August is National Breastfeeding Month and we are here for it! We are proud to support our breastfeeding Promise mamas not just in August but every month. Breastfeeding provides health benefits for your little one and for you as well! Your body works in amazing ways to deliver perfectly balanced nutrition for your baby, and the antibodies, vitamins, and other nutrients it contains are vital to baby’s developing immune and digestive systems. Breastfeeding helps you recover from childbirth and can lower your chance of developing some breast cancers, ovarian cancer, and Type 2 diabetes.
Did you know your breastmilk changes in response to baby’s growth, illnesses, and even from day to night? Your mammary glands are working around the clock to provide just what is needed. You might experience higher volume and flow in the morning due to prolactin, and the milk you produce at night contains more serotonin to help your sweet one sleep.
The first milk you produce is colostrum; it’s thick and packed full of immunological components that protect your newborn from pathogens and bacteria. It’s high in protein and potassium and it helps clear their intestines of meconium. After a few days your milk changes into transitional milk which becomes mature milk by two weeks. This mature milk is similar to colostrum but in a more dilute form. If you’re breastfeeding into the toddler years it will change again as your baby is eating solid foods, so volume declines and your milk concentrates to provide more fat and antibodies.
It’s tough when your little one is sick, you might be getting more cuddles but all you want is for them to feel better. Breastfeeding can help as researchers think cues may be passed through baby’s saliva that lets your body know to make milk with illness specific antibody components. If you are exposed to a virus you’ll also produce antibodies that are then passed on to baby. Much research has also been done on the therapeutic effects of breast milk to treat a variety of minor ailments. Cradle cap, chapped lips, diaper rash, insect bites and stings may all benefit from topically applied breastmilk. Pretty amazing, and just another reason why you are super mom!
Happy National Breastfeeding Month mama! Check back throughout the month for more journal posts as we celebrate this fascinating, challenging, rewarding, and beautiful part of motherhood. Thank you for all that you do to provide for your baby, we think you’re awesome!
“August is National Breastfeeding Month”. The National Center for Health in Public Housing. Retrieved August 6, 2020. https://nchph.org/breastfeeding-month/.
“Six Magical Ways That Breastmilk Changes to Meet Your Baby’s Needs”. Today’s Parent. December 5, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2020. https://www.todaysparent.com/baby/breastfeeding/magical-ways-breastmilk-changes-to-meet-your-babys-needs/.
“Six Surprising Ways to Use Breast Milk.” Parents. Retrieved August 6, 2020. https://www.parents.com/baby/breastfeeding/tips/lactation-bites-review/.