The wonders of breast milk

By Hannah Schenker

A lovely little video about the wonders of breast milk. And it truly is a wonder.

  • Breastfed babies typically get sick less often. Breast milk boosts baby’s immune system to help baby fight off infections.
  • Children who are breastfed have a lower rate of certain illnesses as they grow up.
  • Your baby can smell you. That’s why they will turn their head to you when they are hungry – the scent of your milk is detectable to them.
  • Your breasts can detect changes in temperature. Your breasts can detect even a one degree change in baby’s body temperature and adjust accordingly to heat up or cool down baby as needed.
  • Your baby can see you up close and personal. Babies are born nearsighted, meaning they can only see things about 8 to 15 inches away. Precisely the distance between your face and your baby’s face when breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding helps your body recover from pregnancy and childbirth more quickly. The hormones released when breastfeeding cause your uterus to contract back to its pre-pregnancy size.
  • Breastfeeding exposes your baby to many different tastes. Through your breast milk, your baby gets to taste whatever you eat, though not directly. This will later help with introducing solid foods.
  • Breastfeeding may help you to lose weight. It takes about 1,000 calories a day to produce breast milk, which is why mamas need to increase their caloric intake by 500 calories a day, helping them to burn through the fat stored in pregnancy and not go into starvation mode.
  • Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in mothers. What! Amazing.
  • Human milk contains substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies, and mothers. Yes, breast milk promotes calmness and sleepiness in baby, and breastfeeding mothers typically sleep an extra 45 minutes compared with formula feeders.
  • Post-birth but before the milk comes in, your breasts make a thick, sticky, yellowish fluid called colostrum, aka “liquid gold.” Colostrum is rich in calcium, potassium, proteins, minerals, and antibodies that your baby needs.
  • Your breast milk changes to meet your baby’s particular needs. Your breast milk changes its nutritional profile as the baby ages, and can even change during one feeding session to meet your baby’s needs.
  • Breast milk is healing. Breast milk is full of special components that are designed to help fight infection and cut down on swelling in the breast. If your breasts are sore those first few days, gently massaging some of your milk into your nipples and breasts can soothe the soreness and speed up recovery.
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