After birth, the areola is darkened and serves as a sort of target for baby. It is said that babies see black and white best just after birth. Darkened areolas help baby locate the breast in order to latch on and nurse.
Babies who are born naturally with no drugs, left to lie skin to skin on mom will crawl up their mom’s belly to nurse. The areola is darkened as easily seen and it emits a hormone that smells like amniotic fluid. This attracts baby to the breast and naturally encourages breastfeeding.
The crawl of the baby heading for the breast and latching on to nurse causes oxytocin to produce and helps the mother expel the placenta naturally.
After birth if baby has a fever, instead of putting the baby under heated lamps, give the baby to mom. She has transmitters on her chest and stomach that can regulate the baby’s temperature. Very simple, just let the baby lie on mom.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics one should breastfeed their baby at least one year and then as long as parent and child are happy. http://www.thelaboroflove.com/articles/how-long-should-i-breastfeed-my-toddler/
The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding at least 2 years. It is not uncommon to find in other parts of the world a child 3 or 4 still nursing. There is still nutritional value to be gained by the child even in toddlerhood. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/When_is_a_child_too_old_to_breast_feedie
There are unique and powerful immune building properties in breastmilk. The milk is sweet (yeah, I’ve tasted my milk) and it changes to meet the needs of the baby at every turn. If mom gets sick, her milk’s composition changes to provide immunity to baby, making it less likely that the baby will get sick. If the baby does get sick it’s often a far milder version of what the mother has contracted.
There are many medications that can still be taken while breastfeeding. Sometimes, things happen where you must take antibiotics or other medication. Because a lot of health care professionals don’t know the effects certain medicines have on breastmilk, they err towards caution and suggest you stop breastfeeding. This is not always necessary. The fact is, many medications are perfectly fine to take while breastfeeding. See
http://www.llli.org/FAQ/medications.html This article includes several links to more information about medication and breastfeeding.
I wish you a wonderful holiday season!