Mama, did you know.... (Breastfeeding basics)

Did you know...? That when you breastfeed, your body releases Oxytocin, which is widely referred to as the love hormone, the hug hormone, the cuddle chemical, the moral molecule, and the bliss hormone due to its effects on behavior. Seriously. 

Did you know...? That a lactating woman is never "empty" of breast milk. Your body is always making milk. The more a baby breastfeeds and removes the milk, the more your body makes milk. Its that simple. 

Did you know...? That there has been research stating that a baby nurses, on average, 140 minutes per day. No matter how many times they come to the breast or minutes on the breast, the average stayed the same. *There was a study on a tribe in Africa, the mothers nursed baby whenever the baby wanted too, which was 60+ times a day for roughly 2.5 minutes each. It equaled to 140 minutes a day. :)

The term "when your milk comes in" is widely discouraged because the colostrum (LIQUID GOLD!) your body makes (even before birth) is considered early milk. The transition to mature milk (the original WHITE milk) comes within days 3-5. Stating "when your milk comes in" makes a mother feel that for the first 3-5 days, baby gets no nutrients while at the breast. That couldn't be further from the truth. 

For my milky mamas...Did you know...? That the terms fore milk and hind milk no longer mean "low in fat" (fore milk) and "high in fat" (hind milk). Studies show that fore milk and hind milk can have equal amounts of fat and the fat content changes per baby's needs. If this were untrue, that tribe baby would have no fat, eh? :)

Did you know.... One of the reasons why they say no pacifiers in the early weeks is because infant sucking releases hormones which has the effect of making them sleepy and feel full. If they are at the breast they are getting adequate nutrition but if they are constantly sucking on a pacifier they will go longer periods in between nursing sessions therefore your milk supply may decrease and baby will not get adequate nutrition. Snowball effect, remember?

Did you know... It is expected for a baby to lose weight after birth. A healthy, full term baby may lose up to 10% of their birth weight, though no further weight loss after day 5 (lower for pre term babies is acceptable) Per AAP guidelines, we want to see the infant back up to their birth weight by 2 weeks. It is now strongly encouraged, especially for breastfed babies, to see a pediatrician/general physician 48-72 hours after being discharged from the hospital. 

Did you know.... an average weight gain of 1 ounce per day in the early months is good! (More for preterm etc babies)

Did you know.... that when your breastfed baby catches a sick bug or virus, the saliva in his mouth after he latches on sends signal to your brain so your body starts to make the antibodies to help baby fight off that bug. Cool huh!?

Did you know... If you are sick, BREASTFEED THE BABY. Your body will also make the antibodies to help your breastfed baby stay healthy! 

Did you know... that when your baby "cluster feeds" that he is usually storing up for a good nap, fixing to make a giant mental leap (YAY!) or doesn't feel that well and is pulling extra antibodies from you. BREASTFEED THE BABY!

**I am a breastfeeding mother, breastfeeding peer counselor for my local WIC office and certified lactation counselor. I provide support for mothers during their breastfeeding journey. Their goals are my goals. Shall they choose to stop breastfeeding for one reason or another is their decision, though I NEVER want it to be because they didn't have facts, the education or the support<3 font="" nbsp="">