Knowledge is power, and a breastfeeding parent needs all the power they can get in their journey! Breastfeeding and pumping can seem alien to new nursing parents, so we’ve decided to break down 10 lactation tidbits into the following categories: breastmilk, pumping and cool facts. Let’s begin!

Breastmilk

  1. Colostrum: The first type of milk that will come in is called colostrum. It’s like a superfood that coats your baby’s stomach.
  2. Antibodies: Breastmilk has antibodies in it and when your baby is ill your breastmilk will change its antibody composition to act as a type of medicine.
  3. Use breastmilk in recipes when you begin solids: When your baby is ready for solid foods and you have breastmilk stored, feel free to substitute breastmilk for cow’s milk in your recipes.

Pumping

  1. Manual and Electric: There are manual breast pumps, like the Haakaa and Medela Harmony. There are also electric breast pumps (outlet and battery-powered.)
  2. Insurance and Hospital: Metropolitan Breastfeeding provides hospital-grade pump rentals, but your insurance may offer free personal use breast pumps!
  3. Donate Milk if you have excess: If you pump and have more than you know what to do with, you should donate to a milk bank – for example, the New York Milk Bank! These milk banks provide breastmilk to babies in need.

Cool

  1. Oxytocin released: The famous ‘love’ hormone is released when a breastfeeding baby is nursing. This hormone can lower stress, blood pressure and anxiety, while increasing relaxation.
  2. Thirty! Some women report becoming extremely thirsty during and after breastfeeding, so keep in mind to have that bottle of water nearby!
  3. Righty or lefty? Some believed that they produced more milk on their right side than their left. They may be right! A study found that it is common for the right breast to have a greater output than the left.
  4. It’s Alive! In 2007, Dr. Kakulas discovered that breastmilk has stem cells! Stem cells are basically cells that have the potential to become different types of cells inn the body. How cool is that?

Whew, that was a lot! And all of that really only scratches the surface of the lactation world, but it’s a start! We hope that you found out at least one thing about your liquid gold that you may not have known before. Have any other facts? Let us know on Facebook!