I think I knew before my first was born that was going to breastfeed. We had already gone to the Natural Family Planning Classes, and I fell in love with the Ecological Breastfeeding part. I am a book junkie so naturally when I was pregnant I ordered the book. At the same time I ordered Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing. I also ordered
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (La Leche League International Book). After being put on bed rest for pre-eclampsia I read both of them cover to cover. I did not know how long I was going to stay home with here but , I was determined to breastfeed for at least a year. It is a good thing I am a bit stubborn. Pi came out not willingly. I guess she is stubborn like her mom. I was pre-eclamptic so the doc induced me but Pi did not like the Pitocin. So after a c-section with a spinal she was born. Pre-eclamptic women have hard time establishing milk supply and Pi was not taking to nursing like a pro. So I pumped to get things going. She had some other problems like a newborn fever so off to the NICU she went till they figured out what was going on. Flash forward she came home 5 days after birth. She was a sloow feeder. She would nurse every 2 hours for 40-45 minutes around the clock. What that means is at 8am should would nurse till 8:45 and start over again at 10am. I basically did nothing for her first 3 weeks. She lost more than 1lb at birth so it took her three weeks to gain back her birth weight. Like I said, it was a good thing I am stubborn. I refused to give in and give her a bottle or supplement. I threw out the clock and nursed her every time I thought she might be interested. Lucky for me she was an alert baby and hardly slept, so it was easy to convince her to nurse. Pi continued to nurse round the clock every 2 hours for the first 12 months. She was bribed to stop nursing at 3 1/2, with a bike (she has my permission to write this) lol mom.-pi
So why did I continue to nurse her even after a rocky start?
- Breast milk contributes to overall IQ. According to studies breastfed babies gain 5-9 IQ points depending on the length of time breastfed. I can prove it. see here.
- Breast fed babies are less likely to develop diabetes. My family has a history of diabetes, so I wanted to give my kids a leg up on this one.
- Breast fed babies are less likely to be obese as adults, perhaps because they learn to follow their hunger cues and can eat as much or as little as they want.
- Jesus was breastfed. If it was the best for him it is the best for mine too.
- Breastfeeding lowers mom’s risk of breast cancer ( and diabetes among other diseases
- Breastfeeding is economical ---read cheap. Current figures show it can save you $1,000 to $2,300 a year. Even though they make all sorts of nifty things for breastfeeding you really don’t need 98% of it. The other 2 % you are endowed with.
- You can just pick up and go. I never needed a big diaper bag. Just a couple of diapers some wipes and a water bottle for me
- Breastfeeding makes travel easier, especially to other countries. We took Pi to France for a family wedding at 3 months. All I had to pack was some diapers to hold us over till we got there.
- Breastfed babies get sick less often and when they do they recover more quickly – they have fewer ear infections, gastro-intestinal illnesses and flu
- Eczema is less common in breastfed babies, and allergies less severe
- Moms lose weight quicker
- Babies who are breastfed develop better eye acuity, perhaps from changing sides more frequently.
And last but not least of the reason I choose to breast feed came from my great grandmother who was a midwife. Upon hearing that a woman was not going to breastfeed she would admonish her and say “What do you thing God gave you THOOSE for? You know they are NOT for your husband to play with!”
If you are interested for more reasons to breast feed check out these resources
Ask Dr. Sears
La Leche League
Couple to Couple League