Monday, August 6, 2012

Join the Boob-olution!

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  Yay!

Breastfeeding is probably the best decision I made when it came to taking care of my daughter.  I am extremely proud of the fact that I made this choice and am even more proud that I am sticking to it, even after going back to work.  It makes me feel empowered as a woman and as a mother knowing that I am giving my baby girl the best possible advantage and head start in life.  Everything she needs, I can provide and that is a great feeling.  So that's why, even with everyone out there looking down on breast feeding because it's 'gross', I proudly stick to it.  I also look at my boobs differently.  Society and people in general only look at them as having one purpose and that's NOT feeding your child.  However, I KNOW that's what they'r here for so I no longer detest the fact that I have small boobs because they serve a bigger purpose now.  I'm PROUD of them.

Benefits for Baby:
-Breast milk is packed full of all the vitamins, minerals, fat, sugar, and protein a baby needs so breastfed babies tend to get sick less often.
-Breast milk is easier for babies to digest and their bowel movements don't stink as much.
-Your breast milk will change as your baby grows so there's no need to do anything different like using different formulas, etc.

Benefits for Mommy:
-Breast feeding burns calories!  It helps you lose that baby weight you put on during pregnancy.  I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight around three weeks postpartum!
-It gives you an excuse to continue taking pre-natals and getting all the awesome benefits.  My hair grew 7 inches in 9 months.  I couldn't get my hair to grow 5 inches in a year before I was pregnant.
-Breast feeding is way cheaper than buying formula and bottles.  I didn't use a bottle once before I went back to work so if you're a stay at home mom that's a big bonus for you!
-You won't need to sterilize, measure, and mix formula.  There's fewer bottles to wash, no need for bottle warming in the middle of the night, and when you travel, all you need is attached!

Breast feeding also fights disease in both mom and baby.  Plus, it provides a bonding time between the two of you.  I thoroughly enjoy the time during each day when I get to feed my daughter.  It's a peaceful time when I can just relax and look at her and take in everything she is to me.

Yes, it can be hard at times, especially at first.  Babies will want to eat every hour and a half to two hours at first so it seems like you're constantly feeding but that changes.  Jess will go every three to four hours between feedings now.  And yes, you can still get time to yourself.  Pumping allows you to get out of the house for a few hours and spend time with your significant other.  Yes, your nipples will hurt at first but that goes away too!  Mine only hurt when she first latched on and that only lasted for the first two weeks.  The best thing you can do is RELAX.  Mentally freaking out because you know it's going to hurt at first will only make things harder.  Your child can sense how you're feeling and tensing up can make the pain worse which can also cause slow flow.

If you ever feel like you can't do it anymore or wonder whether or not you should do it, I encourage you to.  I promise you won't regret it.  Even if you only breastfeed while you're on leave, or even for a day, it's better than never having done it.  Every drop of milk is like liquid gold!

Some sites to check out:
Women's Health Organization
La Leche League Breastfeeding Message board...a good place for support!  

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