There is nothing like feeling your baby’s little body snuggled up against yours and you know you are giving them the best start in life. There are many reasons why you might choose to breastfeed your child. For some mothers, it’s a way to bond with their baby. For others, it’s a way to give their child the best possible nutrition. And for some, it’s simply a matter of convenience.
The act of breastfeeding can be hard to put in words. It’s a mix of joy and love, and sometimes, frustration. But mostly, it’s one of the most amazing things you’d ever experience as a mother.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Whatever your reasons, breastfeeding can be a great journey for both you and your baby. Here’re just some of the benefits of breastfeeding:
Promotes maternal bonding
The act of breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone”. This hormone helps promote bonding and attachment between the mother and her baby. Breastfeeding can be a time for mothers to relax and connect with their babies. It's also a great opportunity for babies to learn about their mothers' scent, touch, and taste.
All of these things help to create a strong bond between mother and child.
Provides the building blocks of life
Breastfeeding provides the perfect mix of nutrients for your baby – in fact, it’s perfectly designed to meet all of your baby’s needs for the first six months of life. It has just the right balance of essential nutrients, and vitamins and minerals to help him or her grow and develop properly.
There’re a variety of nutrients present in breast milk that are beneficial for infant health. Some of these include:
- Proteins: Proteins are necessary for the growth and development of all cells and tissues.
- Lipids: Lipids are a type of fat that is essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and the development of the brain and nervous system.
- Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are a major source of energy for the body.
- Vitamins: Vitamins play a role in cell growth and development, metabolism, and immunity.
- Minerals: Minerals are necessary for the proper function of many enzymes and other proteins in the body.
Improve the baby’s immune system
Breast milk is packed full of antibodies and other immune-boosting elements that help to protect babies from infection and diseases. In fact, studies have shown that babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing a number of illnesses and disorders, including asthma, obesity, and autoimmune diseases, later on in life.
So more than just providing essential nutrients for your baby, breastfeeding benefits your little one by giving them a valuable boost to their immune system.
Support postpartum healing
After giving birth, your body goes through many changes—hormonally and physically. For example, the uterus expands to several times its original size to accommodate your baby. You may also experience pain in several areas of your body.
Hormones released during breastfeeding will help the uterus to contract, which helps to shrink it back down to its normal size. Breastfeeding also helps to reduce bleeding after childbirth and relieve the pain and discomfort that can come with postpartum recovery. With breast milk being high in calories, you’ll also find yourself shedding your excess pregnancy weight in no time.
Common Breastfeeding Challenges
While breastfeeding can be extremely beneficial and rewarding to both mother and baby, it can come with its fair share of challenges. Here are some ways you can combat these common issues.
Low milk supplyIf you're struggling with low milk supply, there are a few things you can do to try and increase your production. First, make sure you're drinking enough fluids throughout the day. Staying hydrated will help your body produce more breast milk. You should also try to pump or breastfeed more often – consider using silicone collection cups for better fit and comfort.
The more you stimulate your breasts, the more milk you'll produce. Finally, eat a nutritious diet and get plenty of rest, or try a supplement that will help to increase the fat content in your breast milk. Both of these things will help your body function at its best and produce more milk. At Legendairy Milk, you’ll find supplements to help you combat this problem as well, such as Liquid Gold, Pump Princess, Milkapalooza, and Lactivist.
Engorgement can be a real pain for new mothers. Your breasts feel full, tight and uncomfortable, and it can be difficult to get relief. While it is completely normal for your breasts to feel fuller than usual during the early days of breastfeeding, engorgement can make it difficult to latch your baby on and nurse effectively.
There are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort of engorgement and help get your breastfeeding routine back on track. Start by using a cool compress a few minutes at a time to reduce swelling and pain. You can also use a breast pump to soften your breasts and make them more comfortable. There are also supplements you can take. Sunflower lecithin, for example, is a popular supplement which helps to combat engorgement. This natural fat emulsifier can benefit your milk by making it less sticky and thick, preventing fats from clumping together and causing a blockage when breastfeeding.
There's no denying that nursing can be tough. It can be physically demanding, emotionally draining, and sometimes even painful. If you're experiencing pain while breastfeeding, there are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort.
First, make sure that you're latching on correctly. If your baby isn't latched on properly, it can cause pain for both of you. Once you've checked that the latch is correct, try expressing a little milk before feeding to help soften your nipple and make it easier for your baby to latch on.
If the pain persists, consider seeking help from a lactation consultant instead. As an expert in breastfeeding, you’ll be able to get the information you need to make your breastfeeding journey a positive one.
Looking for one in Singapore? There’s good news. At Legendairy Milk, we offer lactation consultation services – both at your own home or via video consult – to give you a helping hand. Whether you want to produce fatty breast milk, or simply need help choosing the right flange sizes for your wearable pump, you’ll get all the support you need.Kickstart a rewarding breastfeeding journey by visiting our online store, or read our FAQs to learn more.