World Breastfeeding Week 2019: Breastfeeding is not just recommended for its health benefits for the mother and the baby, but also because it helps them bond. If you are a breastfeeding mom or awaiting childbirth, here are some facts about breastfeeding that you must know:
1. Breast milk has a unique subtle scent, which helps babies differentiate their mother’s milk from the rest.
2. Breastfeeding the baby lowers his or her risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
3. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of osteoporosis, heart disease as well as breast and ovarian cancer.
4. Breastfeeding can burn as much calories as walking up to seven miles or 11 km would.
5. The amount of breast milk produced depends on the sucking of the baby. The woman’s body ideally produces milk as per the baby’s needs.
6. The amount of milk produced has nothing to do with the size of the breasts.
7. If the mother or the baby preferentially feed on one side then that breast will produce more milk than the other.
8. There is no need to dilute breast milk. The milk changes texture depending on the baby’s needs and so one need not make any adjustments to it.
9. The milk does not just come from one opening in the nipple but many other holes called milk duct orifices, which are around four to 20 in number per breast.
10. The milk’s nutritional composition changes over time to keep up with the baby’s nutritional needs.
11. The smell and taste of breast milk is also affected by the foods you eat. Exposing your baby to more varieties of flavours during breastfeeding can make them less picky eaters when you start feeding solids.
12. Breast milk is not always white in colour. The first milk called colostrum is concentrated and is yellowish in colour. Moreover, the milk that flows out of the breast at the beginning of feeding or pumping is thin and clear or bluish in colour and turns creamier later.