I’ve always been in awe of Mother Nature and that in a busy and wildly varying life, she always provides constants that you can count on. Night always follows day. Spring always follows winter. Our bodies just somehow ‘know’ what to do – without our conscious thought. Our bones grow through childhood, our cells are constantly renewing and we breathe in and out without needing to be told.
There are always positive impacts we can make through our choices, to get the best results we can get, but we really do have smart little bodies and nowhere is this more obvious than when you look at children.
I really stepped up my self care during both my pregnancies, eating well and taking folic acid supplements so I could give my babies the best start in life. I wanted to breastfeed them and after a very steep learning curve with my first child, I was happy to nurse them until they were at least six months old. My steep learning curve came from my inexperience (this soon becomes a distant memory) and my *ahem* womanly figure! I have a big rack to put it politely and I was scared of suffocating her!
Fortunately the awesome midwives in the hospital who have seen it all before were able to show me how to hold her and how to hold my breast in my hand in such a way to allow my daughter to suckle and have room to breathe through her nose at the same time! My children both enjoyed ‘Boobie time’ as it became known in our house, and I loved being close to my babies by having these ‘magic boobs’ that could stop a crying infant in his tracks!
We all want to give our children the best start in life, and SMA® Nutrition is educating parents to do just that by raising awareness about the importance of protein for babies during the first 1000 days. The first 1000 days begin from conception through to your child’s 2nd birthday and during that time, they are busy creating their smart little bodies (with a little help from you of course!). Good nutrition is vital during this period to help build a strong nutritional foundation for life. Protein is especially important during this time for your baby’s growth and development and is the foundation for their cells, muscles, brain and other tissues. The right quality and quantity of protein all has an effect on their appropriate growth rate. You can learn more about the importance of protein by watching this video.
Once my baby was born, and after the steep breastfeeding learning curve, I found breastfeeding easy at home – especially during the night when I could quickly and easily give my baby exactly what she needed at the right temperature without any delay. Breastfeeding when out and about was a little more of a challenge as even though I knew that this was my baby having her lunch and there’s nothing more natural in the world, I didn’t want to feel ‘exposed’ in public, so I came up with some strategies to avoid that. Plus, for the benefits of breastfeeding to your baby, the associated challenges are worth it.
Breastfeeding my babies meant that I had one less worry to think about in the hazy phase of being a new mum with the tiredness and generally getting the hang of everything! I knew that the protein my babies got from me would help protect their future health as the patterns laid down in childhood can have a massive impact on later life, helping to prevent allergies, obesity and diabetes.
The protein in breastmilk decreases over time to give your baby exactly the amount he or she needs at every stage meaning they don’t get too much protein and grow too fast. This helps build a strong nutritional foundation for life and is one of the reasons why breasted babies have a reduced risk of being obese later in life.
Beyond the breastfeeding stage you can help your child receive the nutrients they need through a healthy balanced diet. SMA Nutrition has resources on their website to answer all your nutrition questions.
My children now aged 13 and 8 are well past the baby stage but they had a solid foundation for health during their first 1000 days. They are both healthy, happy kids who rarely get ill and have no allergies and their baby cousin who is also enjoying ‘booby time’ from his mother is following in their footsteps. He is such a happy and smiley baby – very pleasant and we all adore him!
All these cuties have smart little bodies that have benefitted from the clever breastmilk protein supplied from their smart little mamas!
Disclosure: This post was brought to you in association with SMA Nutrition.