can be very frustrating for both mom and baby. The more we accept breastfeeding, the less mothers will feel the need to work their schedule around it, cover themselves or go somewhere private to nurse. Supporting breastfeeding mothers is important to make breastfeeding the gold standard for infant nutrition and a stress free success for the mothers!
If you know someone who is currently breastfeeding, encourage them to continue as long as they can, support them in this process and welcome them to breastfeed around you if needed.
If you are looking for support with breastfeeding or know a mother struggling, please feel free to contact me or pass along my information. I love working with mothers and babies, creating a healthy and happy bond.