While studies suggest numerous benefits to breastfeeding, many do not know in exactly what ways breastfeeding differs from bottle feeding. Here we look at breastfeeding and explain what makes breastfeeding preferable to so many.
Just like becoming a mother for the first time, there is a lot to learn – and even more to prepare for. Even if you have had multiple children, but have never breastfed, it’s never too late to try something new. It’s all about learning and understanding and knowing the facts. Here we will take an in-depth look into breastfeeding.
Just like bottle feeding, your baby is going to need to eat about every 2-3 hours. Baby will want about 1-3 ounces per feeding. However, unlike bottle feeding, breastfeeding takes on a different form. You see, babies are nearsighted when they are newborns. They can only see objects clearly when they are about 8 to 15 inches away. Coincidentally, this happens to be the distance between your face and your breasts. This means your loving face is the precise distance from your baby it needs to be for your baby to see you perfectly clear. When you two lock eyes, it becomes a spectacular bonding moment.
Your baby also knows the smell of your breastmilk. He or she has a fantastic sense of smell. Whenever you are near, your baby will always turn their head toward you in anticipation. Ever wonder why your baby begins to suckle your neck or chest whenever you are holding him or her? It’s because they instinctively are ready for feeding time, and they smell your breastmilk.
Some women may not know that they actually do not begin producing milk for the first 2 to 5 days after giving birth. The leaking that is experienced pre-birth is just a substance that coincides with your breasts getting ready to begin producing milk. For the first 2 to 5 days after birth, your breasts produce colostrum. Sometimes referred to as “Liquid Gold” due to its yellowish tint, colostrum is thick and full of calcium, proteins, magnesium, a wide array of minerals, and antibodies. It is the perfect food for baby.
Once your breasts start producing milk, baby will continue to get a constant flow of naturally produced milk that is specifically made for your baby. Each feeding session will begin with your milk being very watery, and sometimes with a bluish tint. It will end with your milk being white to off white, and very thick. This is where baby receives the fats and proteins he or she needs to gain weight and stay healthy.
Other Advantages of Breastfeeding
There are a bevy of advantages to breastfeeding, other than never having to mix another bottle! Did you know that breastfeeding can burn up to 600 calories a day? That is the equivalent of over an hour straight of HIIT Training! That makes for some rapid weight loss, considering that does not count any actual exercise. Breastfeeding also helps your uterus to contract, thus, helping it to snap back to its pre-baby size. Your baby will be sick less often, and will continue to have a lessened risk of getting asthma, or diabetes. Your baby will also not be as picky when eating growing up. Breastmilk gives them a wide range of flavors, depending on what you eat!