The wonder of breastfeeding is a process that perfectly depicts the intention in God’s flawless design.
· The maternal powers are not merely instinctual but in fact physical.
· Our bodies are able to produce an ever-changing source of nutrients specifically tailored to the current needs of our baby.
If that doesn’t leave you breathlessly in awe of the maternal design, I don’t know what will. Understandably when you’re engorged and milk soaked at 2 am, it’s a little harder to appreciate, but a gift nonetheless.
Breastfeeding offers countless psychological and physical benefits for both mom and baby, produced in response to the supply demands and nutritional needs of the baby. The breastmilk will change its content to provide extra fat, hydration, and even antibodies for the baby to fight off viruses and infections as needed. This innate exchange expresses the physical bond between mother and baby; similarly, the bond benefits the two psychologically as well. The bonding time shared while breastfeeding demands to be time spent in the calm-quiet presence of your baby, while simultaneously providing daily doses of oxytocin and an ever-strengthening connection. The milk, sufficient in nutrients, carries with it dependency and trust, in exchange for oxytocin, reducing the toll of the post-partum period on the mother’s mind and body.
If the physical and mental benefits weren’t enough, breastfeeding can also be a means of saving time and money. As we’ve recently experienced firsthand, a dependence on formula (though in some cases, necessary) can be costly in general; but especially when faced with supply shortages. It is estimated that breastfeeding saves a family at least $2,000 a year when compared to the annual cost of formula. Breastfeeding also provides a sense of convenience, allowing moms to feed on demand regardless of time and location with little to no preparation.
While breastfeeding can be seemingly simple and convenient, the dedication it requires should not be overlooked or downplayed, as it’s estimated that a mother who exclusively breastfeeds for a year spends approximately 1,800 hours feeding… almost equating to a 40-hour work week. It seems appropriate to honor such a God given gift, and to appreciate the act of such selfless love and dedication.