Growing up, I was never exposed to the culture of breastfeeding. I only ever saw the infants being bottle-fed formula. It seems to have been generational and that’s how I thought babies were supposed to be fed. Speaking to my parents about breastfeeding has been very interesting. They are open to the concept of breastfeeding now, but it was not a popular trend when I was young.
While in school for my RN degree, I fell in love with the whole childbirth experience. It is truly amazing to be able to see how a woman’s body can change in a matter of hours or even minutes. The body goes from housing and supporting the growth of a baby inside, to transforming to providing that nurturing care outside.
Ever since then knew that I wanted to work in this area. It was through this experience that my perspective on breastfeeding changed. After taking my first 20-hour WHO breastfeeding class, I knew that I wanted to further my education. I could go on and on for hours about breastfeeding, however, I am just going to share some fun facts as to why I think breast milk is truly liquid gold.
Fun Fact #1- Breast milk is composed of living cells! Including stem cells!
Fun Fact #2- Breast milk changes in the composition according to your baby’s needs!
Fun Fact #3- Breast milk helps boost your baby’s immune system! It contains immunoglobulins that help fight various infections.
Fun Fact #4- Breastfeeding can help decrease the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)!
Fun Fact #5- Breastfeeding helps contract the uterus in the post-partum period and can decrease the incidence of a post-partum hemorrhage.
Fun Fact #6- Women need to consume an extra 400-500 calories a day due to the metabolic needs for breastfeeding!
Fun Fact #7- The amount of breast milk that a woman produces is independent of breast size!
Fun Fact #8- Breastfeeding is easy and accessible at any time! No need to clean or heat!
Fun Fact #9- Breast milk changes during a feed! It starts off with foremilk which is high in protein and lactose, and hindmilk which is high in fats.
Fun Fact #10- Most importantly, helps to increase mother-infant bonding!
It is my goal for people to make informed decisions regarding how to feed their baby and the benefits of breast milk. I understand that every situation and every baby is different. I have a passion for breastfeeding and I am honoured I get to share that with others. Whatever you decide is up to you. The most important thing is that you enjoy your bundle of joy every step of the way!
Jennifer Drouin BScN, RN, IBCLC
Jennifer Drouin currently works as a Registered Nurse in Childbirth at two local hospitals and has recently achieved certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).