August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month!
If you know an expecting mom be sure to encourage them to try breastfeeding!!! For those of you that are currently breastfeeding: Stay Calm and Breastfeed On! You’re doing a PHENOMENAL job! As a former breastfeeding mommy, I know that it is a tremendous sacrifice of your body and time and can be a source of stress in more ways than one. Hang in there!
I am truly excited that breastfeeding is becoming more mainstream. Today, we are seeing more images of moms breastfeeding on tv and in film. There are models gracing the covers of major magazines breastfeeding. More and more companies are adopting supportive nursing policies for both their employees and consumers. However, many people are still unaware of the tremendous benefits of breastfeeding. And unfortunately there are many more that view breastfeeding in a sexual and/or negative light. But together, through education and advocacy we can #FREETHENIPPLE!
Here are 10 really cool facts on nursing and the boobies that make that liquid gold (along with my colorful commentary):
1. Breastfeeding reduces mama’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The longer she breastfeeds, the higher the benefit. #boobperks
2. Breastfeeding saves a family approximately $2000 to $4000 annually when compared to the cost of formula. Cha-ching! Incentive enough?
3. Breastfeeding helps mama heal faster in postpartum; helping her uterus return to pre-pregnancy size faster and lowering overall postpartum blood loss. You can actually feel your uterus contracting when you begin breastfeeding which is the first sign of this phenomenon.
4. It takes 1000 calories a day (on average) to produce breast milk. And people wonder why you’re so tired. Hmpf. That’s the equivalent of running about 8-10 miles for the average person. You’re not a hungry hungry hippo after all. There is good reason behind all that eating and midnight cravings.
5. On average, babies remove only 70% of the milk mama has available—they eat until fullness, not until the breast is emptied. Milk is being produced at ALL times. The breasts are NEVER empty. That’s right you can officially ignore your mom or MIL as she indirectly suggests the baby is dying of starvation.
6. The majority of moms produce more milk in their right breast, whether they are right- or left- handed. WOW! My “loser boob and rockstar boob” nicknames are scientifically proven!
7. Mama’s body is constantly making the perfect milk for baby. Milk changes its nutritional profile as baby grows (milk made for a 3 month old is different than for a 9 month old). Milk can even change day to day—for example, water content may increase during times of hot weather and baby-sickness to provide extra hydration. The female body is AH-MAZING! #nuffsaid
8. Human milk contains substances that promote sleep and calmness in babies. Who doesn’t love that? The same hormone that calms baby creates that sleepy feeling in mama while breastfeeding. Totally explains my mid-day snooze fests in the rocking chair. #nobabieswereharmed
9. Mama’s breasts can detect even a one degree fluctuation in baby’s body temperature and adjust accordingly to heat up or cool down baby as needed. This is one reason skin-to-skin contact in the early days is so crucial. Praise clap for microwave boobies! #instaboobs
10. Spontaneous secretion of milk from the breasts can happen months even years after a woman has discontinued breastfeeding. Got milk?…for ever ever?!? EEK!