The struggle of motherhood is long and hard. From carrying a growing human inside you for months to giving birth and to raising the said child, the challenges are relentless.
Your body changes, your mood and appetite alter, you have to take time off from your job — in short, motherhood is a litany of sacrifices.
But they are also rewarding. Researchers say that children provide joy and meaning to parents as they give them lifelong interpersonal relationships and a newfound purpose in life.
Moreover, and we all know this, the mother and child relationship is the purest bond there is.
As you read through this article, you will discover one of the ways of physical and psychological sustenance that only mothers are capable of – breastfeeding!
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
This is as natural as it gets, breastfeeding is the first choice of most mothers in sustaining their babies.
Not to mention, it is environment-friendly! With all the talk about organic food and its positive effects on our health, it is only reasonable to give the same to our babies.
I am aware that not all mothers can breastfeed, and if you are one of them, here are some of the alternatives for you!
Have I mentioned that it’s also encouraged by the World Health Organization? They do, and it’s because breastfeeding ascertains the babies’ survival. Here are some of its benefits:
Breastfeeding Has Been Linked To Higher Intelligence In Children
Skipping the heavily scientific details, breastfeeding seems to positively affect the way the brain develops and improves cognitive development.
It’s also linked to a lesser risk of developing autism spectrum disorder and aggressive behaviors.
This means that breastfeeding doesn’t just help babies survive, it also equips babies with the ability to better adapt to their environment.
It Is A Form Of Bonding
Breastfeeding is a skin to skin contact that helps in the development of emotional security of the baby.
It also helps mothers because when mothers feed their babies, their brain secretes the hormone oxytocin.
This hormone has a calming and relaxing effect and is also called the “love hormone”. It’s the reason why mothers feel so fond of their children.
It Strengthens The Baby
I know it’s obvious that it would strengthen the baby but let’s delve into how it helps.
It prevents diseases as simple as coughs and colds, and those as devastating as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
It also lowers the risk of asthma and nurtures dental health. I could go on, so I will!
It boosts the immune system and aids in digestion. Babies are vulnerable to a lot of things and breastfeeding helps them in combating infections such as ear infections, urinary tract infections, and even diarrhea.
Also, the antibodies your body produces in response to the environment are passed down to your baby. It’s safe to say that breast milk is indeed liquid gold.
It Is Practical And Convenient
It is free. It is healthier. More than that, you won’t have to check whether you have enough for your baby or whether you should visit a store.
It lessens the mental burden. It is also, in a way, custom-made for your baby as you live in the same environment and are exposed to the same bacteria and/or viruses.
If you are going to give your child something, it might as well come from a place that you’re both comfortable with, right?
Beneficial To Both The Baby And The Mother
We’ve noted how it is beneficial to the baby. If you forgot already, feel free to scroll up.
In this part of the discussion, we’ll shift our focus to the mother. Breastfeeding helps with the emotional security of the mother as well.
Specifically her view of herself as being capable of taking care of someone. It helps with mothers’ self-confidence.
We mentioned that pregnancy changes women’s bodies, and not all women are okay with that.
Don’t fret. Breastfeeding helps, again! It shrinks the uterus and burns calories which may eventually lead to your prepregnancy weight and shape.
If you have been worrying about those inevitable additions on your weighing scale, you don’t have to anymore!
What a ride. We have cemented how important breastfeeding is, not only in how it helps babies but mothers as well.
However, this two-way relationship is not all about the pros. I’ll be brief, but the next part looks into the challenges of breastfeeding and how one can overcome them.
The Hardships of Breastfeeding
The common struggle of mothers during breastfeeding circle mostly around discomfort.
You may end up with sore nipples or experience engorgement, wherein your breasts feel full and painful.
When you often feel these, a lactation consultant would be able to help you.
This is a reminder that no matter how beneficial breastfeeding is, it’s not easy.
Aside from sore nipples and engorgement, plugged ducts also happen.
Fungal infections as well! Some mothers also have problems with their milk supply. Some worry about the sudden nursing strike of their babies.
Some worry about getting side-eyed in public because of breastfeeding (it’s natural, okay?). It seems endless.
Aside from discomfort and worries, frequent feedings leave moms feeling fatigued and having less time for themselves. Babies are hedonistic.
They’ll cry and demand wherever and whenever, and so you give. You deliver.
The benefits of breastfeeding definitely outweigh the difficulties because there are people that can help with the difficulties.
Mothers can easily adjust. On the other hand, your breast milk is undeniably the best for your child (unless you can’t, don’t worry, we won’t judge).
The beneficial properties of breast milk are a testament to how important mothers are to the development of their children.
From housing us inside them to making food for us even as we grow older to sacrificing not just their bodies but also their time.
From start to finish, mothers and children are bound to each other.
Motherhood has many steps, all of which have their own challenges. Here, we tackled the challenges and rewards of breastfeeding.
It’s just one step in the journey of motherhood but has been repeatedly proven to be crucial.
The all-natural, liquid gold of the human body that is like their givers – nurturing.