The midwives at My Expert Midwife have revealed 12 unusual facts about breastfeeding you may not know – and all the breastfeeding essentials you need.
This World Breastfeeding Week, the theme is Step Up for Breastfeeding, which aims to help raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding for new mothers and babies, and to support the week’s objective to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding your baby comes with a host of benefits, such as good nutrition, improved immune function and strong emotional bonds.
12 Unusual Facts About Breastfeeding
The in-house midwives at My Expert Midwife have shared some unusual facts about breastfeeding to raise awareness and provide some of the lesser-known facts about its advantages.
Whether you’re a mum-to-be, a new mum or are supporting someone who is breastfeeding and want to discover more, we’ve got you covered with our breastfeeding facts below.
1. The placenta creates the milk
The placenta is the organ that signals the mammary cells of the breast to switch on and start making milk a 16-weeks gestation – if you have a placenta, you have milk.
2. Bra size doesn’t matter
Your breast/bra size bears no relation on your capacity to make milk. Milk is made in the cells of the breast and the fat of the breast plays no part in feeding.
3. The areola darkens for baby
it is thought that the areola darkens during pregnancy so the baby can see more easily where the food source is.
4. Breastmilk tastes like amniotic fluid
Breastmilk tastes like amniotic fluid in the early weeks, so that your baby is already familiar with the taste.
5. The mother’s diet can transfer to the milk
Flavours from the maternal diet can transfer to breastmilk, causing subtle changes. This could help your breastfed baby adapt better to different tastes ready for weaning.
6. Colostrum is just highly concentrated milk
Colostrum has a yellow colouration due to carotenoid pigments produced by the foods you eat. It is high in Vitamin A to help develop your baby’s vision.
7. Nighttime and daytime milk is different
Nighttime milk contains more melatonin and tryptophan which helps your baby settle back and sleep quicker during the night.
8. Daytime milk contains cortisol
…which helps your baby be more alert to focus and learn during daylight hours.
9. Milk helps baby’s immune system
Human milk contains over 200 human milk oligosaccharides. They feed the friendly bacteria in the lining of the gut and help to develop your baby’s immune system.
10. Kissing and smelling can help baby’s immunity
When you kiss or smell your baby, your immune system assesses the microorganisms, and maternal antibodies can be transferred into the milk to help protect your baby.
11. Breastfeeding can help protect from illnesses
Breastfeeding can help prevent women from developing breast and ovarian cancer, postnatal depression, hypertension and type 2 diabetes.
12. 81% of women initiate breastfeeding at birth
Dreamgenii Feeding Support Pillow, from £26
The dreamgenii® Feeding Support Pillow provides new mamas with unparalleled comfort, support, and convenience throughout their breastfeeding journey- a must have for any family with a newborn. It’s specially designed to fit snugly around your waist and help mama and baby during nursing.
The pillow is filled to exactly the right level of support to ensure that you and your baby have a comfortable feeding position, whether breast or bottle feeding.
When feeding, the support of this pillow can help alleviate the strain on your arms, back, and neck, which can occur from holding and positioning the baby during feeding. By providing proper alignment and cushioning, it can reduce the risk of discomfort, muscle aches and fatigue, making feeding sessions more enjoyable and longer-lasting.
The best pillow to support any mum after a C-Section, Dreamgenii® Feeding Support Pillow helps relieve pressure from the abdomen when feeding. This means a relaxed, supported feed to encourage bonding between mum and baby in a comfortable environment.
Dreamgenii® Feeding Support Pillow can also help you gain the correct feeding position for a healthy latch, meaning you can make the most of those special moments. The pillow ensures baby is angled so their head is above their tummy to aid digestion, resulting in a happy baby, and of course a happy mum, every time.
Not only for feeding, but the pillow can also be used as a support to help babies to sit upright while they are learning to sit up on their own.
Available with soft, 100% cotton covers, the snuggly and cosy feel of the fabric offers even more comfort for both mama and baby during feeding.
No Harm Nipple Balm For Breastfeeding, £16.50
This one handed pump nipple balm provides fast relief and protection for breastfeeding mums from sore and cracked nipples when breastfeeding.
Midwife developed, mum approved, and multi-award-winning balm is 100% naturally derived, intensively moisturising, and is a rich but thin serum that glides on easily and does not drag sore and sensitive nipples.
tommee tippee Breast Pump, from £59.99
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, tommee tippee is offering up to 30% off all its breast pumps and breastfeeding bundles from 1st to 15th of August. Parents can easily snap up the discounted products online, with no code needed, while stocks last!
Designed to empower and support mums, the brand’s broad range of breastfeeding products aims to help make the (sometimes overflowing, empty, blistered or bouncy) journey smoother and more comfortable.
Florence Breastfeeding Dress, £39.99
This new breastfeeding friendly smock dress the ‘Florence’ has a unique hidden Twinzip design that allows you to breastfeed comfortably and discreetly.
The Florence Dress features pockets (we got you, Mumma!) an elasticated waist and a tiered skirt to give a flattering, floaty fit. A comfortable and fashionable style that’s no longer impossible to breastfeed in, *cheer*!
Medela Nipple Shields, £9.99
Nipple shields aren’t always encouraged, but are very practical when breastfeeding with sore, cracked, flat or inverted nipples and can also help latching on difficulties.
They enable mothers to continue breastfeeding and allow maximum contact between mother and baby due to the specially formed contour.
Weleda Nipple Balm, £8.99
When your nipples are just too tender to touch, even with a nipple cream. Absorbed by the skin, this formula helps restore and relieve sensitive nipples between feeding. Its unique blend of ingredients helps to provide instant soothing relief to sore nipples and restore sensitive sore nipples.
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