Are you breastfeeding blissfully or enduring a toe-curling horror-of-woes?  Somewhere in between, perhaps?

Not all women can breastfeed; some choose not to and some breastfeed for a short season. I didn’t breastfeed all of my children, so there’s certainly no guilt-fest coming from me.

But for those who are breastfeeding and need some encouragement, I want provide you with a quick list of some of the remarkable things you're achieving in this season.

1. You're providing a deluge of nutrients to your baby

Human milk is crazy amazing; it contains a comprehensive range of vitamins and minerals required for your tiny human to grow and its composition is easily digestible and specific to YOUR baby!

It also contains both saturated and unsaturated fats, as well as cholesterol, an important component of brain and nerve tissue. You’ll be giving her the best shot at that Einstein IQ.

2. You're bonding with your baby

Your baby not only benefits emotionally because she’s snuggled but when she suckles at your boob, your ‘love hormone’ oxytocin is produced. Scientists say it’s this hormone that enhances feelings of trust, love and affection and that’s just plain cute.

Oxytocin creates much stronger links between nerve cells too - creating a 'positive feedback' loop; where the greater the concentration of it, the faster it is produced. Win-win for baby’s nervous system!

3. You're increasing your baby’s immunity and health

Even before your milk ‘comes in’, colostrum (that yellowy stuff) contains a substance referred to as IgA. This substance guards your bub against germs by forming a protective layer on the mucous membranes around her intestines, nose and throat.  Kinda gross but totally cool.

Once your body starts producing breastmilk, your body responds to pathogens (baddies) that are in your body and makes IgA specifically to combat them. Based on whatever your body is made vulnerable to, it in-turn creates the perfect protection for your baby.

Studies show that protection from illness goes beyond the breastfeeding stage too. Research shows that breastfeeding can reduce the likelihood of certain cancers during childhood and may even prevent diabetes and high cholesterol in later life.

4. You're able to breastfeed on-the-go

Nothing beats the freedom of lifting your top and latching your little one on for a feed. Once those first few crazy weeks of breastfeeds are over and your supply has settled, it’s very probable that breastfeeding can be done with ease.  It certainly sure beats having to sterilise bottles, plus it’s free and is always served at the right temperature. Best take-out in town!

So, if you’re able to breastfeed or if you’ve tried it even for a short while, give yourself an extra little pat on the back (and feel the love) your baby will benefit from your efforts. What’s more, you’ll feel a real sense of achievement to see her growing and developing thanks to something that’s produced by you 😊

Milky hugs...