Why is the breast really best? You might already be familiar with the benefits of breastfeeding. With the following lesser-known breastfeeding facts mentioned below, it becomes clear why breastfeeding is often considered the optimal choice for nurturing and nourishing infants. Its multifaceted benefits encompass physical and emotional health, providing a remarkable foundation for a child's growth and development.
10 Fascinating Facts About Breastfeeding
#1. Less Fussy Child
Your milk will take on the flavor of the foods you eat!
The process of acquiring knowledge about flavors in foods starts during pregnancy and early infancy, as both amniotic fluid and breast milk contain components originating from the mother's diet. This initial exposure lays the groundwork for the ongoing formation of food preferences throughout one's life, influenced by a combination of biological, social, and environmental factors.
In a study, they discussed how prenatal and early postnatal exposure (via breast milk) enhances a baby’s enjoyment of that flavor in solid foods during the weaning process.
Breastfed babies readily accept a variety of flavors during the introduction of solids and beyond that point. Formula-fed babies, on the other hand, struggle to adapt because they are accustomed to a one-flavored diet. Therefore, breastfeeding promotes a healthy level of food acceptance.
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#2. The Scent of Your Breast Milk.
My husband often mentioned how whenever I returned home after an outing and walked into the room where my 4-month-old was, she would become visibly excited without seeing or hearing that it was me. The sense of smell seems to be the most advanced sense that babies have from birth.
In the study (Chemical communication and mother-infant recognition), Stefano Vaglio at the Department of Evolutionary Biology -at the University of Florence stated, "It seems an inescapable conclusion that naturally occurring odors play an important role in mediating infant behavior. Even fetal olfactory learning seems to occur, and breast odors from the mother exert a pheromone-like effect at the newborn's first attempt to locate the nipple. Newborns are generally responsive to breast odors produced by lactating women."
#3. Breast Milk Changes All the Time!
Your breast milk changes in composition from one month to the next to provide your baby with the perfect food for their evolving needs.
According to Olivia Ballard at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, "Proteomic analysis has discovered thematic distinctions in the proteins that compose milk at differing stages of lactation, as well as differences between term and preterm milk."
#4. Stem Cells?
Your breast milk is alive! It may even contain stem cells!
Breast milk possesses a diverse range of immunological, biochemical, and cellular constituents that hold the capacity to profoundly impact the immune system of newborns and their vulnerability to infections.
Innovative advancements have revealed that breast milk exhibits greater heterogeneity than previously understood and harbors stem cells.
#5. Prevent Caries!
Nursing a child for a duration exceeding 40 days may have a preventive effect, hindering the occurrence of nursing caries in children.
#6. Promote Sleep, Calmness and Reduce Pain
Breast milk contains properties that promote sleep, calmness and even reduce pain in babies.
Studies prove that breastfeeding and skin‐to‐skin contact significantly reduce crying in infants receiving immunization.
#7. Regulate Your Baby's Temperature
A mother’s breasts can increase or decrease in temperature to cool or heat her baby if needed. This is only one of the reasons why skin-to-skin contact is so essential.
“KC infants compared to control infants had a higher mean tympanic temperature (37.3 degrees C vs. 37.0 degrees C), more quiet sleep (62% vs. 22%), and less crying (2% vs. 6%) all at p=.000.”
#8. Preemies Benefit Greatly
Mothers of premature babies consume breast milk with added protein and minerals as well as extra protective factors to prevent illness and infection, which is especially needed in these cases.
#9. Moms Sleep Longer
Mothers who breastfeed sleep longer stretches at night when compared to those feeding their babies formula.
#10. Healing Qualities
Breast milk contains topical healing qualities and can be used in umbilical cord care. Other ways in which you could use breast milk are discussed here.
Human milk contains numerous immunological and anti-infective substances. Research conducted in previous decades has demonstrated that human milk possesses powerful immunocompetent properties, consisting of a diverse array of valuable components, each contributing to the immunological safeguarding of infants.
These fascinating facts on breastfeeding highlight the remarkable properties of breast milk and its profound impact on both infants and mothers.
Breastfeeding Fact References
1. Valentina De Cosmi Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Branch of Medical Statistics, Biometry, and Epidemiology “G. A. Maccacaro,” Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy; firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Silvia Scaglioni Fondazione De Marchi Department of Pediatrics, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, 20122 Milan, Italy; moc.liamg@
3. Carlo Agostoni Pediatric Intermediate Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Milan, 20122 Milan, Italy
4. Early Taste Experiences and Later Food Choices
5. Chemical communication and mother-infant recognition
6. Human Milk Composition: Nutrients and Bioactive Factors
7. Cells of human breast milk
8. Malgorzata Witkowska-Zimny - Department of Biophysics and Human Physiology, Medical University of Warsaw, Chalubinskiego 5, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland
10. Brian Palmer, D.D.S. Broadway Medical Building 4400 roadway, Suite 514 Kansas City, Missouri, 64111
12. Aida Abdel Razek DNsc MSN BSN
14. Chwo MJ 1, Anderson GC, Good M, Dowling DA, Shiau SH, Chu DM
16. M.D.Steven J.Grossa M.D.Richard J.Davida M.S.LindaBaumanb Ph.D.R.M.Tomarellib
18. Doan, Therese RN, IBCLC; Gardiner, Annelise; Gay, Caryl L.; Lee, Kathryn A. Ph.D., RN, FAAN