Benefits of Breast feeding
As I become more in tune with my children I can appreciate the details in which they communicate what they need and how my wife responds. However, having spoken with numerous men who have been left frustrated by the family law system, which often does more harm than good for the family, I think its important to note that momma doesn’t always know best.
Uh oh, but before we sound the alarms I should clarify… I say it’s only a healthy momma that knows best.
What do I mean? Well I mean that in this new era of family separation and divorce there has been a bias to award a woman custody solely because she is a woman, regardless of the complete assessment of circumstances and the other parent’s qualities. It should never be assumed that motherly instinct will activate good judgement, because quite honestly a lot of good parenting skills have either been damaged or abandoned over the past few generations. Such things as cooking nutritious meals, breast feeding, maintaining a clean and well organized home, teaching and disciplining the children have all suffered loss as women have been either encouraged or burdened to assume the financial head of household role.
It’s a complicated situation, with both men and women behaving poorly in times of separation, but too often I’ve seen men left hurt and ashamed as they deal with being estranged from their children. Men can act out their hurt and shame in ways women don’t understand (especially women raised without men in the home), which only exacerbates the estrangement.
But a woman with understanding, patience and a willingness to put her children’s needs before her own should be respected and revered, and most often mom and dad can reach a higher level of parenting with these virtues intact.
So while a lot of people say “momma knows best,” let me specifically state, “a healthy momma knows best!”
When momma is at her best in mind, body and soul, she understands that good mothering involves sacrifice. And in pursuit of nourishing her children’s bodies, she will nourish her own in order to provide nature’s best to her babies in the form of breast milk. Then as they grow she will learn about their nutritional needs and acquire some basic kitchen skills to provide home cooked meals for them.
Likewise, a healthy father can support momma by making some sacrifices of his own. He’ll recognize the importance of breast feeding and if possible financially support her choice to stay home during baby’s first year, or encourage her to continue breast feeding (breast pumping) when returning to the workforce. He’ll reassure her about the changes taking place in her body while offering positive encouragement to make healthy choices in diet and exercise.
I’ve seen plenty of women raised without proper role models rise to the occasion and grow into awesome mothers, and I’ve also seen men from fatherless homes step up to bat and become stellar husbands and fathers. Regardless of our “home training,” we can all take it up a notch and raise a generation of little soldiers who are empowered in mind, body and soul.
And although I’ve taken a slight detour in this post, let’s take a closer look at why breast feeding is so important!
The importance of breast feeding:
While baby formula and perky breasts have become a new societal norm, nothing can compete with the health benefits of momma’s breast milk. Babies are proven to be healthier, smarter and have better development when breast fed for at least two years. But it should be noted that not all breast milk is the same! If a mother isn’t properly nourished with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, she won’t be able to provide the amount of nutrients her baby needs, and she may also damage her own body in the process. Momma’s health is of utmost importance to her children!
Below are seven benefits of breast feeding:
- Breast milk is made specifically for the baby, it is easier to digest and contains the baby’s only source of beneficial bacteria. Without it, the baby may grow up with impaired digestive abilities, which will lead to continual digestion problems at least, all the way up to severe chronic ailments at worst.
- Breast milk is the standard by which everything should be measured for babies. Although there are times when a mother can’t produce enough milk, any supplementation with formula should attempt to mimic the fat, vitamin and nutrient content of breast milk, with minimal additives and chemically laden processing methods. For those interested in a natural alternative to commercial formula, some very healthy homemade recipes for baby formula can be found here.
- You breast milk transfers immunity to intestinal infections to your baby and adapts appropriately as the baby grows. Every time a baby latches onto momma’s breast, her skin detects potential illness through the baby’s saliva, stimulating the breast to make antibodies specific to baby’s needs.
- Breastfeeding saves money – formula is expensive!
- Breastfeeding helps you lose weight – Because breast milk is largely composed of saturated fat (48% no less), mom not only needs to consume more healthy fats, but she’ll burn them much quicker, too! Bonus!
- Breastfeeding can lower risk of breast cancer – Studies show that women who breastfeed for 6 months or longer are less likely to develop breast cancer.
- Recent studies have shown that breast fed babies are less likely to develop a number of diseases later in life, including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15