By Triuna Taylor

Breastfeeding/chestfeeding is a timeless act that enhances the natural connection that occurs between mothers/birthing people and babies. It is a unique experience that creates a strong bond between a person and their child. During Breastfeeding Awareness Month, join us as we delve into the wonders of breastfeeding/chestfeeding.

The Natural Miracle

Breast/chest milk is a living, dynamic substance that adapts to the changing needs of the growing infant. It contains a blend of nutrients, antibodies, and growth factors that protect the baby from infections and diseases, boosting their immunity. Breastfeeding/chestfeeding is recommended during the first six months of life when an infant’s immune system is still developing.

Enhanced Birthing Parent-Child Bond:

Beyond its nutritional value, breastfeeding/chestfeeding fosters an emotional bond between a mother/birthing person and child. The skin-to-skin contact and eye contact during feeding stimulate the release of oxytocin, often referred to as the “love hormone.” This promotes feelings of love, trust, and connection between the mother/birthing person and their baby.

Long-Term Health Benefits

The benefits of breastfeeding/chestfeeding extends well into the future. Breastfed/chestfed babies have a reduced risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain childhood cancers. Furthermore, mothers/birthing people who breastfeed/chestfeed are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer, as well as type 2 diabetes

Overcoming Challenges

While breastfeeding/chestfeeding is recommended as best practice, it may not always be easy or feasible for mothers/birthing people. Many mothers/birthing people face challenges such as latching issues, low milk supply, or work-related obstacles. By working with a lactation specialist, mothers/birthing people can learn techniques to make breastfeeding/chestfeeding more comfortable for them. Find a lactation specialist and other youth-friendly healthcare providers here.

Breastfeeding/chestfeeding is more than just a method of providing nourishment; it nurtures both the physical and emotional growth of a child. At Teen Health Mississippi, we celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding/chestfeeding. By supporting mothers/birthing people and connecting them to information and resources on topics like breastfeeding/chestfeeding, we envision a world where every child receives the best possible start in life.

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