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Breastfeeding for Pleasure: The Added Bonus of Oxytocin

Posted on January 25th, 2013 by | 5 views
Debbie Page, RN, IBCLC, CEIM
 

Have you been thinking about how to feed your soon to be delivered baby? Will it be breastfeeding, breastmilk or formula or a combination? We’ve all heard that breastfeeding is best for the baby and that the benefits of breastmilk are tremendous. But are there other reasons to breastfeed your baby? Yes–for pleasure.

Most of us spend our lives working hard to get through school. Many of us spend the remainder of our lives working on our career to get to the end result of weekends, vacations and other pleasurable activities and ultimately retirement. Those end results are our pleasurable moments; our down time; our time to just hang out and be ourselves. Read about the pleasure breastfeeding brings and you may decide to breastfeed your baby from the beginning or for a few more months than you had originally planned.

Did you know that breastfeeding gives a mother a sense of well being? The hormone (neurotransmitter or chemical messenger) oxytocin is released every time your baby suckles. This hormone known as the ‘hormone of love’ and the ‘calm and connection hormone’ is the same hormone that flooded you when you fell in love. It is the chemical messenger that gives you the ‘Oh! My gosh, this is too good to be true and I hope it never ends!’ In combination with prolactin which is high during breastfeeding, oxytocin directs a mother’s love towards her infant causing her to fall in love and connect with her baby over and over again. And who doesn’t desire that feeling of pleasure?

Studies show that breastfeeding mothers do not see feeding or caring for their babies as a chore or as monotonous. This is one of the roles of oxytocin. Contrast with formula feeding mothers who often report the opposite–one of the reasons many formula feeding mothers hand the job of feeding their babies over to others. Breastfeeding with its release of oxytocin is the key player in this phenomenon.

Oxytocin also reduces stress which in turn reduces stress-related diseases. A reduction in stress is a gift to you the mother when first learning to care for your new baby. Your precious baby also gets a surge of oxytocin while breastfeeding which reduces her stress.

When trying to decide how you will feed your baby, stop to reflect on the incredible pleasure and joy thatbreastfeeding brings. In our hectic and oftentimes chaotic society moments of joy and pleasure scattered throughout your day is a worthy and attainable goal.

Breastfeed! Guaranteed to make you feel fabulous!*

*Breastfeeding should be 100% comfortable and pleasurable, if not please contact Debbie Page, RN, IBCLC, CEIM at www.thenewbornbaby.com
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