Breast Milk – Your Baby Deserves the Best
Breast milk is the best biological nutrition for you baby. After all, it’s also known as “liquid gold.” Breast milk more than just your baby’s sustenance; it’s a living tissue that provides you baby all the nutritional components for healthy growth and development: Immune cells, growth factors, hormones, and even stem cells! And if that’s not impressive enough, the components of your milk change with your baby’s development. As a result, your milk is always tailored to your baby’s nutritional needs.
How is Breast Milk Formed?
Your body has the miraculous ability to produce milk and provide all the necessary nutrients that your baby requires. From as early as the pregnancy, your body nourishes your baby through the placenta. It continues to provide for your baby through your breast milk.
Breast milk is formed in the mammary glands of the breast in response to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. At the beginning, your body will produce colostrum (a yellowish and thicker substance) during the pregnancy. Later, the milk becomes brighter and more liquid, yet continues to change according to the baby’s development and needs.
Prolactin and Oxytocin are the two hormones that play a significant role in the production and release of breastmilk. The first is responsible for milk production and the second for the release of milk from the mammary glands. Those hormones are produced naturally during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Their production is increased by the baby’s touch and suckling motions.
Why is Breast Milk so Important?
Breast milk is composed of a complex mixture of nutrients that are specifically tailored to meet the needs of a growing infant. The milk contains antibodies and immune cells, enzymes, hormones and specific growth factors and stem cells that ensure optimal development. What else does breast milk contain? All the food groups! Proteins, fats and crabs, vitamins, minerals and even enzymes that promote healthy digestion.
As previously mentioned, breast milk changes according to the baby’s needs. As such, your milk is rich with lactose during the first months, but later, contains more fat. Furthermore, breast milk consists hormones that the baby’s body hasn’t started producing. For instance, milk that is produced during the night contains more melatonin which the baby cannot produce during the first months of their lives. Yet another example related to the baby’s sleeping habits: breast milk assists in regulating the baby’s biological clock and changes according to their sleep patterns.
Yet another amazing fact about breast milk is its contribution to the baby’s digestive processes. Six months into breastfeeding, the milk contains more digestive enzymes to support the baby’s nutrition that expands into solids. Throughout the breastfeeding period, breast milk contains about 200 different types of sugars that sustain the positive intestinal flora of the baby, and by doing so balance the intestinal flora as whole. Consequently, they trap harmful bacteria, and prevent infectious agents from penetrating the intestinal walls. What other health benefits does breast milk have?
- Studies suggest that babies who feed on breast milk reduces the risk for SIDS.
- Research has shown that babies who feed on breast milk have a lower risk of developing allergies, asthma, and diabetes.
- Breast milk fed babies are less likely to develop obesity in later life.
- Studies also prove that babies who feed on bread milk suffer from fewer ear infections.
Breast Milk and Mothers
You might be surprised to read this, but breast milk also has significant health benefits for you, mama. Not for drinking, obviously! Producing and releasing milk (whether breastfeeding or pumping) has proven to be beneficial to mothers’ health. Studies have shown that breastfeeding and pumping reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. It also lowers the risk for osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. And lastly, for women suffered from gestational diabetes, breastfeeding and pumping reduces risk for type 2 diabetes later in life.
Breastfeeding and breast milk have endless benefits and are undoubtedly important. They’re also significant in strengthening the baby’s bond with their mother. That being said, breastfeeding or pumping isn’t always easy. If you experience sore nipples, difficulty in producing or extracting milk, it’s always a good idea to contact a lactation consultant. Breast milk is a gift that you can give your baby, but it should also be a pleasant process for both of you.
Breast milk is considered the best nutrition for babies, providing them with essential nutrients that are elemental to their growth and development. That being said, mothers struggle with pumping and therefore, often give up on pumping altogether. The Annabella breast pump is a revolutionary solution that mimics the baby’s suckling motions, and stimulates milk production. It works with your natural bodily processes and creates a pumping experience unlike any other!