YES, THERE ARE BENEFITS :)
Breastfeeding is no easy task, but getting up in the middle of the night for this is even harder! Why do we do it? At a time when you’re just stressing over what is considered “normal,” we all could use a few explanations. Turns out, there’s a lot of benefits to night feeding for both mom and baby.
1. MILK SURGE
During the wee hours of the night... remember that time when you used to sleep like a baby? ;) Your body is actually producing more milk than during the day. This is because of the milk making hormone prolactin that spikes while you're sleeping. Not only are you producing more milk at night, but it also contains a higher fat content, which is excellent for your baby’s development!
2. YOUR BABY WILL SLEEP BETTER
Breastfeeding at night helps babies sleep. Yes, I know it might be hard to believe, but it's true. Babies are born without knowing the difference between night and day. Fun right?! This can take several months to establish. Circadian rhythms are our internal body clocks. They are regulated by hormones which help us wake up and feel energetic during the day, and enable us to fall asleep easily at night. Breast milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid used by the body to make melatonin, which tells your body when to sleep.
3. MOMMAS GET MORE SLEEP
Here comes another hard one to believe. Mothers who breastfeed at night actually get more sleep. Research has shown that women who exclusively breastfeed get 40-45 minutes more sleep than mothers who do not. Might not seem like a whole lot but remember every little bit of sleep helps!
4. GOOD OL' SUPPLY AND DEMAND
The thought of supply and demand go hand in hand. Mothers who wake up to breastfeed or pump in the middle of the night are more likely to establish a steady milk supply. This goes back to the basic breastfeeding principle of supply and demand. The more times a mother empties her breasts, the more milk she will produce and maintain her supply after it's established. Night feedings or pumping sessions during the night are extremely important, especially in the first few months to establish your milk supply.
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