Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, no judgements here. Moms come in all different forms and some of those situations don’t allow for breastfeeding. And then there are those that want to breastfeed, and it just doesn’t work out.
Planning for the birth of my son I knew I had a goal to breastfeed. I had set an initial goal of one year, not knowing exactly what to expect with the experience. I’ll go into my experience another time and the challenges or pressures we as mothers put on ourselves when choosing to or trying to breastfeed. A short background, my son from the start (say day 5) had to supplement with formula. That being said I was still able to breastfeed him, and I passed my goal of one year.
I had an enjoyable breastfeeding experience (I know not all moms do). With my daughter I went for it again, and so far am glad I did. Here are the 4 reasons I chose to breastfeed my kids.
1. Health Benefits
Breastfeeding provides health benefits for baby and mom. Research has shown it helps reduce the risk of cancer, asthma, ear infections, stomach viruses, and allergies…among other things. Did you know that the colostrum from the first milk your body produces adds extra protective factors and a protective layer in the intestines, nose, and throat? Mom benefits too including shrinking of the uterus, losing pregnancy weight faster, reduced risk for cancer, and reduced risk of postpartum depression. I love that even when I am sick, I can keep feeding baby the antibodies which in turn can help to prevent them from getting sick.
2. Cost Effective
I honestly don’t know the amount of money it takes to formula feed a baby full time. But I know it ain’t cheap. We purchase formula every so often to mix with breastmilk, but not frequently (and more frequently when we were supplementing more with my son). Breastfeeding allows for free food for your baby!! If I can produce it, she’s getting as much as I can pump or feed. Here are some tips and breastfeeding essentials. While certain items make breastfeeding more comfortable, they are not necessary. Consult with your insurance on breast pumps, since they are often times covered by insurance.
You don’t have to breastfeed to bond with a child. You also don’t need to be female and have boobs. Bonding happens with different caretakers and people that love our little ones. But when it comes to breastfeeding there is special bonding time. From the first moments they were born, my children were laid on my chest – skin to skin. And not soon after that nursing for the first time. Fast forward 6 months later and I may not be on the hospital bed but I have that special time with my daughter as she nurses. Science says breastfeeding releases a hormone, oxytocin, which is the same as when hugging or kissing someone.
Out and about? 3:00 in the morning? These are some of the most convenient times I’ve nursed and not had to worry about what I remembered to pack or heating up a bottle. Everything I need is right there with me. Of course there are inconveniences, like watching what I eat or limiting alcohol, but for one year I outweighed the pros and cons and it’s not so bad.
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