Breastfeeding isn't just about nutrition...

“I think EVERYONE needs to know that breast fed babies don't just get food from the breast.”

“If my daughter needs to comfort suck, that is okay. She's not 'using me as a dummy' - a dummy was made to replace me. She might be trying to increase my supply, or she might just, you know, want comfort.”

“It's a relationship that can fix almost everything - it's comfort, closeness, first aid, sleep help, the list goes on. A mothering tool that I couldn't imagine being without.”

“I wish I'd known that it's ok to feed for comfort!! Also, the number of people that told me that my son shouldn't fall asleep on the boob was shocking!”

“I wish I'd known that normal newborn (and general feeding) behaviour and breastfeeding isn't just a milk delivery system.”

“I wish I had known the amazing benefits OTHER than just food and nutrition. I wish I had known that baby feeding so often was normal.”

When a baby breastfeeds, hormones such as oxytocin and cholecystokinin are released. They give babies a feeling of calm, relaxation and contentment. Oxytocin is produced in mum too and this stimulates feeling of trust, affection and love. Oxytocin helps us to strengthen relationships and form bonds with our loved ones. Oxytocin is also a sedative so it's really normal for babies to fall asleep while they are feeding and particularly useful at night. When it's produced during a feed, it can help mums sleep too.

Of course, breastfeeding isn't just food, it's medicine. Tailor-made antibodies are created from the pathogens in mum's and baby's environment and delivered through the feed. There is a plethora of antiviral and antibacterial properties in our milk. Breastmilk also has anti-inflammatory properties. Breastfeeding is increasingly being respected as a pain relief tool and its effect is noted by researchers and health professionals as well as by mums with a teething baby at 2am!

Further reading...

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