We’ve all heard breastfeeding, the most natural way to feed your baby, has many benefits. In addition to containing all the nutrients your baby needs for the first six months, breast milk fully satisfies your little bundle of joy’s hunger and thirst. Nursing also helps a baby’s development in lots of ways, from helping the eyes and brain advance to fighting infection and disease. Also, by making certain you get enough protein and dairy and keep maintaining your fluid intake, you help ensure your baby is benefiting as much as possible.
Apart from the nutritious aspect of it, nursing aids in creating a loving bond and can be advantageous for new mothers, whether it’s reducing the risk of haemorrhage immediately after delivery or slashing the possibility of suffering from breast or ovarian cancer later on.
While there is a lot more to be learned about breastfeeding, we’ve chosen to focus on a bunch of interesting and fun facts that probably won’t turn up in your Google search with the help of Maria Baghdoyan, Corporate Nutritionist at Nestlé Middle East.
1. Breastfeeding can come with abdominal cramps
While oxytocin is known as the hormone responsible for triggering milk let-down, it also causes your uterus to shrink back to normal. So although cramping can get uncomfortable, it is actually a sign that your body is healing properly.
2. Your milk is uniquely designed for your baby
Did you know your milk composition differs if you deliver prematurely? Preterm milk is higher in protein, fat, free amino acids and sodium in the first few weeks after birth.
3. The right breast usually produces more milk
Approximately 2/3 of mums produce more milk with their right breast.
4. Bigger isn’t necessarily better
The amount of milk you produce has nothing to do with your breast size. Rather, it’s a combination of several factors, including frequency of breastfeeding and your overall food intake.
5. Your baby can smell where you are
Breastfed babies can pick up their mums’ scent amongst a crowd of people.
6. Breastfeeding can help put you in the right mood
After an often confusing and painful start, nursing can trigger oxytocin, which helps you and your baby relax. The hormone also helps by boosting your mood.
7. You can take it easy at the gym
You need your energy to produce and maintain your milk supply, so you should stick to a moderate 30-minute activity. And if you’re eager to get back to your normal weight, you’ll be happy to know consistent breastfeeding burns about 500 calories per day!
8. Variety is the spice of life
Your baby is more likely to try new foods if you have been eating different ones during breastfeeding, so make sure your diet is as varied as possible. However, it’s important for your baby’s sake to eat gassy and spicy foods moderately, and watch your caffeine intake.