After nine months, you’ve developed an unbreakable bond with your unborn child, and after birth, you naturally want that bond to continue. Breastfeeding is the next best thing to have your precious one inside you.
Nothing beats the ease and pleasure of breastfeeding. The closeness envelops you the moment you begin. A nurse will probably show you several times how to do it while you’re in the hospital, and yet, even in that sterile environment, you begin to feel the life-giving force that you are becoming by breastfeeding, for you are the source of all the baby’s nutrition and thus, giving it life. By the time you go home, maybe you won’t be an expert, but you will be the life-giver, forming a bond that will last your lifetimes.
I was very fortunate to be able to take a full year off from work – so I nursed for that time – but I realize that every Mom cannot do that, or chooses not to. For those who do return to work and still wish to give their babies breast milk, they can pump – at home and at work in what some companies call “Wellness Rooms.”
As the months go on – there is constant feeding in the first few weeks of life – and you’ve found your rhythm, you’re gladdened by the fact that there are no bottles to wash or formula to gobble up your money. (Formula is so expensive, they keep it under lock and key at Stop ‘n Shop supermarkets.) There is the convenience factor, too. It’s just easier to open up your bra and feed your baby than it is to find a clean bottle and turn to formula, especially when on the go.
At some point around five months after birth, when many have given up – and, admittedly, some women cannot provide enough milk, the going is so good: You are on a schedule that revolves around breastfeeding and that makes life more predictable and more satisfying, especially during this time.
The Medical Community is Behind it
According to WebMD, in the medical community, there are keen advocates for breastfeeding, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics, both of which strongly recommend it. They recommend it because breast milk is, unquestionably, the perfect nutrition for infants. It contains a nearly perfect mix of fat, protein, and vitamins, all of which baby needs to grow. Plus, it more easily digestible than formula.
Your Healthier Baby
Your milk contains antibodies to help baby combat bacteria and viruses, says WebMD. Nursing also lessens baby’s chances of having allergies or asthma. In fact, babies who nurse exclusively for their first six months, without formula, have fewer instances of diarrhea, and fewer respiratory and ear infections. As a group, breastfed babies also have fewer trips to the hospital or doctor.
Higher IQ scores, later in childhood, have been linked to breastfeeding in some studies, and infants who are breastfed are less likely to become overweight children. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, breastfeeding also has some role to play in the prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It’s been discussed that it lowers the risk of obesity, diabetes, and certain cancers as well, but there is more research to be done, WebMD reports.
A Healthier Mom
There are health benefits for Moms, too. Nursing moms burn more calories, so you can lose that extra weight more quickly. Nursing also releases oxytocin, the hormone that helps your uterus go back to its original size, and may reduce bleeding. Perhaps most importantly, in the long run, nursing lowers your risk of ovarian and breast cancer, and osteoporosis, too, most likely.
Bonding with Dad
It may seem so, but we haven’t forgotten Dad in this process. He can also have an opportunity to bond with their one true blessing. His involvement, to burp the baby between feedings, or take the baby for you to nap or sleep for the night. What’s especially nice for Dad is that he doesn’t have to get up for those 2 AM feedings; you’re taking care of that. So he can enjoy a good night’s sleep for those months you’re up.
But your reward at 2 AM is putting a content baby back to sleep and that means you can return to bed, too. And remember: It’s for a limited time only. That’s what makes it all so precious.
Weight Loss & Diet Plans – Find healthy diet plans and helpful weight loss tools. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/diet/default.htm
WebMD Ear Infection Center – In-depth information on the causes, symptoms, and treatments of ear infections. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/default.htm
Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Exercise and Fitness Tips for Parents including Diet and Family Nutrition Information. (n.d.). Retrieved November 22, 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/default.htm