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Let’s Talk Breastfeeding: Ten Interesting Facts.

January 28, 2024

Cynthia Unuigbe, MD

MD, Certified Pediatric Consultant

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Breastfeeding is a remarkable journey that creates a unique bond between a mother and her baby. While it may come with its challenges, the benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable. This article will explore ten exciting, less-known facts about breastfeeding that every parent should know. Whether you're a new mother or preparing for motherhood, these facts will provide valuable insights into breastfeeding. Our breastfeeding class provides fine details about its tips and storage.

10 Amazing Breastfeeding Facts:

1. Struggling to settle your newborn? Get Dad involved. Newborns are by far one of the smartest beings with a strong sense of smell, recognizing the unique scent of breastmilk, sometimes making it challenging for mothers to settle them. Dads, lacking the hormonal and milk scent, often excel at calming their babies, providing a perfect opportunity for fathers to bond and support their little ones.   2. Breastfeeding can make you happier It triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone responsible for the milk letdown reflex, also called the “love hormone” because it promotes feelings of affection, trust, relaxation, and overall well-being. It's nature's way of ensuring both baby and mother experience moments of bliss.   3. Dads can step in to give Expressed Milk. Breastfeeding can be demanding, and having a partner who tries to actively support mothers by giving your baby pumped breast milk can help lighten the burden on the mother. This involvement fosters a sense of closeness and connection between the father and the baby. Fathers can become pros from our on-demand breastfeeding class or videos.   4. The Immune Characteristics of Breastmilk Breastmilk contains various types of antibodies, including immunoglobulin A (IgA), immunoglobin G (IgG), immunoglobin M (IgM), and prebiotics, which are carbohydrates that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the infant’s gut. Breastmilk also contains probiotics, which are live bacteria that provide additional immune support and help establish a healthy gut microbiome. IgA is the predominant antibody in breast milk and offers local protection in infants' gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts.   5. Breastfeeding Reduces the Risk of Postpartum Depression It has been associated with a lower risk of postpartum depression. The physical contact and bonding between mother and baby during breastfeeding, along with the release of hormones like oxytocin, can contribute to improved maternal mental health.   6. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of Breast and Ovarian Cancer Long-term breastfeeding has been linked to decreased breast and ovarian cancer risk in mothers. The more months or years a woman breastfeeds in her lifetime, the greater the protective effect against these types of cancers.   7. Breastmilk is different for boys and girls The Suck reflex for boys and girls differs. There is a general notion that boys are more aggressive with sucking than girls, although some girls are the champions in the ring! Breastmilk composition varies for different mothers depending on what the mother eats. Some studies reveal that the composition of breast milk impacts a baby’s growth and development differently, emphasizing the personalized nature of breastfeeding. Mothers discuss their various experiences  in breastfeeding classes, with lactation consultants or in  mom’s groups.   8. Breastfeeding as Birth Control The benefits of exclusive breastfeeding as an excellent strategy for short-term birth control cannot be overemphasized.  It can have a contraceptive effect due to the production of a hormone called prolactin, which suppresses ovulation. This is known medically as the Lactational amenorrhea method.   9. Shield Against Illness Breastfed babies are less prone to illnesses like ear infections, diarrhea, and stomach problems. Long-term benefits include reduced risks of asthma, developing type 2 diabetes, and childhood obesity. It provides a solid foundation for a healthier future for babies and mothers. It helps improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism, improving long-term metabolic health.   10. A Calorie-Burning Marvel Breastfeeding is an excellent workout as it utilizes extra calories, burning up to 500 calories daily. Surprisingly, it uses more energy (25%) than the brain (20%), making it an efficient way for mothers to shed post-pregnancy weight. It promotes the mobilization of fat stores accumulated during pregnancy, assisting in gradual weight loss.   Conclusion At Sleep & Cradle Solutions, we acknowledge breastfeeding is a remarkable journey filled with countless wonders. Its benefits extend beyond nutrition, impacting mothers' and babies' emotional, physical, and overall well-being. Understanding these incredible facts deepens our appreciation for breastfeeding and the importance of supporting and empowering breastfeeding mothers worldwide. Let’s celebrate this extraordinary natural process and continue to spread awareness of its miraculous capabilities.

Cynthia Unuigbe, MD

MD, Certified Pediatric Consultant

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