Even though my youngest is 4 and I am not breastfeeding right now, I often think about “the old days” when I was breastfeeding and how amazing breastfeeding is. I mean, how cool is that, that our female bodies can make food for our babies?! I’ve got my superpower! I am a huge fan of nursing! It’s a sweet relationship that I miss. Here’s a fun infographic that one of my favorite breastfeeding experts, Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, created and gave license for copying. It shows how moms can have different storage capacities for milk in their breasts, yet in the end, their babies end up getting the same amount of milk, because they nurse for different numbers of time in 24 hours, and will nurse for different amounts of time. The size of your storage capacity is not determined by the size of your breast. See chart below. Fascinating!
Breastfeeding does make a difference! I could go on and on about it, after all, I have been a La Leche League Leader for over 15 years and have led many meetings where we talk about the importance of breastfeeding. I will leave all that out for now, and instead I will tell a little story about my oldest three kids (now ages 20, 18, and almost 16) teeth, and breastfeeding.
I took Child #3, who is almost 16, to the dentist this past week. The X-ray shows that he has great teeth, with room for all four wisdom teeth to come in! I count him as a breastfeeding-makes-great-teeth success story! (I was however, vegan with him during my whole pregnancy. He still has great teeth so that seems to discount the Weston A. Pricers. I think I had great nutritional stores back then and could “afford” nutritionally for a while.) I weaned Child #1 to a bottle (big mistake) when he was 1, and the repeated sucking for over a year after that made his mouth narrow. Hence, he had to have all his wisdom teeth removed, and he needed braces. Child #2 had an accident that knocked her teeth out of order when she was 2, and that meant braces for her when she got older, even though I nursed her for over 5, yes, count them, five years. I nursed Child #3 for over three years. He never had a bottle, and he never had an accident knocking his teeth around. Whew! Now he has perfect teeth, and all the wisdom teeth can come in.
So you know how great breastfeeding is, and want to keep it it up, but you are feeling nipple pain in those early weeks? Here’s a podcast by Nancy Mohrbacher about nipple pain. Listen here.