Mama, you are amazing and I am here to tell you why. You are probably here because you are breastfeeding or you would like to give breastfeeding a shot. That is amazing! You are choosing to do something that will give your baby lifelong benefits, and you will get some too! Literally making a baby from two cells and sustaining this life for 9 months is amazing, and now you are going to do it (hopefully) for another 6-12 months. Breastfeeding is amazing, it is actual proof that you are a mammal. Let’s talk about all of the reasons why you should feel like superwoman while you are breastfeeding, because let’s face it, having a newborn is HARD, but being the sole person who can feed this little human can add to the stress. So let’s focus on all the reasons that you are a superwoman so that when you are having those hard days you can remember the reasons you made this choice and the reasons that it makes you an absolutely amazing person and mother. I am convinced that breastfeeding is an actual super power.
First off, before we even get into breastfeeding you just created a tiny human being. All 7 pounds 1 oz of that baby was YOU! OK, your partner probably helped with 1 sperm, but the rest all came from you. You are absolutely amazing. You just took 9 months out of your life and donated it and let someone else take over your body and gave it a home rent free. You went through nausea, pain, swollen feet, and yes of course you just went through labor and delivery or a c-section.
Labor and delivery
Alright now the part no one wants to remember (expect for this friend who told me she had no pain with labor and delivery, whatttt, like is that even possible?) Anyways, most of us will feel pain with labor and delivery Most people will tell you that you will get amnesia and want to have another child soon after. I will say I did want to have another child soon after my first was born, but it wasn’t because of forgetting about the pain. The pain is still very real to this day, over a year after my first child has been born but yes I would do it again if it meant holding another perfect baby in my arms and getting to watch them grow up and learn and discover new things every day. I’ve never had a c-section but I know many women who have and most would choose a vaginal birth over a c-section (those who have had both).
And now the part we are all here for. You are feeding this child! Exclusively! Or not, that is alright too. No matter what you are creating a sustaining force for this baby and that in itself is AMAZING, but not only that your breastmilk is amazing. According to the CDC you need an additional 500 calories a day when breastfeeding. You are already exhausted from the trials of labor and delivery, and lack of sleep over trying to keep this child alive, and the anxiety, but you are also sustaining this life and have to somehow remember to eat an extra 500 calories a day! That honestly should make you feel like superwoman! And if I know anything about women, you are one!
Baby knows how to do it naturally
I know this post is about how moms have super powers, but let’s be honest, this baby just spent 9 months in your stomach and comes out ready to breastfeed. This is a super power all in it’s own. You are going to help your baby and guide them, but that’s what we are going to do the rest of our lives with this new title of “Mom.” Even if we did not help them at all baby’s who are put on mama’s chest will find their way to mama’s breast. This is so common it is called the breast crawl. Look it up, it is amazing that these newborns have their own little superpower.
Supply and demand
Your body will make exactly how much or how little your baby needs. Your breastmilk is made on demand. If baby needs it, your body will supply it. There are some moms who struggle with milk supply but there are ways to increase it and generally speaking (for the majority of women) if your baby asks for it your body will supply it. If you have your milk set your body will take a day or 2 to increase supply but if your baby continues to ask for more you WILL make more.
Changes flavor and color
What you eat goes through your milk and your breastmilk can change flavor, introducing your child to many different flavors way before baby even tries solid foods. Many women have also noticed that their pumped milk turns a green color when they have the COVID-19 infection and that is because your baby is getting all of those wonderful antibodies from you!
You are protecting your child from infections.
The first 90 days newborns are more susceptible to having a hard time with many infections, even just the common cold. Breastfeeding helps protect your child from these. Your breastmilk is naturally tailored to exactly what your baby needs and you don’t even have to think twice about it, your body just knows exactly what baby needs and gives it to them. Baby’s who are breastfed statistically have much lower cases of ear infections among many other infections.
Promotes skin to skin
Breastfeeding promotes skin to skin. Skin to skin has many benefits for both you and baby. This is where bonding happens! Your body will change temperatures to exactly what baby needs, cooling him down or warming him up. Again you don’t even have to think about this, your body just knows what to do! Again superwoman! By now I hope you are just claiming this title, you deserve it.
Calm a crying baby
Ever heard a baby who seems to be out of control screaming. Guess what, insert boob and quiet crying baby. Most natural easy thing in the world. And so what if people say that you are using your boob as a pacifier. That is your right as that baby’s mom. Remember that you can’t spoil a newborn. These first couple of months are for you and baby to grow a bond that is going to become inseparable.
Breastmilk changes as your baby grows.
As baby grows and becomes older your milk changes. It goes from colostrum to transitional milk to mature milk and once it is mature milk it still changes for baby. On hot days your breastmilk will have a higher water content to give baby everything it needs to stay hydrated. Mature milk has fore-milk and hind-milk so that baby hydrates at first and then will fill up with a higher fat content at the end of the feed. Your body automatically does this. I mean kind of like a super power, but that is what I have been saying all along.
Anywhere and anytime
The great thing about breastfeeding is you can do it anytime and anywhere with no prep needed. Literally all you NEED is mama and baby. You don’t need bottles, you don’t need refrigeration, you don’t need powder. You have it all and baby has the know how to get it from you. You can do it at any time of the day. If you are at the grocery store and baby decides that they are hungry you do NOT have to listen to a screaming baby until you get out of the grocery store.
As a side note I will teach you ways to conceal it if you would like to but you can also just pull out your boob and give it to your baby because that is your right! And if anyone has a problem with it, well they are probably just jealous about your super power. Am I right? Times are changing and people need to change with them. If you feel comfortable I 100% encourage you to breastfeed in public, as doing so will lead the way for other women to feel more comfortable and for breastfeeding to become more of a natural thing in other people’s eyes, because let’s be honest it is 100% natural.
Did you know that in other countries where breastfeeding is natural and everyone sees it breastfeeding rates are a lot higher? Well that is a post for another day, but I am here to encourage you to do it in public, but hey if you don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, there are other ways to get baby fed without the whole world knowing that you are.
If you ever feel down about your breastfeeding journey or feel like it is too hard and not worth it, I encourage you to come back to this post. If you are having any struggles with latch or supply then definitely seek help from a lactation consultant, but if you are feeling down about the journey, then definitely come back here and I hope this can be a place of encouragement for you, and help you realize something that you probably already know, that you are super woman and that baby is going to think you are a super mom, because you are and you have super powers, like every mama does!