One thing that has been nagging at me to discuss, has been the subject of Breastfeeding. Before I got pregnant, I really didn’t know much on the subject. No one in my family breastfeed their kids, and none of my friends had kids. So, as soon as I found out I was having a baby I started to do all sorts of research on EVERYTHING pertaining to my unborn child. That’s just how I am …kind of to the point of over doing it. It is then that I discovered that there is this big choice: breast or bottle. As I looked into it further there were like a ZILLION benefits of breastfeeding vs formula feeding. It kind of went like this: benefits of breastfeeding: higher IQ, better immune system, mom loses weight faster, better speech in the long run, baby able to develop socially better later in life, it has tons of nutrients formula just doesn’t….and on and on and ON.Benefits formula: less effort, easier… can’t think of any others?
So let me know tell you I was really confused. How is it that breastfeeding has all these amazing benefits and I didn’t know one woman that could help me out with questions i had? Most of the woman that I talked to had either said oh I would never do that, or yes they did try and they failed at one week, 6 weeks etc. Then there was my mom who said “you were big babies and I wasn’t feeding you enough when I tried. So I gave you formula because you were not feed enough from me.” Didn’t sound too promising. But I made my mind up to at least TRY, like really try when my baby was born to breastfeed. Because i wanted the best for him. And let me say now there is no judgement if you are a formula mom. There are many factors, I know that go into this decision. This was/ is just my experience!
So when they brought out my 10 lb 12 ounce baby boy over a year ago now to me, I was like oh my gosh there is no way my colostrum is going to satisfy this baby. Will he even want my milk? But when they laid him on my chest, right away he was searching for my breast, like we had been doing for weeks. And yes, he did need a little supplement in the beginning, but here we are a year later and we are still going strong. It also was VERY painful recovering from a c-section and have a little person suck on your sore nipples. I remember crying in pain to my husband lying in the hospital bed thinking well I guess it’s not for us either. Just like everyone else I talked to.
So, leaving the hospital I made a vow that I would try to bf him until he was 3 months old. Then 3 months came, and we were doing great. Then 6 months and so on. I was amazed at how easy it was becoming as he grew older. Well, it was never easy but easier, yes. Much easier I’m sure than having to mix bottles 6-8 times a day, and wash and dry. I just had to lift up my shirt.
The bond that I experienced with breastfeeding my son was so amazing. I will hold dear to my heart all those many times as a little baby he would fall asleep in my arms content, happy, and satisfied with his momma’s milk. The best milk for him. To see his happy face as he drinks, reminding me the face I make when I eat a piece of chocolate cake. :) There is just nothing like it and pretty hard to explain, other than I wouldn’t have traded it for the word. Every day that passes we get closer to the time where he won’t want mom’s milk anymore. And that thought breaks my heart, though I’m sure by then we will both be ready. I guess it is true that all good things come to an end at some point, right?
And that leads me to the question…why does society rush us nursing mother’s to end our breastfeeding relationship sooner rather than later? At about 7-8 months people would start to ask me, “how long do you plan on doing that?” Like it’s some strange ritual or something. My answer is and was ” As long as he wants to.”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to breastfeed him until he’s 4 or 5 years old. BUT what is so wrong with it if a mother and child still want to? It is sad that people are so judgmental of something SO beneficial to the baby. I feel sometimes it’s more accepted to feed a baby formula rather than breastfeed just because that’s what most people do. It’s so backwards!
Maybe one day knowledge will catch up with ignorance. I can only hope and pray. Until then, If a new mom says she’s breastfeeding I will give her props and encourage. And if someone asks me how long, or why I will tell them…and add my son is in the 95th percentile in height and weight, has only been sick two times since he has been born, does not and has never taken a pacifier, or sucked his thumb, that I did not suffer from post pardum depression, and lost all my weight I had gained (50 lbs) within 3 months. And one more thing…I saved an average of $750 the first. year. Just sayin.