Mothers have the amazing opportunity to nourish, protect, and heal with just one simple thing provided within all of them: their breast milk.
Since breastfeeding can definitely be challenging it’s important for moms to know and be encouraged by it’s many benefits. The milk that your precious babies yearn for provides an incredible amount of healing, growth and protection, not just for them but also for you!
Check out these seven surprising benefits of breastfeeding that are sure to give you more confidence and encouragement as you feed your little one during the first year of life or however long you may choose.
1. Breastmilk can potentially cure cancer
A Swedish professor and her team have found out after decades of research that a special protein in breastmilk has the ability to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells!
They named this amazing protein HAMLET and are currently trying to get it developed as a new cancer-fighting drug.
2. Breastmilk can ‘sense’ when your baby is sick
Your body has the ability to alter the nutritional and immunological composition of your breastmilk depending on your baby’s need at that moment.
According to biologist Katie Hinde, a nursing baby creates a vacuum with its suckling that causes its saliva to be sucked back into the mother’s nipple. The receptors in the mammary glands then translate the information picked up from the “baby spit backwash”, which it then uses to adjust the breast milk’s immunological composition.
3. On hot days, your breastmilk automatically becomes more ‘watery’
As it is, breastmilk is made up of 88% water, satisfying your baby’s hydration needs in general and making giving water to a fully breastfed baby under the age of six months unnecessary.
But on very hot days, research shows that it is still unnecessary to give a nursing infant water as your breastmilk still quenches his thirst perfectly well. You only need to increase the frequency of nursing.
4. Breastmilk can fight bacteria
A first-year bioscience student at South Devon College in the U.K., put breast milk from the mother of a 15-month-old and a 3-year-old in Petri dishes containing the bacteria M. Luteus.
A photo of the experiment shows a space between the breastmilk and the bacteria – like a wall – keeping the bacteria from getting too close to the breastmilk.
5. Breastmilk cures acne
Acne solutions don’t get any cheaper or effective than this!
According to the results of a study conducted by a team at the University of California, the lauric acid found in breastmilk can help treat acne. It’s as simple as applying breastmilk over the affected area and letting it air-dry.
6. It’s a natural pain-relief medication
When a baby is crying, they almost always immediately calm down when on the breast. This is partly to do with the physical comfort they get from being snuggled close to you – your warmth, touch and scent.
But breastmilk also contains endorphins, which, from physiological level, help ease pain in the human body.
7. It’s the perfect pre-term baby milk
For mums who give birth to delicate little preemies, nutrition could be a worry. However, if you are such a mum, did you know that your breastmilk once again changes to provide optimum nutrition for your premature baby’s needs?
According to research, “human milk from women delivering prematurely has more protein and higher levels of many bioactive molecules compared to milk from women delivering at term.”