shakiraHow much does Shakira love breastfeeding? So much she wants to nurse her son until he goes off to college! Just kidding. Sort of. The former Voice judge did recently say that, but naturally, it was in jest. But Shakira is in love with nursing her 4-month-old son, Milan. "Breastfeeding has been one of the best experiences of my life," she said. "I love it! I can’t stop!" She then joked: "I think I’m going to breastfeed him until he goes to college! I’m hooked!" 

Now, clearly, Shakira isn't going to breastfeed her child until he goes off to college, because that would be highly inappropriate. But it's easy to see where she's coming from, and why she has no plans to stop any time soon. Breastfeeding has been scientifically proven to make both baby and mama feel really good. That's hard to give up!

In addition to the incredible bond breastfeeding provides (you're your child's source of food!), nursing actually releases the love hormone. Oxytocin. Studies have shown that baby's suckling changes how mama's brain acts, causing it to release Oxytocin in big waves, and in turn, enhancing feelings of love and affection. Oxytocin is also known as the cuddle hormone (aww!), and it's the same thing we produce during sex or sexual attraction.

Breastfeeding also ensures close contact and, moreover, skin-to-skin contact. No, this doesn't mean breastfeeding moms are any closer than formula feeding moms. But when you breastfeed, close contact is guaranteed. You can't nurse your baby without snuggling up and touching one another. Close physical contact is not only important for babies, it creates an intimate bond between mother and child. Baby feels secure, protected, and is nurtured by your touch and scent.

Lastly, you may not even realize it, but breastfeeding is a time in which you and your baby communicate and exchange tons of nonverbal cues. Since the two of you are relegated to a specific place and are attached to one another, you read each other's expressions during this time. Tons of social learning occurs during the focused time of breastfeeding.

So, it's easy to see why Shakira can't imagine giving up breastfeeding any time soon. It's amazing. But I suggest she ditch it before Milan heads off to college. That might raise some eyebrows.

What do you think of this?

 

Image via Frederick M. Brown/Getty