Tuesday, September 1, 2015

10 Incredible Facts About Breastfeeding You Probably Didn’t Know

No matter how many kiddos you've boobed (yes...I made that word up. Thing is...Google didn't underline it... ) there is going to be "that one." My latest rug-monkey had me typing "Breastfeeding Problems" in every search engine I could find. Here are ten of the most basic things to know about breastfeeding that no article every starts out with:

Your Skin Is A Learning Tool: Newborns held skin-to-skin the first hour or two after birth may start pushing their way towards a mom’s breast (sometimes called the Breast Crawl) and begin to feed on their own. Instinct guides you and your new little bundle of joy to the right steps when beginning your breastfeeding journey.

Skipping The Gym Is Totally An Option: Breastfeeding is hard work! The same amount of metabolic energy it takes to walk seven miles is accomplished by breastfeeding for one day. Score!

Liquid Gold: Human milk is seriously valuable. Mothers around the world seek people to donate milk, or sources from which to purchase this complete nutritional source for their babies. Online, it sells for upwards of $4 an ounce - That’s like more than 300 times the cost of crude oil! And we all know how much we pay for gas these days...

There’s More Than One Hole: Know your nipple! Breastmilk sprays out of many different holes on the nipple, and varies from breast to breast. It’s not quite like a water hose with just one spout, so milk is easily and evenly dispersed.

Bigger Is Not Automatically Better: Larger breasts don’t always equal larger amounts of breast milk. The amount of milk a mother produces is dependent upon the needs of the newborn drinking said milk.

Most Moms Are Righty’s: No, we aren’t talking about which hand you write with - most moms produce more milk out of their right breast. Who knew?! So, when you are wondering why you can’t keep your supply even, know that it’s totally normal.

Follow The Scent: Each mother’s liquid gold has its own scent, and can be picked out of a lineup by a newborn! The distinctive and varied diet, as well as chemical makeup, gives each mother a very unique scent.

Breastfeeding Improves Your Mood: Seriously! A nursing baby tells your body to release oxytocin, which relaxes both you and the baby. This is why you also tend to get a little sleepy while nursing your little one. The release of this oxytocin has multiple benefits, since you will be happier when relaxed, and more able to focus on how much you love that little babe. That relaxation and lovey-dovey feeling allows an increase in the amount of breastmilk baby pulls out! It’s such a fabulous cycle, breastfeeding.

Implants Are Irrelevant: If you’ve had some additions to your “girls”, fear not! It has no bearing on your ability to breastfeed. Be prepared, though, you’ll get even bigger than you paid to. ;)

“Free Love” in the 60’s Wasn’t Always Given: In the United States, the 1960’s was actually the lowest in terms of breastfeeding rates. Only 20-25% of mothers breastfed their newborns!
While we are doing much better on those rates in 2015, we could still stand to increase. Around 70% of newborns are breastfed at birth; however, despite the WHO recommendation to exclusivelybreastfeed until at least 6 months of age, only around 15% are actually recorded as exclusively breastfed. Help us change these numbers!

But perhaps the BIGGEST thing you didn’t know about breastfeeding...

It’s not completely natural. Breastfeeding doesn’t just “happen.” It’s hard work! Let MilkMomology, and your local lactation consultants come along side you and help in this journey with your new babe.

Despite having done this before, my second baby did NOT breastfeed well and we needed serious help to make it happen. Read more on LittleA’s story here.

What crazy or unknown facts have you discovered about breastfeeding? Share them here!

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Thanks for reading,

Milk Mama Heather

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