Gisele Bundchen, the Brazilian supermodel, was criticized by the press last week for saying that mothers should have to breastfeed by law to improve the health of babies and mothers alike. Many people are against breastfeeding for a variety of irrational reasons and so attacked her for having a point of view.
She said in an interview with Harpers Bazaar magazine that she supports long term breastfeeding and feels that it is the right of a baby to be breastfeed.
Breastfeeding is still thought to be healthier for the baby than processed milk. Also, from the mothers health perspective, breastfeeding helps to prevent cancer.
Breastfeeding was in the public eye last year when the chief editor of the popular parenting magazine Mother & Baby said that she felt breastfeeding was “creepy”.
Breastfeeding and Weight Loss
In her personal blog Gisele Bundchen said that breastfeeding helped her to lose weight after birth. Breastfeeding is very energy intensive, you use up a lot of calories to produce milk, so it is possible to lose weight and belly fat while breastfeeding if you eat a healthy diet. Many mothers make the mistake of focusing on energy (calories) when they are breastfeeding and risk putting on weight.
The key is to focus on nutrition – eating a rich variety of fruits and vegetables with a high density of nutrients and vitamins helps to produce more milk so you do not need to eat more calories.
Immediately after birth breastfeeding creates a hormonal response which causes the uterus to contract, helping to reduce the size of your belly. This allows you to start getting your body back in shape immediately, something that bottle feeding will not do.
Why Not Breastfeed?
Why are so many people against breastfeeding? Some people say that breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed a baby. This is actually not quite right. Breastfeeding is the only natural way to feed a child. It is only in Western countries that many people are against breastfeeding. To be against it is totally irrational. We are mammals, and infant mammals breastfeed. There are no exceptions.
Photo by Tiago Chediak