Source: Flickr user George Atanassov
You've heard the saying "breast is best," and whether you agree or not, there are a few things about breastfeeding that you may not have known — some of which may influence you to do so. Whether you've nursed your kids before, or you're getting ready to do so, here are 16 facts that will help you understand a little bit more about what goes on during that special mother/baby feeding and bonding time.
- Every mother's breast milk has a unique scent — and babies can differentiate between their mother's milk and another woman's.
- Breast milk has components in it that heal, which basically means that when your boobs are sore from the act of breastfeeding, your milk itself can give you some relief. Try massaging some of the milk on the sore spots, and you'll hopefully feel a bit better.
- Babies that are breastfed have a reduced risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Breastfeeding can save a family more than $2,000 in formula expenses in the first year alone.
- The risk of osteoporosis, heart disease, and both breast and ovarian cancer may be reduced through breastfeeding.
- Moms can breastfeed while they're sick — by the time you show symptoms, the baby has already been exposed to the virus or bacteria — and it's actually beneficial for baby because they'll be exposed to the antibodies mom's body is making.
- The amount of milk a woman produces has nothing to do with the size of her breasts prebaby.
Source: Flickr user David D
- A new mom's body can bounce back to normal a little faster while breastfeeding — the hormones released during the process can help your uterus bounce back to prepregnancy size.
- Breastfeeding can burn the same amount of calories that walking up to seven miles would.
- Babies that are breastfed get sick less — not only does it reduce the risk of ear infections and stomach issues, it reduces their risk of asthma, diabetes, and childhood obesity in the future.
- Through your milk, babies get a slight taste of the food you're eating, which could make introducing solid food a bit easier later on.
- Breast milk can be found online for up to $4 an ounce — liquid gold, for sure.
- Skin-to-skin contact in the first few hours of life helps a baby breastfeed. It helps them with their instincts to latch, and a mom's breast can detect if her baby's body temperature fluctuates even a degree and will warm or cool as needed.
- Almost 75 percent of moms are "righties" — their right breast produces the most milk.
- There is never a need to dilute your breast milk. A woman's milk will actually change depending on the baby's needs, so no need to tamper with it (you could cause irreversible, possibly fatal damage).
- Milk comes out of more than one hole in the nipple — and the number of holes varies from mom to mom.