Lesser Known Facts About Breastfeeding & Breast Milk

Posted on Posted in Baby, Moms to Be, Rants & Raves

More and more today we hear about moms new and old choosing the natural option… breastfeeding.There is an abundance of information out there about it if you know what to search for. When I started breastfeeding my little one, there wasn’t a week that went by that I wasn’t searching for some advice or information on what was going on or how to fix a problem I was having, and alot of the other blogs answered the most common and frequently asked questions, but not these!! So, here’s what no one else is talking about when it comes to breastfeeding and breastmilk, and what I’ve learned on my breastfeeding journey!

Babies Don’t Eat Much… Just Frequently!

One of the first and most common question was, “How do I know he’s getting enough?” Well, here are the answers.

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  • If your baby has been feeding and pulls away from your breast, this is a sign that they are full.
  • Babies stomachs are small. The average newborn’s stomach can only hold from 5-7ml, thats 1.4 teaspoons!
    By 1 month that number rises to 80 – 150ml (2.5 – 5oz.) But still… thats not alot!!
  • If baby is gaining weight he’s doing all right!
  • Breast milk is digested faster than formula, however, newborns in general should feed every 2-3 hours.

Breast Milk Bank?

When you have a baby most hospitals send you home with a whack of papers, information on immunizations, circumcision, breastfeeding… it can be a bit overwhelming. One of the pamphlets or “welcome to new baby” books I was handed talked about breastfeeding and the options you have if you want to your baby to have breast milk but are unable to breastfeed. One of those options… A breast milk bank. A great idea I think, especially if you are not able to give your baby the nutritious, whole bodied breast milk they deserve.

“Pour some sugar on me!” ♫

Breast milk is amazing! Shortly after Mr. Grey was born he developed baby acne…sigh… I know, that sweet little face marred by little bumps. Well worry not!! Just…

♫ “pour some breast milk on it, in the name of love!! “♫

That’s right!!! Breast milk has some amazing healthy stuff in it, vitamins, minerals, fats and more! Breast milk can be used as a topical treatment for all kinds of baby skin ailments from acne to cradle cap!

He Just Keeps Going and Going and Going…

When Mr. Grey was about 5 weeks old, it truly seemed like he was constantly feeding. It was a never-ending cycle of feed, burp, feed, burp, feed… or at least that is how it felt. I had no clue he was going through a growth spurt and although I know that kids have growth spurts, it didn’t even click that babies have them too!!! When my older two were babies, they were bottle fed, so when they were going through their growth spurts all I had to do was put more formula in the bottle!

These growth spurts are more noticeable with breast-fed babies because they do seem to nurse longer than they really need to, and they do! The “constant” nursing is babies way of telling your body that more milk is needed and slowly triggers the boost in your milk supply.

You Did What!?

Circumcision… A touchy subject, I know, and what does that have to do with breastfeeding?? Well, I’m getting there!! In the States, the circumcision is preformed right there in the hospital during the post delivery routine if you so choose. But here in Canada, when you have a baby boy and you choose to circumcise him, you have to go to a different doctor to perform the procedure.

painreliever

That being said, when talking to the doctor about the procedure Mr. Grey (my newest little one) started to get hungry so, naturally I popped a boob in his mouth! The doctor then, gave me a metaphorical pat on the back and told me that breastfeeding him will help him with the residual pain he may feel once the baby Tylenol wore off. Breast milk is a natural pain reliever for babies!!!

 

It Fits Like a Glove

One of the tidbits I stumbled upon while reading my stack of books and pamphlets is that breast milk is tailor-made for your little bundle of joy! It’s part of the wondrous changes your body goes through during pregnancy, so breast milk for your baby girl will have a different composition than the breast milk for your baby boy, makes sense right? Your baby girl will needs specific hormones for being a girl and vis versa! And it doesn’t stop there! Your breast milk also changes if your baby gets sick! Here is a great post about that! I do have one question though… What happens when you have fraternal twins?!?

You Have Pimples Where?!?

This is a good one! Ok so, If you begin breastfeeding and after a while you notice these raised bumps or what look like white head pimples on your areola… don’t be alarmed!! They are NOT pimples!! They are called Montgomery Glands. These glands produce a lubricant that helps keep your nipples moisturized while breastfeeding. Sometimes these glands can become blocked producing a raised bump or pimple like bumps on the areola and when squeezed can produce a thick, pasty substance. Word of warning… too much squeezing can provide the opportunity for infection, and IT HURTS LIKE HELL!! (that’s a sensitive area especially when breastfeeding!!) Always consult your physician.

Miracle Grow

Breast milk is like Miracle Grow for your baby! We already know it is tailor-made just for him but did you know that it changes as baby grows? On day one, your body starts producing a thick yellow substance that looks very little like milk, its called colostrum.  Colostrum protects your baby’s brand new immune system, it is dense and packed full of nutrients. Days later, it changes and looks more like milk, but don’t be fooled! Each step of your baby’s development requires a little something different and your milkmakers respond in turn, more fat here or a little more vitamins there!

Last but not least…

He’s a Speed Racer

Here is my favourite little nugget, and it kind of goes hand in hand with a couple of other thoughts we talked about earlier… How to know if your baby is getting enough and the constant feeding… Here goes… Most babies are very efficient at pulling the milk from mommas breast. If you aren’t experiencing any issues with your latch and there are no other physical factors preventing baby from feeding efficiently, your baby can successfully fill his belly within the first 5-10mins of feeding! Mic Drop!!!

Was this post helpful? Let me know what questions you have about breastfeeding!

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Resources

General Breastfeeding Resource

Babies Don’t Eat Much… Just Frequently!

Pour Some Sugar on Me

It Fits Like a Glove

 

Pain Reliever

Breastmilk Bank

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