16 jaw-dropping facts about breastfeeding

Sure, breastfeeding is good for both baby and you, but you’ll be amazed by these lesser-known facts!

Babies---16-jaw-dropping-facts-about-breastfeeding-JG-1

Nursing your baby has countless nutritional benefits. Plus, it’s a beautiful bonding experience for the both of you.
           But breastfeeding can also be exhausting and frustrating ― for instance, your breasts become tender when baby doesn’t latch well, or you might suffer cracked nipples. What about having to decline, ahem, that second glass of wine?
           To inspire you to, well, press on in your breastfeeding journey, we’ve rounded up incredible breastfeeding facts you may not know.

1.      You’ll burn calories
Can’t wait to hit the gym once baby arrives? No sweat, let breastfeeding do the calorie-burning for you. Women who breastfeed their babies exclusively burn 300 to 500 calories a day through nursing ― you’d have to run 8km daily in order to slash the same number of calories. Looking forward to a flatter tummy? A baby’s suckling also triggers the release of oxytocin, which creates uterine contractions to squeeze the uterus back to its pre-pregnancy size. 

2.      You’ll feel “high”
Does breastfeeding make you feel a little drowsy, or even drunk? You’ll be glad to know that this is completely normal ― brought on by the oxytocin and prolactin that’s released when your baby suckles. 

3.      You’ll boost your baby’s IQ
Various studies have made a link between breastfeeding and a higher IQ. A 2015 study by Dr Bernardo Lessa Horta of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil found that people who had been breastfed for an extended period went on to score higher marks in IQ tests as adults. The study covered people from various social classes. Dr Horta believes breastmilk may offer an advantage because it is a good source of long-chain saturated fatty acids which are essential for brain development.

4.      But it seems to impact boys more than girls
A study by the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort found that boys are more likely to enjoy academic success later in life if they nursed for at least six months. But breastfeeding seemed to have little effect on girls, according to the study.

5.      Breastmilk is a natural healer
Suffering cracked nipples because you’re breastfeeding? You don’t need to treat it with a special cream ― soothe and disinfect the sore spot with several drops of your breastmilk, since the antibodies in breastmilk will prevent the growth of germs. You can also try this remedy on any cuts, grazes or rash on yours or your baby’s body. 

6.      It has a unique smell
From the time your baby is 2 weeks old, he’ll be able to distinguish the smell of your breastmilk to that of another mum’s. A study by the Karolinska Institute of Stockholm found that little lumps around the mother’s nipples release a liquid that smells like amniotic fluid, so that baby is comforted by the familiar scent.

Click on to find out why you should still breastfeed, even when you're sick!