Breastfeeding used to be a normal thing in Western society, but today it is a thing of the past. Why has this common practice disappeared so quickly? The main reason is because our education system does a poor job teaching us about the health benefits of breastfeeding. Also, the dairy industry’s advertising and lobbying methods do not help either. They have slowly conditioned us to believe that breastfeeding is not normal and should be banned in public places.
The health benefits of breast milk
The health benefits of breast milk are so astonishing that it has been used to treat all kind of diseases. These health benefits are made possible because of its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Plus, it is full of essential nutrients for fighting diseases, such as cancer.
As described at Mothering.com.
Breast milk may even kill cancer cells. In 1995 physician and immunologist Catharina Svanborg and a team of research biologists at Sweden’s Lund University discovered in breast milk a protein compound, alpha-lactalbumin (they gave it the acronym HAMLET), that selectively induces apoptosis in tumor cells.4 In other words, HAMLET makes cancer cells commit suicide. In fact, it has killed every type of cancer the researchers have tested it against. HAMLET has also been used to successfully treat virally infected warts, which were reduced by 75 percent in volunteers who received daily treatments with an ointment containing the protein. The same viruses that cause warts are also linked to cervical cancer, genital warts, and some types of skin cancer. Well, we all knew that breast milk is powerful.
Besides its effectiveness against cancer, breast milk is also effective at treating: acne, pinkeye, stuffy nose, cold sores, blisters, burns, cuts, insect bites, ear infections, diaper rash, sore throat and warts. Best of all, breast milk gives babies the gift of life. No food in the world can give a baby the right nutrients, hormones and natural prebiotics like breast milk.
Another important fact about breast milk is that each mother produces her own unique milk designed specifically for her own baby. This way, her baby is given the best nourishment to grow and evolve. These features make breast milk the number one food source for keeping babies healthy.
Breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mothers and babies
Breastfeeding has great health potentials, but it is also one of the most effective techniques for increasing the bond between a mother and her baby.
Zaslow and Breger, in their brilliant study of infantile autism, point out the four great needs for bonding: holding, with a body molding of the infant to one’s self; prolonged and steady eye contact; smiling; and soothing sounds. Breastfeeding, of course, furnishes all these at once, and body stimulus is what must be added to that vital body-molding contact.
Marshall Klaus of Case Western Reserve Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio, has made the most articulate, thorough, and brilliant study of bonding to date. He has shown how bonding is a carefully programmed instinctual response built into us genetically. The mother is genetically programmed to bond to the infant at his/her birth, and the infant is programmed to expect her response. Indeed, without it, the infant is in grave trouble. Bonding may even involve specific hormones, and breastfeeding may prove one of the most critical factors in establishing the bond. (source: Joseph Chilton Pearce, Magical Child.)
The bonding process does not only involve eye contact, facial expressions, body language, touch, and verbal sounds but also the synchronicity of the mother’s heart and that of the infant’s. Before the birthing process, the heart of the mother and her infant are always synchronizing and communicating with each other. This process establishes the first bond between the mother and her infant. After the infant is born, more bonding occurs during breastfeeding and nurturing.
This process of nurturing is nature’s way of making sure the infant’s heart, brain, body and mind develop properly so he/she is ready for the new world. The bonding and nurturing process also pass certain characteristics of the mother and father to their infant.
The problem with parents today is that they do not spend enough time with their babies. This is not always their fault because our current society has established a system that makes it really hard for parents and babies to bond. Some parents work so much that they barely get to see their babies until the weekend.
The popularity of bottlefeeding is also an obstacle that is diminishing the bonding between families. When babies are bottle fed, they are sometime left alone. This separation causes babies to rely on their bottles instead of their mothers for stimulation; therefore, decreasing the bond between mothers and their babies.
Bottlefeeding is also a health hazard to babies because of the hazardous synthetic chemicals found in baby milk formula and plastic bottles. One of them is Bisphenol A (BPA), a hazardous chemical that has been known to disrupt the natural development process. BPA is commonly found in plastic products.
The absence of breastfeeding, increase practice of bottlefeeding and lack of play time between parents and their babies are some of the main causes for poor health, intelligence and bonding in babies. As babies grow older, these situations manifest into even bigger issues, leading to family problems. The lack of bonding in families is the reason why families are falling apart and children are becoming more destructive and less cooperative.