Breast Milk - More Than Just Food
Whether you are a joyful new mom or are going to give birth to your beautiful bundle soon, we bet that one of the top concerns you have is breastfeeding.
That’s a totally legitimate topic to be apprehensive about, and we can relate to how you feel. We’re here to calm your worries and to celebrate with you the beauty of the breast. We’ll discuss the miraculous metamorphosis that they undergo as you grow your baby bump–and how your breasts become an essential part of your baby’s life.
Your breasts are continuously evolving
Let’s start from the beginning. Breast development first takes place in the womb. Then, at puberty, your body begins to evolve from girl to curvaceous woman as hormones bring emotional and physical changes and challenges. A transformation takes place as new cells form and your breasts grow larger.
We all know that the alterations in shape and size during puberty do not compare one iota to what we see during pregnancy. Raging hormones and changes to our once svelte physique explain the anxiety felt about how our breasts will perform as we start the breastfeeding stage of the motherhood journey.
Don’t worry–your breasts have it under control
The nourishment that breast milk provides is nothing short of a miracle, really. It all starts with colostrum, known as “first milk.” Packed with everything needed to give your newborn a healthy start, colostrum also prevents jaundice and helps to protect against bacteria and viruses. Protein, fat, vitamins, and more are contained in a mother’s milk–it’s formulated perfectly for your baby. Breast milk is made up of everything your baby needs to thrive.
Antibodies aid in fighting infection and the nutrition provided paves the way for your bundle of joy to grow in leaps and bounds. As well, studies show that nourishing your little one with breast milk reduces the chance of obesity later in life.
Breast milk also contains stem cells. That’s right, cells that have the potential to treat many devastating illnesses are now known to be in human milk. Not only that, but your milk contains properties that develop your child’s immune system. In fact, research is underway to explain how a mother’s milk adjusts its infection-fighting properties when an infant has an infection. This suggests that there is even more connection between mom, breast milk, and child than previously thought!
Breastfeeding is about the bond, too
Hormones play a big part in your pregnancy and continue to do so after your sweet babe is born. Truth be told, it’s all due to hormones that the body receives a signal to start the constant milk production.
Of course, your maternal instincts are kicking in, but along with that, progesterone levels in your body lower. Human placental lactogen and prolactin then work together to stimulate the natural step of breastfeeding your newborn.
Oxytocin needs a mention here, too, because it is the hormone that triggers the motherly euphoria after birth and signals the breast to let down milk for feeding. In the first 30 minutes after their entry into the world, your baby’s oxytocin levels are higher than yours. This is why the skin-to-skin session moms and newborns love is so important.
Babies learn to suckle when placed on their mom’s chest, and it’s the oxytocin hormone at work in your little one that encourages them to seek the breast. The colostrum first ingested by your baby contains oxytocin, too.
It’s all a neat little hormonal package that begins the bond between you and precious babe.
Relax and enjoy
Now that you know your breasts are working in fine tune for you and your baby, setting the stage for a healthy start in your relationship, it’s time to relax. Revel in the joyous experience of breastfeeding.
Be confident that your newborn is getting what they need in the milk you are making for them. Take this precious time moment by moment. Feel the love and joyfully anticipate the bond that will continue to grow for years to come!