“There is almost nothing you can do for your child in his whole life that will affect him both emotionally and physically as profoundly as breastfeeding.” – La Leche League International, from The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
Let’s forget for a moment about the benefits of breastfeeding, and let’s look at breastfeeding from a biological point of view. Your baby, like any other mammal, is born expecting to breastfeed, and as nature intended your body is designed to fulfil all your baby’s needs. When you breastfeed, you’re not only satisfying your baby’s need for food, but also his need for love, warmth, comfort and security.
During pregnancy your body starts producing colostrum, rich in immunological properties to help protect your newborn´s vulnerable intestinal tract. This will be your baby’s “first milk”. Although low in volume, colostrum has a high nutritional value and is full of antibodies to keep your baby healthy. A few days after the birth of your baby, mature milk will start to come in, which provides everything your baby needs for the first six months of her life. What’s amazing about breast milk is that during the course of a feeding, your milk changes from foremilk (high in water and lactose) to hindmilk (high in fat), giving your baby the perfect combination of nutrients.
The nurturing of an infant is a combination of mother instincts, knowledge and common sense. Breastfeeding your baby requires a lot of patience, self-awareness and compassion. For some mothers breastfeeding their baby will be an easy process. For others, establishing their breastfeeding relationship will take a little longer and a lot more effort. Let yourself be guided by your baby’s cues and remember that there is no book that can teach you how to be a mother.
If you're still unsure about wanting to breastfeed, consider its many benefits. Breastfeeding not only reduces the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), allergies, type 1&2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, gastroenteritis and heart disease in your child, but also helps your uterus contract after giving birth, protects you from breast, uterine and cervical cancer and helps you bond with your baby. Have faith in yourself, trust the natural process of breastfeeding and let your inner wisdom guide you through this amazing journey.