Ever wonder why they say “Breast is Best?” Here are 20 fun facts about breastfeeding!
- Human milk boosts a baby’s immune system big time—when a baby eats at the breast, mama’s body absorbs baby’s saliva and starts making antibodies to fight any illness or infection present
- Breastfeeding can actually reduce baby’s risk of disease later in life, including:
- Type I and II diabetes
- Hodgkin’s disease
- High cholesterol levels
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Breastfeeding for at least 12 months, reduces mama’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The longer she breastfeed’s, the higher the benefit. Get this—breastfeeding a baby girl actually reduces her lifetime risk of breast cancer by 25%.
- Breastfeeding saves a family approximately $2 to 4 thousand dollars annually (compared to cost of formula).
- Breastfeeding helps mama heal faster in the postpartum. Moms may feel cramping when breastfeeding for the first few weeks after birth, that’s the uterus shrinking back to size. It can take up to 4 years (!) for the uterus to recover from pregnancy. But if a mom chooses to breastfeed, it takes as little as 6 months
- Breastfeeding can help mama return to her pre-baby weight. It takes 1000 calories a day on average to produce breast milk. Women are advised to consume an extra 500 calories a day, and the body dips into reserves it built up in pregnancy to make the rest . So, enjoy those pregnancy cravings!
- Producing breast milk consumes 25% of the body’s energy; the brain only uses 20% by comparison. HOLY COW! This may be what helps some moms loose the pregnancy weight quickly
- On average, babies remove 67% of the milk mama has available—baby’s eat until they are full, a breast is never truly empty
- Almost 75% of all moms produce more milk in their right breast
- Mama’s body is constantly making the perfect milk for baby. Milk changes its nutritional profile as baby grows (milk made for a 3 month old is different than for a 9 month old). Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration.
- Human milk contains substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies (who doesn’t love that?) Breastfeeding also calms mama and helps her bond to baby.
- Breastfed infants are at lower risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Mama’s breasts can detect even a one degree fluctuation in baby’s body temperature and adjust accordingly to heat up or cool down baby as needed. This is one reason skin-to-skin contact in the early days is so crucial.
- Breastfeeding reduces baby’s risk of cavities later on and may lower the chance they will need braces as kids.
- Breastfeeding mammas sleep on average 45 minutes more a night, compared to those who formula feed. The average mom looses around 700 HOURS of sleep in the first year, take what you can get!
- Breast milk is the best medicine: Babies receive all the nutrients and disease-fighting powers they need from breast milk, breast-feeding for six months is recommended to stave off infections for the first year.
- Breast milk is always changing, and it can’t be duplicated.
- Colostrum, or early milk, releases slowly: In the first few days after birth, a baby’s tummy can only hold about 1/2 to 1 tablespoon-colostrum is thick and releases slowly so that baby doesn’t get overly full. It’s high in protein and antibodies from the mother — it contains three times as much as mature milk — but low in fat and sugar, which your baby doesn’t really need in the first few days.
- You can cross-feed: Wet nurses may have died out in the U.S. for the most part, but cross-feeding is still possible. . Some moms even cross-feed, switching babies among groups of nursing moms to satisfy hectic working schedules or even accommodate for breast surgeries.
- There has never been a documented case of a baby being allergic to its own mother’s milk. Baby may have sensitivities to certain foods their mamma eats, but those can be easily ruled out
Are our mama bodies amazing! We were made to feed our little ones, and we make the perfect food!
Did you learn anything new?? I hope so, I know I did! I’d love to hear what you think so comment, and let me know!