Hey y’all! In honor of reaching one of my breastfeeding goals, I wanted to share some interesting things about breastfeeding. Before having a child, I thought people who were really “into” breastfeeding were total weirdos. 😂 It’s just food…right? But really it is SO MUCH MORE than just food! So to bring more awareness (our culture desperately needs it) here are 7 of my favorite surprising facts about breastfeeding!
1. It keeps your baby/child healthy! Most people know that breast milk strengthens your child’s immune system, but the amazing thing is that when they nurse, germs from their saliva enter mama’s body and trigger the production of specific antibodies that are deposited into mom’s milk to help the baby fight off any illness they were exposed to. Breast milk actually changes daily to help your child. It is like a living medicine. So cool! 🤯 Gabe has gotten sick only 3 times in his 18 months of life. Two of those sicknesses only lasted a day, and one lasted 2-3 days before he was 100% better. I’m so thankful I’ve been able to breastfeed him and keep him so healthy thus far!
2. Nursing until at least 18 months can greatly reduce the chances of your baby needing braces! When a child nurses, they are working their jaw and tongue in a natural physiological manner which aids in shaping their hard palate in their mouths. When this palate is shaped properly through nursing, there is a higher chance of their teeth coming in proper alignment. I learned this in a breastfeeding class I took with Ryan before giving birth and I was amazed! For this reason, 18 months was my “bare minimum” goal I hoped to make it to, and we have made it! My next goal is to make it to at least 2 years old. We will see what happens!
3. Breast milk changes at night to contain more melatonin to help baby sleep. The act of sucking alone also helps baby sleep. Nursing to sleep is biologically normal and the best and easiest way to get a baby to sleep. I believe God designed it that way on purpose. 😊 It makes me sad when I hear moms calling it a “bad habit” or a “sleep crutch” or other negative connotations with nursing to sleep. Nursing is made to be calming and to help babies sleep. It’s totally normal and healthy.
4. Nursing produces oxytocin in both Mom and baby. Oxytocin is the “love hormone” or “cuddle hormone” and it certainly makes it a nice bonding experience for both mother and child. It also promotes feelings of safety and comfort in your child. They are growing and developing so rapidly in the first few years and it can‘t be easy for them adjusting to all those changes. Nursing is the best tool for dealing with crankiness, tiredness, and big emotions in babies and toddlers. It provides closeness and stability and is a very affective tool designed by God to help us both. “When in doubt, whip it out.” 😂 Best parenting advice I ever got. 🤷🏼♀️ It works! If Gabe ever gets hurt, he will come to me for milk and will feel better and be back to being happy and playing within minutes. It’s like instant help!
5. Breastfeeding not only keeps baby healthy now but also reduces their chances of getting many diseases and health issues later in life, such as: type I and II diabetes, Hodgkin’s disease, leukemia, obesity, eczema, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and asthma. Breastfeeding a girl reduces her chance of getting breast cancer by 25%!
6. Breastfeeding is so healthy for Mom too. It reduces mom’s risk of getting ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The benefits increase with how long you breastfeed too. The longer you breastfeed, the higher the benefits!
7. In Biblical times (and historically in general) the average weaning age was 3-4 years old, which is way higher than what’s culturally acceptable in America today. The benefits of breastfeeding don’t stop because baby turns 6 months, 1 year, 18 months, etc. I recommend nursing as long as you are able to or as long as baby/toddler wants to. There is absolutely NO shame in it. 🙂 Bringing awareness to the benefits of breastfeeding can change our culture for the better which is why I wanted to share this!
I know some mamas aren’t able to breastfeed or choose not to for personal reasons which is okay. I know every mama makes the best decisions for herself and her baby that she can. Being pro breastfeeding doesn’t mean anti-every-other-method, but I am passionate about spreading this knowledge to those who may not know!
I also wanted to share my breast milk ring with you guys! My husband Ryan got me this for my birthday in December. I sent my milk in this past January and my ring is finally complete! I am in love with it. I’m not much of a jewelry person..I have literally one necklace and 2 pairs of earrings. Haha but the few pieces I do wear really mean a lot to me. My engagement/wedding ring symbolize my love and devotion for my husband and my breastmilk ring symbolizes my love and devotion for my child(ren) (the future ones to come too 😜). It’s simple and minimalistic and made from my very own milk. This is probably so weird to some people, haha! Before I had kids I would have never in a million years believed that I would wear a ring made out of breastmilk, but the incredible bond I’ve created with my child through nursing is so special to me and I love having a symbol of it to keep forever long after he’s weaned. If you want one yourself, check out The Milky Mudra! She made mine and I highly recommend her! All her work is completely gorgeous. She can add all kinds of different materials to your ring besides just breastmilk like gold flakes, copper flakes, gold shimmer, opal, pearl shimmer, a lock of hair, placenta, flowers, anything really haha! I just wanted to keep mine simple so it’s just milk with rose gold. This post is not sponsored or affiliated in any way, I just really love it and wanted to share!