Breastfeeding Superpower

Posted by  cheryl  Jun 14, 2014

I recently did this little quiz to find out my breastfeeding superhero name.  Mine was The Grand High Boobie Train, thank you very much!  Some others were The Amazing Treasure Chest, Super Nursing Shark, or how about Princess Cream Stream.  Fun, right?!  Breasts are super cool, is that weird for me to say? Nah, I have a pair. I am currently using them to nurse my fifth baby. When I was young and in love with my first son, I breastfed for all of the obvious reasons. He needed to be fed, I made milk, seemed like the thing to do. Not to mention it was free! I've since learned a lot about this superpower! There are some really cool benefits to breastfeeding that I didn't know back then. Who would have guessed we were so perfectly made for our babies? Here are a few of my favorite....


  1. Babies are born ready and expecting to nurse. Some take longer to get the hang of it but all babies are programmed wanting their mother's milk. Your breasts are preparing for your baby during your pregnancy. You probably noticed your breasts getting larger, your areolas and nipples getting bigger and darker, and colostrum (baby's first milk) leaking. The bumps that surround the nipple (called Montgomery glands) excrete an oil that cleanses and moisturizes the nipple and also smells like amniotic fluid. When put skin to skin on mom's chest after birth, babies have been known to crawl to the breast, find the nipple and latch on! They use their whole bodies to work their way up, the stepping reflex, head bobbing, and wide open mouth are all used to find the yumminess!


  1. The first milk is colostrum and sometimes referred to as “liquid gold.” This first milk is chock-full of baby protecting goodness. The antibodies and immunoglobulins protect baby from bacteria and viruses. It seals her intestines to keep out bacteria and helps to expel the first poop called meconium. Your breasts only make a small amount of colostrum because they don't need a lot! Their tummies are only about the size of a shooter marble when they are first born. This also gives them time to perfect their latch and their suck/swallow/breathe action before your milk comes in and your breasts are much fuller. Perfect, right?


  1. Breastmilk changes according to the time of day, age and particular needs of the baby. Milk produced in the morning has “wake up, time to play” compounds where as night time milk has “let's snuggle and go to sleep” compounds. As the baby gets older, the milk changes. The milk produced for a new baby is different than the milk made for a 6 month old. The flavor of breastmilk also varies according to what you eat so when baby is ready for solids he is used to the flavors of the foods you regularly make for your family. This can make transitioning to solids easier and more enjoyable!  Come on, how cool is that?


  2. Another cool thing about breastfeeding is that if your baby is exposed to a virus, your body starts making immunities to that virus and passes them on to your baby to help her fight the illness. Even if YOU were not exposed to it, your baby's saliva enters your breasts, your body detects the virus and makes little superhero fighters to help your baby's immune system. That's a serious superpower right there!


  1. Bonding – This may be the best part of breastfeeding, in my opinion. Oxytocin, the love hormone, is released during breastfeeding which causes moms and babies to fall in love. Another hormone, prolactin, is released that makes mom relaxed and calm as she snuggles her baby and soaks in the sweet baby goodness. When babies are born they can only see about 12 inches, which happens to be the distance between the breast and mom's eyes. Skin to skin contact, breastfeeding, staying close are all wonderful ways of bonding with your baby. You and your baby were made for each other, you are a perfect fit!


See, I told you breasts are cool! Having a newbie in the house is a pretty sweet time. Soak it in, love and cherish it. It goes by really fast, I promise.


Happy breastfeeding!

Cheryl (aka The Grand High Boobie Train)