Research has shown that breastfeeding can enhance a child’s IQ. A child’s verbal scores were higher at age three and IQ scores at age seven if he had been breastfed for the first year, in a study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. But enhanced language skills and higher intelligence scores probably aren’t the only things you might not have known about the benefits of breastfeeding.
Here are 15 interesting facts about breastfeeding:
- Breast milk takes on the taste of the food you are eating. This means that you are developing a well-rounded palate in your baby for starting solids.
- Your breast milk adjusts to the climate. During a heatwave, when temperatures rise above 30˚C, your milk will adjust to meet the needs of your baby’s thirst and hydration.
- Your baby knows the scent of your breast milk. Each woman’s milk is unique to them and your baby knows just which boob his next meal is coming from.
- Many moms have varied production of breast milk in each breast. Some women produce more on the right than the left.
- Bigger boobs do not equal more milk. Small-breasted women do just fine. Women with implants can also successfully feed their babies.
- The appearance of your breast milk can vary from day to day. It can appear yellow and creamy or watery and blue, depending on the time of day.
- There are live cells in your breast milk. These can be seen under a microscope. So be careful handling this liquid gold.
- Breastfeeding can take the place of a gym work out. Breastfeeding your baby requires a large amount of metabolic energy – so ditch the trainers for now and settle down into your comfy chair and feed your baby.
- It helps your uterus contract back to its pre-pregnancy size. The hormone oxytocin is secreted while your baby feeds, which helps the uterus gently contract back to its original shape.
- Breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally for many moms, and for the first few weeks it is a work in progress. Be patient and get help to make sure you are set up to feed your baby for as long as you wish.
- Breastfeeding can make you super hungry.
- A nursing mother will have a slightly warmer core body temperature. She can even experience night sweats while feeding her little one.
- Some women report an absence of under-arm hair growth while breastfeeding.
- It works entirely on a supply and demand basis. Take away the demand and your supply will gradually start to decrease.
- Your breasts will settle in the first few weeks so you may not feel like Dolly Parton forever. Even when your breasts eventually start to feel soft again, there is still milk in them!
Pippa is a Registered Professional Nurse and trained as a Registered Midwife at Chris Hani Baragwanth Hospital. She has extensive experience in all things baby related with a special interest in preparing couples for the exciting journey of parenthood as well as supporting them in the weeks that follow the birth. She and her husband Richard are the proud parents of Becca age 6 and Tom age 4. Pippa has a comprehensive private clinic service that includes Childbirth Education classes, a Well Baby Clinic including Immunization as well as Post Natal and Lactation support. With over 5 years of running a private clinic facility and raising 2 children Pippa comes with a wealth of knowledge and first-hand experience of parenthood.