Ways breastfeeding promotes bonding

5 Ways Breastfeeding Promotes Bonding Between Mother and Child

Breastfeeding is so much more than just providing your baby with nourishment, it is also great for promoting bonding between mother and baby.

Breastfeeding gives you an amazing opportunity to have a really close bond with your baby, to offer comfort in a unique way to anyone else and to nurture your baby.

You may have many concerns about breastfeeding, such as how to increase your breast milk, how to know whether your baby is getting enough milk and even whether you can breastfeed with implants.

While you may very well face some difficulties with breastfeeding, and let’s face it breastfeeding is not always easy, it will certainly be well worth the all effort of overcoming these challenges by researching and finding good breastfeeding tips and support.

5 Ways Breastfeeding Promotes Bonding Between Mother and Child
Here are 5 ways that breastfeeding promotes bonding between a mother and her baby:

Nursing promotes bonding – it’s not just milk

A breastfed baby will happily nurse for long periods of time. Your baby can hear your heartbeat and smell your familiar scent, which is soothing and comforting. Your baby will be cuddled up to you, warm and comfortable. Your baby will be reassured by your physical presence.

While breastfeeding he, or she, will be able to see your face at this distance even as a newborn baby and be able to hear your voice. Since your baby will spend a lot of time nursing and looking at your face a deeper attachment will form. Watching your facial expressions and hearing you speak will also encourage verbal, emotional and social learning.

Nursing your baby also means that your body will release hormones that promote mothering behaviours, as well as bonding between mother and child.

Comfort Nursing

Breastfeeding is an amazing way to soothe your baby, so if your baby is feeling a little distressed or upset there is no better way to calm him that to put him to your breast.

It is not just the closeness of mommy that comforts your baby, it is also that breastfeeding is well known to also relieve pain. So remember to nurse your baby when it is time for vaccinations, it will make the whole experience much less traumatic and easier for your baby, and in turn for you too.

When your baby is ill holding your baby close and nursing can help your baby recover quicker by relieving symptoms.

If a nursing mother gets ill chances are her baby has also been exposed to the illness, but the mother’s body will produce antibodies which will be passed to her baby during breastfeeding.

So if mommy gets ill don’t stop breastfeeding in fear that your baby will get ill, in fact do the opposite. Cuddle up in bed and let your baby nurse as often as possible while you rest and recover.

Breastfeeding Promotes Sleep

When breastfeeding occurs comforting hormones are released in the mother’s body and passed through the milk to the baby too. This makes both mommy and baby sleepy.

Babies also release their own calming hormones when in close contact with mommy, especially while suckling.

Many mothers choose to co-sleep with their babies because it makes breastfeeding during the night so much easier than getting up all the time. It makes feeding on demand hassle free and mommy can even sleep while feeding.

This creates a great sleep environment for mother and child which promotes a close bonding relationship.

Skin to Skin Contact

Breastfeeding promotes lots of skin to skin contact which increases oxytocin levels in mother and baby. Higher levels of oxytocin that are created through frequent skin to skin contact increases other positive hormonal interactions too.

Premie babies that have regular Kangaroo Care (skin to skin) show a marked improvement and much better weight gain on average per day than babies that kept in an incubator.

Babies that have lots of skin to skin time with their mother and father are, in general, known to be calmer, more happy, have a more normal and stable temperature, have blood sugar that is more elevated and have a more stable and normal heart rate and breathing rate.

Mothers that hold their babies skin to skin immediately after birth are known to have increased maternal behaviours.

Babies that are put skin to skin immediately after birth often latch themselves to the mother’s breast without any assistance since they are born with the instinctive skill and motivation necessary for this task.

Holding and Cuddling while Breastfeeding

Breastfed babies feed frequently day and night, which means they are constantly being held, rocked and cuddled. Mothers that breastfeed on demand are constantly giving their babies nurturing and loving attention.

So as you can see breastfeeding on demand and allowing your baby to suckle for comfort will promote an amazing bonding experience for mother and child.

Of course bottle fed babies can also be held, rocked and nurtured just as much and by both parents so daddy can be included more too.

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  1. Great post.
    Would have loved to continued breastfeeding.
    High fives to all the moms who breastfeed up to a year and longer!!!

    • Yes it is lovely to be able to breastfeed your baby, the bond is incredible but if you struggle and can’t breastfeed don’t beat yourself up. I am very close to both my kids, my son I breastfed until 13 months when I weaned him and my daughter was breastfed and formula fed until 6 months old.

      Each baby and mother is different and while breastfeeding promotes bonding it certainly doesn’t mean that if you formula feed you won’t bond with your baby.

  2. I also couldn’t breastfeed for long, due to my little ones colic we finally figured out that my milk was making it worse, changed my diet, cut out acidic things. Did everything I could but unfortunately it just wasn’t meant to be. My baby daddy finally said to me that we cant anymore and that he knew I loved it but it wasn’t good her. With a heavy heart I put her on formula NAN HA. I am so glad I got to experience what bond it creates even if it was just for a short while.

    • It is always sad when you can’t breastfeed. Breastfeeding went pear shaped with my daughter, so she eventually went onto formula. With my second baby I got it right and the bonding was amazing. He is such a loving, cuddly little boy with me still.

      But I am still very close to my daughter, just because your child was formula fed doesn’t mean that there will be no bond but it certainly is easier when you breastfeed.

      • I agree Lynne, this is always one of the bigger debates when moms get together, I usually stay out of it 😛 But I firmly believe that its not always a “breast is best” situation and what works for one mom and baby wont work for another 🙂
        It all depends on baby in the end.

      • Tamara, that is exactly it. I know how hard breastfeeding can be and the thing is that if it causes so much distress for mommy it will affect her baby.

        Also some women choose not breastfeed for various reasons and that is also just fine too. It is not up to me, or anyone else, to judge how another mother chooses to feed her child.

        You know I nearly chose not to breastfeed at all? I have bipolar disorder and I couldn’t take my meds during pregnancy or while I was breastfeeding. It was terribly hard and I nearly chose my meds! But I am glad for the experience 🙂

      • I couldn’t agree more Lynne! whats sad is SO many mothers are so quick to snap “OMW you don’t breastfeed” its ridiculous. Not breastfeeding doesn’t make you any less of a mother, its the same as the whole natural VS c-section discussion. I avoid those as well – moms truly can be so judgmental – when we all trying our utmost to to raise our little ones the best we can.

  3. Sjoh Tamara and Lynne i feel so much better now. I was really angry with myself for not trying harder or doing it the wrong way.

    My friend even said to me i shouldnt beat myself up about it…
    You think other mothers have it all together – its not true. It might look like it but we are all like ducks… at the top we look cool calm and collected but under we struggle to swim.
    Those words will stick with me!!!

    Im so glad you said that breastmilk can also maybe not work for baby.
    Im thinking of my sister in law who’s baby is crying non stop and he is i think 9months now and she only believes in breastmilk.
    But i wont go into that conversation with her at all nor c-section vs natural cause i had c-section and she only believes in natural.

    But hey every mother for herself – thats how i feel from now on!!!

    • Marisca, i agree. Every mom for herself 🙂 I firmly believe that what is REALLY best for Baby is whatever it takes for mom AND baby to be happy. Your friend was right in my opinion, you shouldn’t beat yourself up about anything really, as long as your little one is happy, you’re doing an AWESOME job, regardless of the route you choose to follow 🙂

    • Well really not every mother gets a choice anyway, so why judge? I mean I could have battled on with my water birth at home, and put my life and my baby’s life at risk but I came to a point where I felt the right thing was hospital.

      Then with my second child I chose a c-section for a number of reasons, one being that it fit in with my work… and OMG did some mothers judge LOL. I have my own company and he was due on the 3rd January. I decided to have a c-section on 20 December, just before my sister arrived from UK so I could close my business and go to my mom after birth where my two sisters were also going to be for the Christmas holidays so I would have lots of help and support. I also had a two year old to think about!

      I chose that instead of being all fat and uncomfortable over Christmas in the heat, wondering when my baby would arrive… and possibly only giving birth when everyone goes back to work leaving me to run a company and have a newborn and a two year old to look after on my own.

      Yes I chose convenience, oh so shoot me for being human LOL.

      You are right, each mom must make a choice for herself.

  4. Your baby your choice as long as both are healthy and happy!!!

  5. tershia engelbrecht

    I also breastfeed my oldest son i breastfeed till he was 6 now my youngest are almost 3 and she still on breastfeed and i have a very close relatoinship with them i prefer breastfeed cause it is cheaper and more healther than formuler milk it contains al that they need and breastfeed children dont get so easy sick as formuler children i would say all moms must breastfeed their babies i love it.

  6. Im a mommy that could not breast feed but i love reading all these posts i might be able ro breast feed when im a second time mommy and goos work for those mommies that breast feed till a year even longer.

  7. I really missed breast feeding I breast fed all my kids up till 2 years old the bond that you and your child has can no one breaks love it

  8. I really love how I bonded and how I’m still bonding with my second born during breastfeeding. His face lights up every time I start to feed him.

  9. Breastfeeding is awesome…the best …ive breasfed my youngest daughter till thr age of 3 years believe it or not…she is very healthy and never got sick…i encourage all moms to breastfeed…thanks so much Lynne…i love this

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