From the unexpected health perks to the just plain weird breastfeeding facts, we’ve got the scoop.
When I found out I was expecting my first child, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but I had no idea what I should expect. Even though I read up on the basics and stocked up on nursing pads, lanolin, and mother’s milk tea, when my daughter was born and the time came for me to start feeding her, I quickly realized how little I actually knew about breastfeeding.
Today, I have three kids who have all been breastfed. I certainly have a handle on the basics; I have years of round-the-clock feedings to thank for that. Still, I am constantly learning more remarkable—and frankly weird—facts about breastfeeding.
Even as a seasoned nursing mom, I am always in awe of my body’s ability to keep my children well fed for the entire first year their lives.
Think you know everything about breastfeeding? Think again. Here are 10 weird things no one tells you about breastfeeding.
1. The composition of breast milk is customized for your baby
Babies eat roughly the same amount of breast milk from the day of their birth until 6 months of age, when moms typically introduce some solid foods. However, what a baby needs from their mother’s milk changes on a daily—if not hourly—basis.
Amazingly, a mother’s body is able to respond to those needs by changing up the composition of breast milk.
For instance, milk produced during sleeping hours contains higher levels of human milk nucleotides, which are believed to induce sleep in infants, according to one study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience.
Remarkably, when babies nurse while they’re sick, their backwash is believed to make its way into your body, signaling your milk to adapt to fight infection, according to Science News.