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Monday, April 26, 2010

Breast Feeding Part I

In the words of my very insightful, very wise mother, “The only reason God gave women breast is to nurse their babies.” Well, that and to make a black corset top from BeBe look fabulous! I never really had much of an opinion on breast feeding, since I never planned on having children. It never bothered me when I would see women in public breast feeding. Obviously, my mother is a HUGE advocate for breast feeding and would tell anyone that would listen about when she would nurse me while driving a stick shift. (Remember this was back in the 70’s when smoking while pregnant was still considered OK.) Basically, Britney Spears should have been friends with my mom.
I understand that some women don’t have the opportunity to breast feed but, in my opinion breast feeding is healthier for the baby. This is not based on any scientific study but, it is based on personal experience. My mom breast fed me and not my sister. My sister breast fed her youngest child and not the oldest. Both my youngest niece and I are much healthier individuals than that of our siblings. So when I found out I was pregnant I decided I would breast fed my baby. I had friends that did it, and I knew I could too.
There are pros and cons to breast feeding. I will start with cons first. It hurts. Ask anyone who has breast fed and most likely they will tell you about their nipples cracking, bleeding, and staying extremely sore. This is no joke. The first few weeks you and your baby are both learning the art of this technique. After you both get the hang of it, breast feeding becomes easier. However, it still hurts sometimes. I have been known to clinch the rocking chair I sit in when my daughter latches on. OUCH! Another con but also a pro is you are the only person that can do this for your baby. There is something so special about knowing that you are the only person that can provide your baby with sustenance. Those special moments start looking bleak when you are the only person that can get up 2 and 3 times a night to feed your baby. At some point you wish the father had boobs so he could feed them and you could sleep! Other than some pain and the fact that your breast become very large (which for some women is a PRO ;).
The pros are again, the reliance that your baby has on you and you alone, it is healthier for them, and the bond that is created between you and your baby. Also, breast feeding is cheaper. If you haven’t checked out the price of formula let me tell you it is expensive! My lactation consultant told me that the average mother that breast feeds saves approximately $1,500 per year versus a mother who buys formula. It is convenient. Your breast milk is always the right temperature, always there when you need it, and for most women provides the baby with the perfect amount of milk. You don’t have to worry about making bottles or if you were to run out of bottles. This of course becomes more complicated when the mother wants to return to work or her regular activities. I am not there yet, but when I do go back to work I will be sure to let you know how it goes. The biggest pro for you as a woman is that breast feeding helps your uterus shrink and you to lose weight!

I have more to write but guess who is hungry?

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