What does it eat?


SexEdNotes   ~   Breastfeeding


                                       Image from www.Breastfeeding.com with permission

When a woman is expecting a new baby to come into her life, she needs to make some decisions, and one big decision is whether she should breastfeed her little one or feed formula.

At one time a very short time ago, the only decision to make was "Will I breastfeed, or will I hire a 'Wet Nurse"? A wet nurse was a woman that was lactating, and was hired to 'live-in' with the family and take care of the infant, including breastfeeding it until the family was ready to wean it to solid foods.

Wet Nurses are still available,, although they may refer to themselves as 'Lactational Nurses' or some other name. They maintain their milk production, and when one child is ready to wean off the breast, she pumps her milk to keep her production up while the baby shifts to solid foods. When the infant is completely weaned, the nurse moves on to take care of another infant. She can lactate for the bulk of her life, as long as she does not cease to express her breasts. If she stops expressing, her breasts will stop producing milk, but in most cases, with effort, they can be induced to re-lactate.

Somewhere in the first part of the twentieth century someone was able to come up with the formula for a reasonable facsimile of mother's milk and someone invented a bottle arrangement with which to feed the new formula. It continues to get closer to the mother's milk it replaces, but still falls short of the Real Thing.

When making a decision, just remember that when women were 'invented', they were equipped with two breasts that produce milk at the same time a new baby is born. That should tell us something. We have been trying for may years to improve on nature, but when it comes to breastfeeding, they have not succeeded yet, and likely never will. There are a lot of reasons to consider breastfeeding for your child:

  • It provides protection against diseases and illness. For the first few days Colostrum is provided, which is not milk, but contains many anti-bodies that the mother has already developed for fighting diseases and illnesses in her own body, so they pass through her milk to the baby, who uses them to stay well, more than formula-fed babies.

  • Breastmilk also provides at least six anti-ineffective agents that fight the most common childhood diseases. The child is only one-fourth as likely to contract pneumonia, only one-half as likely to catch a cold, and formula-fed babies suffer 12 1/2 times more diarrhea. Breastmilk usually shows up about the third day after birth. Colostrum is enough to sustain the infant.

  • Breastmilk is always suited for the infant's needs, changing when necessary. A premature baby has different needs than a full-term baby, so the breast provides a different composition of milk if the delivery was premature, changing with time as the baby grows. The composition is different from the start to finish of a single feeding, to meet the interests and needs of the baby. Natural sweetness means less tooth decay because sucrose is added to formula, and the baby absorbs fat from breastmilk easier than from formula.

  • Breastfeeding is more convenient, and breastmilk is the correct temperature, always sterile and sanitary, saves time, saves energy (you don't need to even get out of bed to prepare it, or wash and sterilize bottles), and it saves money (no bottles or formula to buy).

  • Breastmilk supply increases as the baby grows and needs more, and it is always available.

  • Breastfeeding allows the mother time to relax as she feeds her little one.

  • Breastfeeding provides a mother-child bonding which is very necessary (Google Harry Harlow's experiments), and  is best when there is direct skin-to-skin contact between baby and mother.

  • Breastfeeding longer than 16 months over her lifetime gives a woman a lower risk of developing breast cancer.

Reasons that women consider not breastfeeding include:

  • Modesty... but breastfeeding in public is NOT illegal in any state of the Union, and open breastfeeding was done in the US 100 years ago, and in many countries today it is still done openly. It's a FASHION decision, not a MORAL decision. A greater number of mothers are breastfeeding for longer times and more openly than in the last fifty years.

  • Vanity... women fear losing the youthful appearance of their breasts, but during the breastfeeding period, it is the pregnancy and several years of age that affects their breasts more than breastfeeding does.

  • Working outside the home can cause women to avoid breastfeeding, but many companies are getting their acts together and offering places for babies to be brought in for breastfeeding, or time for mothers to use breast pumps and send milk home with a helper.

  • Despair... but it helps to have a doctor that supports breastfeeding, a hospital/nursing staff that supports it, and a family that supports it. Lactation Consultants and Support Groups are also available for help.

Video: How To Breastfeed - Deep Latch Technique by Fit Pregnancy

  • One reason for not being successful is not getting the baby to properly latch onto the nipple.

  • A major reason for having sore nipples is also not getting a proper latch.

  • Take a look at this video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FJuBn2bgNk


  • A woman that breastfeeds will produce on the average of 112 gallons of breastmilk in one year.

  • Breastmilk averages 20 calories per ounce.

  • A mother can produce milk from the time her baby is born until she weans it from her breast, no matter how long that may be. Some mothers breastfeed well beyond the full year that most experts recommend. Many recommend a full two years. The average mother stops after six months... or less.

  • In most cases, if a mother has trouble producing enough milk for her baby, it can be due to her feeding the baby from a bottle to keep it from "starving". Or giving it water from a bottle. No other fluids or nutrients are needed by the baby... breastmilk provides it all.

  • Re-lactation is the process of bringing breasts back to producing milk after they have stopped breastfeeding. Or in some cases it can be a woman inducing breasts to produce milk without the woman ever being pregnant. That is done over a period of time ranging from weeks to months. You can read about re-lactation on  http://www.BreastNotes.com