World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7 and to celebrate and spread the world, The Pistachio Project will be featuring guest posts by fellow bloggers! Today’s featured blogger is Kareen from Pink Heart String. Check out her post below!
Breastfeeding, cuddling and nursing my daughter is one of the best moments I have as a mother. I believe that it is one thing that no one else can do for her but me. When my daughter was born, she was immediately guided to crawl towards by breasts and had her first suck of milk. The feeling was unexplainable. Seeing my daughter the first time was already love at first sight but the bonding started to bloom when I was able to breastfeed her right after birth. This is the first wonder of my breastfeeding experience.
But my daughter Bella was not well because she was affected with the urinary tract infection I got while pregnant. So, she was confined to the NICU to get cured. I needed to breastfeed her a lot so that she can gain weight and be healed from her pneumonia at once. I endured walking towards the NICU even at 3 o’clock in the morning for 7 days. One breastfeeding session would last for an hour or so. It was all worth it. My breastfeeding was successful because she gained weight and was also healed with the help of the antibiotics. For me, this is the second wonder breastfeeding did to my daughter.
Then the wonders of breastfeeding never ended until today that my daughter is already two years old. Aside from providing food, nutrition and immunity, breastfeeding is also about establishing a bond between a mother and a child. It is a time not just for nursing and nurturing but also a time for nonverbal communication as we familiarize each other’s voice, scent and physique. It also helps build trust and would make babies feel secure and protected. The mom and baby bonding can be affected by different aspects. This will include comfort nursing, skin to skin contact and eye contact.
Babies feel loved and they are attached to their moms. When in pain, a baby can feel better and would find comfort by breastfeeding. This is what we call comfort nursing. I have observed that every time my baby cries or in pain, she would feel better once I nurse her. Well, I guess one reason why they would stop crying is because their mouths are busy sucking than wailing and they feel secured and protected on a mother’s arm.
Skin to Skin Contact
The effect of skin to skin contact contributes a lot to the baby’s feeling of comfort and satisfaction. It could enhance the attachment of a mom and a baby. It gives a soothing feeling to both of you. It is said that with skin to skin contact, there is an increased release of oxytocin which is a feel good hormone that makes attachment possible. It develops fondness for both of you. That is why my daughter would always prefer to be with me even if we are just at home. She would always say, “Go to Mommy” every time she is not with me for a few hours.
Eye to Eye Contact
When nursing a baby, it not just skin to skin contact that occurs but also eye to eye contact. Looking at your baby to the eyes could help encourage positive responses like responding to your smile and merely by studying your face. This would certainly develop your relationship. This could also help your baby to practice in focusing. Eye to eye contact can provide meaningful communication between you and your baby.
Babies that are breastfeed could feel enhanced care but it doesn’t mean that those who bottle feed are given lesser care. We also need to recognize the fact that not all mothers are able and capable of breastfeeding. But they can still develop their relationship with their babies by holding them while bottle feeding. It is important that babies are cuddled and held for it is one way of showing love to them.
Some may not believe that breastfeeding has something to do with a mom and baby’s attachment but as per experience, I consider it a fact. I feel a lot closer to my baby. She is my best friend, my sister and my daughter – and we will be forever like this because we were able to create a good foundation of our relationship that nothing can ever put down. This is indeed a great wonder from breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is not just about milk. It is also about love. Getting close to your baby is a magical feeling. As a matter of fact, love can even be an understatement.
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Kareen Liez Datoy is a full-time mom to an adorable two year old daughter. She writes for a graphic design and home design website while blogging at the same time on Pink HeartString. She wanted to share stories about how she takes care of her daughter and to share other valuable information to other mommies. She is a civil engineer by profession but prefers to stay at home to take care of her daughter.