10 Surprising Things about Breastfeeding and Breast Milk

10 Surprising Things about Breastfeeding and Breast Milk

What are the benefits of breastfeeding? There are so many benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mama. Your breast milk is liquid gold and has all the vitamins and nutrients your baby would ever need. 

Here’s our list of the 10 most surprising things about breastfeeding and breast milk.

  1. Breastfeeding burns a ton of calories: Your body burns a crazy number of calories while breastfeeding—around an extra 500 calories each day! No wonder you’re so hungry and thirsty. Remember to eat plenty of healthy fats and drink a lot of water (fill up your momjug, mama!) to keep up with your body’s needs.

  2. Breastfed babies have a higher IQ: Breastfeeding has been shown to be associated with an increase in intelligence. A study reported that subjects who had been breastfed for 12 months+ had a higher IQ (an average gain of 3.44 points). Your future Valedictorian thanks you in advance, mama!

  3. Breast milk is ever-changing: Your breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of your growing baby. Breast milk is packed with immunity and contain antibodies that help your baby fight against infection. If you or your baby are sick, the amount of these cells in your breast milk increases. Let’s build up that immunity, naturally.

  4. Breastfeeding mamas are less likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression: A study found that women who breastfeed their infants reduced their risk of developing postpartum depression. A breastfeeding mama’s brain releases the hormones prolactin and oxytocin during breastfeeding, which help you bond with your baby and ease those feelings of anxiety. Kick that stress to the curb.

  5. Your breast milk has a unique smell and taste: Your baby can specifically smell your milk. Babies have a well-developed sense of smell and know their mama’s specific breast milk scent, which is why they’ll turn their head to you when hungry. Also, the taste of your breast milk can change depending on the foods you eat exposing your baby to more flavors which can lead them to be less picky eaters once you begin introducing solids. How cool is that?

  6. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of common illnesses: Breastfeeding lowers the risk of stomach problems, ear infections, respiratory infections, asthma and diarrhea. Breast milk contains antibodies, enzymes, and white blood cells which protect your baby from viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections and illnesses. Great job, mama.

  7. Breastfeeding reduces your risk of disease: Breastfeeding can help lower a mama’s risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. A study found that women who breastfed for more than 12 months had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. Your health is important too!

  8. Bigger breasts don’t always mean more milk: Breast size is irrelevant when it comes to how much milk you produce. The amount of milk you produce is correlated to how much milk your baby drinks. The more your baby breastfeeds, the more milk you produce to keep up with the baby’s demand. Fear not itty bitty club 😉.

  9. Breastfeeding saves you money: The Surgeon General estimates that mamas who breastfeed can save around $1,500 or more in the first year alone by breastfeeding instead of purchasing formula. Breastfeeding your baby costs $0 – you go mama! Save that dough while also providing your baby with the very best food in the entire world. 

  10. Breastmilk is filled with hormones to help your baby: Studies confirm that hormone-level fluctuation triggers certain developmental milestones, such as opening the eyes, reproductive organ development, and growth spurts. The essential hormones within your breast milk that influence you baby’s development include:
    • Melatonin to help babies sleep
    • Leptin to control weight, appetite and promote a healthy gut microbiome
    • Endorphins to provide comfort and diminish pain
    • Thyroxine to help the metabolism and intestines
    • Oxytocin to decrease heart rate and blood pressure

There are so many benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mama. You are doing great mama, keep going strong! 


As always, if you have any concerns or questions, consult a healthcare or lactation professional.

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