There are so many amazing reasons to breastfeed, for both babies and mothers. But did you know breastmilk contains a wide array of immunity boosters that helps our babies to avoid infections?
Breastfeeding can, of course, grow a mothers bond with her baby, make life much easier than bottle feeding (once mum and baby have gotten into the swing of things with their newly learnt skill) and mums do burn more calories, which can result in pregnancy weight loss, for some mums. But one of the most impressive and underappreciated breastfeeding facts is that breastmilk contains all of the necessary micronutrients to provide a strong foundation for your baby’s health and wellness.
It is really common these days when discussing breastfeeding in the antenatal for mums-to-be to say “I want to breastfeed but I want to start pumping early to let dad feed and bond with baby too.” So, is it essential to put your breast milk in a bottle as soon as possible so you can help your partner bond with their baby?
Let’s get down to the facts… holding your baby naked against your skin and covered in blankets is probably one of the loveliest things you will ever do!
So you’ve reached the 6 months breastfeeding mark. Hooray! It was probably challenging at times but mostly you have loved every minute. So what now?
You have probably heard, since pregnancy, that it’s recommended to feed babies breastmilk for 6 months. Now you have reached that milestone you may be wondering why it’s still a good idea to keep breastfeeding.
In the next 12 weeks of pregnancy (2nd trimester – weeks 13-24) you may notice the biggest change of all in your breasts; they are making milk! Milk is being made in your breasts from around 16 weeks of pregnancy.
You spend 9 months adapting to the changes in your body due to your pregnancy, and once your baby is born, your body starts changing again. During pregnancy, your mammary glands change as a result of a wide range of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone and prolactin. Towards the end of your pregnancy, your body starts producing colostrum, a special milk that is important to your baby in his first few days of life…
If you are in the last trimester of pregnancy, your breasts will probably be feeling quite large and heavy now!
Some women find that the first thing they notice about being pregnant is the breast changes they are experiencing. Many women who are having their second or third baby have told me how they knew they were pregnant before even doing the test because they recognised the feelings in their breasts.
Firstly we need to visualise the inside of a lactating breast. I think the best way is to imagine the inside is like a bunch of grapes: