Breastfeeding is a wonderful opportunity to connect with your baby. With encouragement, patience and support, you can meet your breastfeeding goals and have a great experience. In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, our team of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants have compiled a few remarkable facts to celebrate the power of breastfeeding.
Babies can identify their mother by scentAll babies know their mother’s voice – but babies can also identify their mother by their distinctive scent. Babies just a few days old know the smell of their mother’s milk, and they instinctively know it provides comfort. At The Christ Hospital, your baby’s first bath is delayed to allow them to recognize mom and assist with early feedings.
Breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact release the oxytocin, the “love hormone”Close body contact such as breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact releases oxytocin, which is known as the “love hormone.” The release of oxytocin helps to strengthen feelings of bonding, love and overall well-being. Dads and formula feeding mothers can enjoy the benefits of oxytocin release by bonding skin-to-skin with their baby.
The more a baby nurses, the more breastmilk is producedMilk production is optimal with frequent milk removal, so frequent feeding or pumping at least 8-12 times each 24 hours increases the mother’s milk supply. Breastfeeding stimulates milk production, helping the mother increase her supply to meet the needs of her baby. Mothers need about 500 extra calories a day to help produce breastmilk for their baby.
Mothers produce milk specific to their baby’s needsBreastmilk contains exactly the right balance of antibodies and nutrients that babies need. Each mother’s milk is unique to their child. Mother’s breastmilk changes to accommodate an illness, growth spurt or any other outside factors that could be affecting the baby. The baby and mother’s bodies are so in tune that the mother’s body naturally responds to the needs of her child.
If a baby is ill, close body contact with the baby will signal the mother’s immune system to produce antibodies to help them fight the illness. The communication between mother and baby goes on at many levels.
Breastfeeding helps transition baby to solid foodsBreastmilk contains traces of flavors from whatever foods the mother eats. Many times, breastfed babies are more eager to try new foods during their transition to solid food because they’ve experienced those flavors while nursing.
Looking for breastfeeding information and support? The International Board Certified Lactation Consultants at The Christ Hospital are here for you. Call the Mt. Auburn Lactation office at 513-585-0597 or the Liberty Township Lactation office at 513-648-7671 for all of your breastfeeding needs.