Updated: Apr 26
Breastmilk is best first food for newborns and almost all mummies will initiate breastfeeding after delivery but unfortunately, the dropout rate is high. Let's share some truths on breastmilk & breastfeeding to help our newly promoted moms.
#1: Breast size does not equate to milk supply
It is often mistaken that well-endowed moms will have good supply of breastmilk but in actual fact, the size of your breasts may have nothing to do with the milk supply.
Breastmilk is stimulated by two important hormones; Prolactin & Oxytocin, which is triggered when the brain receives signal from your baby’s latching. Prolactin stimulates breast tissue to produce milk while Oxytocin causes the muscle around alveoli to squeeze milk out from the milk ducts.
Another interesting fact, two-thirds of breastfeeding mothers produce milk from their right breast, and no, it is not due to being right-handed.
#2: Breastmilk has super healing powers
Breastfed babies fall sick less due to the rich antibodies in the milk, protecting them from common childhood illnesses such as UTI, ear infections, pneumonia & diarrhoea, and they are at lower risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In addition, children who are breastfed are said to have a lower rate of chronic illnesses as they grow up, including asthma, childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes.
#3: Breastfeeding helps the mother
Breastfeed releases oxytocin that contracts womb to pre-pregnancy size. This contributes to faster healing post-delivery. Breastfeeding also reduces risk of contracting breast/ovarian cancer and heart disease. Studies show that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the higher the benefits for both mummy and baby.
Another keynote is breastfeeding burns calories; it helps mothers to return to their pre-pregnancy weight much faster than mothers who formula-feed their babies. On average, you burn 1,000 calories a day when breast-feeding.
#4: Breastfeeding has a soothing effect on baby
Oxytocin found in breast milk helps promote sleep and calmness in babies while breastfeeding mothers create a unique bond with their baby. It is a great comfort for babies.
#5: Breastfeeding protects mothers from postnatal depression
A study published in the International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine found that women who breastfed were less likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression. Some researchers hypothesise that this is due to “feel-good hormone”, Oxytocin.
All in all, breastfeeding is a tough but rewarding journey, the bond you have created with your baby is unbreakable. We salute all mamas who have attempted breastfeeding/ are currently breastfeeding, cheers to you!
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