What is the greatest gift we can give our children? Without a doubt, it is our breastmilk. Breastmilk is always available, needs no heating and no sterilised water or bottles; does not require you to watch the clock, and there will be no panic when the formula runs out. There is always an ample supply, at the right temperature going from your body into your baby’s body. What could be more ideal?
Sadly, many doubt that a breast is capable of feeding another human; there can be problems, criticisms, and feelings of doubt. Many believe that formula is superior and that breastfeeding is not suited to today’s fast-paced life. Too often, breastfeeding is shrouded in disbelief and a lack of information.
Yet breastmilk is the ideal food for a baby, with a perfect blend of nutrients, combined with antibody substances to counter infections, and it lays down the optimal foundation for baby’s life. It can also ward off cancer in the mother, prevent obesity, diabetes, allergies and many other health problems for your child in his or her life, And it provides your young baby with innumerable other health benefits.
Apart from the nourishment of breastmilk, the act of breastfeeding creates an unbelievable bond between mother and child, lasting well into the child’s life. It stimulates the breastfeeding hormones that are shared with the partner, who becomes even more understanding and protective. It creates optimal development of the mouth, ears and jaw, and is said to encourage greater intellectual growth.
So why not give your baby the greatest gift this Christmas? It will outlast all those teddies and rattles and will stay with your baby for his or her entire life.
La La Leche League is happy to help you with your Christmas present. Check out our website http://lalecheleague.ch/en/ for details about our monthly mothers’ meetings, list of breastfeeding LLL advisors and your enquiries. We are there to help you with practical tips and information, support, motivation and more. If you would like help with this greatest Christmas gift, just contact us.
By Joanna Koch
Joanna has been a La Leche League advisor since the early 1990s. A mother from one of her groups launched the idea of Mothering Matters in 1994 which has now developed into a successful online website, helping mothers, fathers and families over many years. Joanna has three children and eight wonderful and loving (and breastfed) grandchildren.
Illustration by Susana Gutierrez
Susana is the mother of two little girls and a freelance illustrator. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org