Here at The Centre, we are extremely excited about an upcoming Breastfeeding Workshop for expectant mothers and their fathers held by a Breastfeeding Counsellor, Maria Leonidou. The relaxed, interactive and informative workshop will be an excellent tool for new parents to learn what to do once their baby arrives.
Most babies breastfeed within an hour of being born and the milk has a wealth of amazing health and wellbeing benefits for both the mother and the baby. In anticipation of our upcoming workshop on Friday the 10th of June, The Centre have put together this list of eight benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
Breastfeeding provides ideal nutrition for the baby: Mother’s milk is the very best thing to feed a baby, and what’s more the milk changes according to what the baby needs as it grows and develops with the Colostrum – or pre-milk that gets produces immediately upon delivery of the baby – has all the antibodies needed to protect the baby and also contains higher levels of protein and less sugar. Once the full milk is produced around 3-4 days after the baby is born, it becomes higher in sugar and has more calories – again, exactly what the baby needs.
Breastfeeding helps keep away illness: There is a long list of illnesses and infections that are scientifically proven to be reduced or less severe when a baby is breastfeeding. Problems including meningitis, stomach viruses, ear infections and respiratory issues, are all less likely to occur in breastfed babies. Common colds, flu and pneumonia are also vastly reduced among breastfed babies.
Breastfeeding has long term health benefits too: Babies who have been breastfed during infancy generally show signs of better physical and mental health. Mother’s milk contains a substance called secretory immunoglobulin A, which protects the baby from germs and infections. The risks of developing chronic conditions in later childhood or adult life, such as type I diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn's disease are also reduced. The risk of some childhood cancers are also decreased.
Breastfeeding is also healthier for mum: While breastfeeding has long been known for its ability to help mums naturally loose that pregnancy weight after the baby is born, it also has significant other health benefits including a lowered risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as postmenopausal osteoporosis thanks to the bodies increased ability to absorb calcium when breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is a great Mother-Baby bonding experience: We all need love and new born babies are no exception. Holding your baby while you breastfeed allows the infant to feel the safety and comfort of being loved and cuddled as they feed. The experience of feeding and nurturing the child with your own milk is also one of the most natural and emotionally and physically satisfying experiences. It has also been found that it stimulates the release of oxytocin in the mother. Oxytocin is a hormone which not only encourages the milk to come out, it also promotes the development of maternal behaviour and bonding between you and your baby.
Breastfeeding is a relaxing for baby and mum: Breastmilk contains natural chemicals which act as tranquilisers for babies making them instantly calmer and even making them fall asleep. The same applies for the mothers who very often experience the sleep inducing effects of breastfeeding. It’s not uncommon for breastfeeding mothers to fall asleep as they feed their baby. It’s often a good idea to feed somewhere safe so you don’t drop the baby if you fall asleep.
Breastfeeding is better for the environment: It has become a well-known fact that the dairy and meat industries are the highest contributors to global warming. And with the milk produced for formula coming from cows, the greenhouse gases emitted through the maintenance of the animals and the production of the milk are damaging to the environment.
Breastfeeding is cheaper and more convenient: Let’s face it, breastmilk is basically on tap, so whenever the baby is hungry all you have to do is nurse. Going out and buying formula is a much less cost-effective and energy-effective means of feeding your baby.