BREAST MILK is known for having distinct anti-immunity, anti-allergy properties and studies have shown that breast milk positively effects brain development. Noticing new mothers on social media sharing tips on how to breast feed, how to increase milk production, posting ideas or recipes on how to incorporate breast milk in their baby’s cereals/first foods… leads me to the understanding that in recent years new mothers are more knowledgeable and more health conscious when it comes to making important choices about their babies nutrition. Through the act of breast-feeding, mothers protect their infants from developing allergies and auto immune disease such as, diabetes in early childhood, although more research needs to be done on this subject.
Thinking about breast feeding prompts the idea of LOVE. The choice to love and breast feed an infant simultaneously unravels a back and forth chain of events. The immediate feeling of love when the dyadic relationship is formed, between a mother and her newborn, is instantly rewarded through breast feeding. Nursing an infant causes the activation of receptors located in the mammary glands that are responsible for the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the hormone liable for feeling love. Therefore, it makes sense that when a mother chose to breast-feed out of love for her child and she’s instantly rewarded, she will continue to do so. Oxytocin is passed through breast milk, explaining the constant back and forth between a mother and child.
Based on my recent research about the effects of breast feeding on brain chemistry and on psychology studies about social relationships between mothers and their infants; mothers who breast feed also experience intense feelings of pleasure and happiness due to higher levels of serotonin. This hormone is also passed through breast milk and acts as an inhibitor for milk production. Another point that I’ve been thinking about is the socialization aspect of breast feeding. Babies love to socialize, and breast feeding provides the opportunity for an infant to learn social skills early on in life.
Non-tangibly, breast feeding begins the development of the foundation for healthier humans on a biological, social and psychological level, yet without a mother’s ability to love it could never be initiated. I really believe that breast feeding as an act of love can change the way humans behave as individuals and with each other. As I imagine the chemical reactions unraveling inside of an infant while ingesting their mothers’ milk, I can also imagine the kinds of relationships that could develop in the future from this practice.