Saturday, July 18, 2015

Breasts Plan to Breastfeed--Don't Let Them Down

I think advocates have exhausted the mantra that human milk is best for human babies, but breastfeeding does not exclusively benefit baby. I believe Mom is often left out of the equation. In fact, if breastfeeding were only about the baby's nutritional needs, than perhaps someday there could be an adequate substitute--but it isn't.
Approximately sixteen weeks into pregnancy, a mom is notified via tender mammary glands, that she is, indeed, expecting. Her body is starting the preparation for future breastfeeding. An amazing, complex factory has commenced production of cells, aveoli, ductile work and Montgomery glands. There is even an increase in the pigmentation around the areola to create an obvious target for the baby once he arrives--make no mistake, the breasts are planning on breastfeeding.

Milk Synthesis explained

The attention given to every detail is absolutely mind boggling. The stage is set in precise detail. The breasts have prepared for breastfeeding like an athlete prepares for the Olympics. They are focused on their one job, and poised to perform. Imagine the disappointment when they are "letdown" postpartum. They never get to realize their full potential. Who is speaking up for the rights of the ta-tas? They have painstakingly prepared for this precise moment for nine consecutive months. Not only is is disappointing, it also poses serious health risks. Just like atrophy sets in when muscles cease to do what they were designed for, abandoning breastfeeding creates serious complications as well.

What happens when breasts are told, "You're Fired!" and are not chosen to fill the primary feeding position? Well, it isn't pretty.

Following birth, Mom's uterus is in need of some serious repair. The best way to return this muscle to it's pre-pregnancy shape is to contract the muscle--a phenomenon that is executed through breastfeeding. This is the most effective way to strengthen the muscle and reduce blood loss. Moms should plan on breastfeeding for a thorough workout, after all, they cannot walk into a 24 Hour Fitness and use the "uterus machine" to tone up.

Recovery continues as the baby continues to breastfeed. Mom may experience significant weight-loss as she burns more calories breastfeeding. The benefits do not stop when baby weans, they continue for a lifetime.

It is as though Baby says, "Mom, I need you to be around a very long time. I need your lap to sit on and your hand to hold...I need your advice when I'm a teen and in my adult years...I need your hugs on birthdays and every morning...I need your kisses on my scraped knee and broken heart...I need you at my wedding and at childbirth...I need you to be the grandmother to my children; and here's how I will make that happen--breastfeed me."

If Mom chooses to breastfeed, Baby will protect her from many immediate and future ailments. Breastfeeding moms experience a reduction in breast, uterine and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding also lowers the risk of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Breastfeeding moms profit from the hormone Oxytocin, which helps to stabilize moods.

I hope we are encouraging women to listen to their bodies and listen to their babies. They should be entitled to receive all the advantages and bonding associated with breastfeeding. I know not everyone has the opportunity or freedom to select breastfeeding and they must rely on milk donations, supplements or a combination of both. I sympathize with them and understand their plight personally, but still want to convey for those who can, that they (not only their offspring) will reap the rewards.
Order your copy of the poster above

Breastfeeding is a relationship. A bond between Mother and Baby. A beautiful contract to support each other in health and well-being. Maybe breastfeeding and mothering isn't a thankless job after-all, maybe we just aren't making moms aware that their baby has a tremendous gift they want to give, but only by breastfeeding can it be received. Let's commit to empower moms and enable them to accept this life-giving gift.


  1. Really nice piece, but third paragraph from the end do you mean to say "Oxytocin", not Oxycontin?? :p

  2. Thank you so much, my proofreading friend! I made the correction, fortunately, before I put it in my newsletter :)

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