Friday, September 9, 2011

Happy Milk Day

Today is 30 days from my due date. This means that I could reasonably be holding my second born any time between 16 and 44 days from now. If the number 16 didn’t bring it home, the arrival of my milk this morning did! 

We are having such a lovely time right now, Thacia and I. She cuddles. I treasure it. She is sleeping in of mornings, and I get a few minutes or maybe an hour to do devotions and write. That will change in something under 50 days, and I think I am looking forward to that too. 


I have no conception of what it will be like, except that I love the sanity that nursing brings. I love that there is no pressure to get things done that surmounts cuddling and resting with your new little life. I love the connection. I love knowing that it is the best thing I could possibly be doing for my child. Even though research on breastfeeding and milk is very incomplete there are so many things about it that fill me with wonder, and I am celebrating them today: 

Did you know that the milk the baby gets for the first few days (colostrum) has between 1 and 5 million white cells per milliliter? That’s 100 times more than you have in your blood. Even 6 months later, breast milk passes on 10-20 times more white cells per milliliter than run in your veins. Guess how many white cells are in formula? Zero. 

Breastmilk is produced on demand. The more the baby takes, the more you make! No measuring required. 

Breast milk has antibodies perfectly designed to combat whatever your baby has been exposed to, so even if you get sick, your body is protecting your little one. After the first year of nursing breastmilk has even higher concentrations of Lysozyme, an immune factor that attacks the cell walls of bacteria and destroys them... just in time for baby to start putting more things in his/her mouth! 

Did you know that breastfed babies get fewer ear infections, gastrointestinal problems, SIDS deaths, respiratory problems, and childhood cancers? Did you know that breastfeeding your little girl helps protect her from breast cancer later? Did you know that breastfeeding helps reduce weight problems in your children as adults?

Did you know that breastfeeding significantly reduces your risk of breast cancer and may also reduce your risk of uterine cancer as well? The more months you nurse, the better. 

Did you know that though formula is theoretically more appropriate for babies than cow's milk there are no long-term clinical studies that show any difference? Cow's milk and formula are more similar than breastmilk and formula.

God designed the most amazing and irreplaceable system for feeding babies, and we can all drink to that! 


Asher's Mom said...

Beautifully put, and so true. And thanks for the reminder. With Audrey being a few weeks out from her 2nd birthday I'm officially in new nursing territory. And while I wouldn't think of weaning her, some days are definitely a challenge. Always nice to get a little reminder of the good I'm doing. Can't wait to see pics of your new little one! :)

Anna said...

I accidentally +1'd this on G+ under Bubba's name. My bad. But interesting facts, all. I'm so glad mom nursed us and I don't have any weird aversions to it! Getting women to understand the benefits vs. inconveniences of breastfeeding in Chicago was a nightmare. We would all rejoice for the occasional new mother who would even consider breastfeeding. Formula was the norm, which I think is so bizarre. I mean, really, why pay for formula when you have a built in system? Oh, the mysteries of womanhood.

kirsten schueler said...

I'm still sad I never could make any milk for my baby girls. I worked harder at making milk then almost anything else I've ever done. But, God knew my boobies wouldn't work so I feel better about that. So glad it works for other women though! I rejoice when it works for my friends.


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