11 Must-Know Breastmilk Facts: How Breastfeeding Benefits Baby And Mom
To start off, in no means is this a mom-shame, guilt-trip article. Nor is it an article advocating “breast is best” vs “fed is best”. No, this is purely for knowledge sharing for mothers who seek more information about the types of milk that are available and best for their baby.
And because we know there are mothers out there who are hanging on a string ready to just throw in the towel and stop breastfeeding all together, seeking for a sign why they should preserve and hang on to their journey – well, here it this.
Now that I’ve cleared that this article is purely informational, I will share with you mamas, 11 must-know facts about breastmilk and how it benefits both baby AND YOU!
Breastfeeding Benefits for Baby
The ideal nutrition for babies
- A lot leading medical organizations highly encourage breastfeeding as mama’s milk has the perfect balance of vitamins, carbohydrates, protein and fat that your baby needs in the early 6 months of life. It has all the right proportions to promote healthy growth and development for your baby which is why breastfeeding during the first 6 months is highly advocated by healthcare professionals for mothers.
- Colostrum – thick and yellowish in fluid and is present during the early days of breastfeeding. Highly concentrated, packed with proteins and fat, this is the ideal nourishment your baby needs that no formula can provide.
- It is more digestible compared to formula milk. Premature babies require milk that is easy on their delicate gut and breastmilk has all the enzymes to ease your baby’s digestion.
3. Ingredients that breastmilk has that formula milk lacks:
- Omega 3’s – help with baby’s brain and body development.
- Lactoferrin - protein found only in breast milk that protects baby’s gut by restricting certain types of bad bacteria from entering it.
- Human lactose – an important carbohydrate for brain development.
- Immune Strengtheners – In every single feeding session, you are giving your baby millions of living white blood cells. (Colostrums are rich with these!)
- White blood cells are not only powerful fighting agents but they can also sense infections and will regulate to destroy them.
- Bioavailable vitamins & minerals – formula milk has to compensate for this by adding more vitamins and minerals for necessary for babies.
- Enzymes & Hormones – these components help with baby’s biochemical balance and are good for baby’s gut health as they are digestive enzymes.
- Sleep Inducers – the amino acid streaming through mama’s milk at night helps creates drowsiness for both baby and mama making sleep much better for breastfeeding moms.
4. Reduced risks of illness, infections, obesity and diseases
- Breastfeeding can improve cognitive development, reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, infection, cardiovascular disease and asthma in infants.
5. Decreased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- A worry every parent has but doesn’t like to talk about. Read more here how breastfeeding helps lower the risks of SIDS.
6. Higher IQ
- This is possibly one of the most hotly-debated topic. There are extensive studies that have proven that breastfeeding boosts a child’s cognitive ability while there are studies that prove lack there-of. Or at least by not much of a difference. But hey, what are mom’s for if we don’t at least try right? 😅
- A lot of these benefits extend well into adulthood and It’s only something we can pray and hope we are able to give or continue to give with our bodies.
Speaking of bodies, breastfeeding benefits you to, Boss Mamas!
Here, I’m going to list a few remarkable health benefits that you too can reap in and enjoy while your nurture your little bub 🤱🏻
Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom
7. The priceless bonding between mother and baby
- Need we say more? The eyes that look up at us, the finger holding, the kisses snucked in between feeding sessions, the singing, the talking all helps boost your child emotional growth.
8. Better sleep
- Yes, it seems rather far-fetch but trust me mamas, science doesn’t lie. Click here to read how both you and baby can enjoy this win-win advantage.
9. Losing weight may be easier
- Producing milk burns an estimated 300-500 calories per day helping a lot of women who breastfeed lose weight. However, I fell in the majority that struggled to lose weight while breastfeeding because my hormones decided to cling on to fats to help produce my milk.
- Yup, it’s a real thing but don’t stress yourself out about losing weight during this phase, mamas. Let our body do what it was meant to do and the rest, we can tackle when the time comes 💕
10. Delays menstruation
- We shared the perks of how breastfeeding gives our body this advantage in our Fun Facts & 6 Reasons Why Nighttime Breastfeeding Is So Important article. Click to read.
11. Reduces your disease risks
- Breast cancer
- High Blood Pressure
- Ovarian Cancer
Human milk contains precious substances which goes beyond 12 months of feeding where it helps your child to fight infections and viruses as well as lowers their chances of contracting illnesses well into their adulthood. Breastmilk has the capability to support your growing baby’s needs by retaining and continuously providing all the nutrients to help them develop healthy and naturally.
Therefore, once they began nursery or childcare, hopefully they’ll be going in with a stronger immune system to keep all the germs at bay 🦟. The breastmilk that’s helped nourished them can help your baby recover much quicker if ever they do fall ill.
So for moms who are reading this looking for support to carry on, all I can say is, you’ve got this mama ❤. Your body is doing wonderful things right now. Things that will hopefully protect your child in the future and something you will thank yourself for. Our bodies are built for this. However, if you’re experiencing excruciating pain while nursing, check with your lactation nurse for professional advice.
I could go on about the benefits of breastmilk but what matters more is the mental health of mothers reading this. At any point of time you feel that you can’t go on, be it for any reason, listen to your body, talk to your partner, understand and explore your options.
You’re not alone in this, Mamas. Join our 24/7 Telegram Mommy Hotline where we empower and support mothers like you daily. I hope learning how powerful breast milk is will help make the hard days easier and for new moms to feel confident in providing the best nutrition for your baby 💛