Monday, July 25, 2011

Breastfeeding -Part 1- Why?

the only modest photo of me nursing [naturally i look very sleep]

Why Breastfeed

It's pretty simple. Newborns eat milk. The decision you have to make is whether it will be your milk or another milk [formula]. The decision was pretty easy for us to make as we were already taking a natural approach to pregnancy & birth, but regardless of your style of delivery breastfeeding is always a wonderful option available to your baby.

So, Why breastfeed?

Do a simple google search and you will find oodles of reasons why it's wonderful for baby [and mommy!] are just a few:

1. Colostrum [also known as liquid gold people! They don't sell that in a can.]
2. Easiest milk for a baby to digest [shocker right? God's so smart]
3. Fights disease [non-breast feed babies are at higher risks for everything]
4. Fights allergies [pass the peanut butter please]
5. Optimal growth [for eyesight, jaw, mouth, speech, and brain]
6. Easy access [no diaper baby, sanitation station or warming up needed]
7. Saves money [average savings are $1500 a year...go buy you a new iMac]
8. Bonding [provides mom-baby-only bonding & lots of happy hormones]
9. Mommies health [linked to lower risk for diabetes, cancer & depression]
10. Potentially delays periods [enough said!]


Popularity of breastfeeding goes back in forth in culture, but the decision for me came down to...How did God create me to feed my infant? What's the healthiest? What's best for them---not just what's most "convenient" for me? I tried to think about the long term benefits for my babies...overlooking the temporary discomfort or time expense. 

I didn't say it was always easy, but great parenting isn't about what's easy. But what's best. And personally, if you're able...I think breast is best! Don't get me wrong judgement here...mothering is much more than nursing.

Why did or didn't you breastfeed?


  1. I loved breastfeeding my kids. I'll never forget bfing my little guy, while changing his diaper AND talking on the phone--we never missed a beat, lol. Also, #10 on your list is the best, I think I got lucky, but with my third, he was 14 months before Aunt Flo visited. Including the pregnancy, that was nearly two years!

  2. I nursed Jaana with total ease...everything was great, worked well and we both were fatand happy. :) Paxton was a completely different story. I tried and tried, but he was tongue-tied and couldn't latch well. Then he'd eat forever and still be starving. I'd try to pump with pitiful results. He was irritable, cranky and fussy 'round the clock (he was starving!). I developed post-partum depression on top of it all, so after 4 weeks I put both of us out of our misery and switched to formula. Within 24 hours he was a new baby...and fat and happy. :)

  3. Let me also add that I still struggle with guilt over not nursing him -- every time he gets a cold I blame myself. But it was the best personal decision for us at the time. And that's all we can do as mothers every single day -- make the beat decision for us at any given moment. I believe breast is best...but if it doesn't work for you, don't beat yourself up. Just move on. (and incidentally, we couldn't be more bonded! He's such a Mama's boy.) :)

  4. I have been nursing Jadon for 3 1/2 months now and it is great! I will be pumping and giving him a bottle for about 3 feedings a week once I start coaching. So I am trying to decide what pump and bottles to get. He will be almost 6 months at that time. Suggestions?

  5. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE BFeeding!! I makes me so happy to be nourishing my son! Im so glad I stuck it threw the first 8 weeks, and I enjoy it so much.

  6. I feel like the initial choice, wasn't even a choice for is just how babies are designed to be fed. I nursed Everett for 12 months with some difficulty. He mastered nursing strikes and any time his routine was disrupted (traveling especially), he would go from nursing 5-7 times a day to 1 or 2 and keep that up for a week or so. Glad I stuck with it though. Etta is 13 months and is still going strong. She's so relaxed (and I'm sure with her being my second, I am more relaxed as well) that we're just going to keep on going until one of us wants to quit. The only issue I had while nursing her was when I got sick back in the fall. I had to have some testing done that kept me from nursing for 72 hours. Thankfully, I knew several other new moms who were kind enough to donate milk for her.

    In response to Jenn Watson:
    Many people (myself included) have Medela pumps and have had a lot of luck with them. I did recently read an article though about how Medela is an "open pump system" that can allow moisture to accumulate in the motor and turn into mold that can't be removed and may release spores into your pumped milk. Not sure how frequently that happens, but since you're looking into pumps anyway, might be good to go ahead and get an Ameda (comparable to Medela, but a closed system). And as for bottles...for us it has been a matter of trial and error. Has to be the right combination of starvation and nipple shape. :-) My kids liked the Mam bottles and the playtex. Playtex was awesome since I was storing my milk in the freezer bags, I could just put those directly onto the playtex bottle to heat and serve. Good luck!

  7. I breastfeed my son for 3 years. I was able to keep up with it even working full time. I had the Medela pump and I loved it. I count breastfeeding as one of the top things I am greatful that I was able to do. I truly feel that my son and I are closer because of this. I just wish there wasn't such a stigma on breastfeeding past a year. After breastfeeding for a year, I had to stop telling people that I was still bfreeding because of the negative reaction I would get.

  8. Amy T, you're blessed! I made it almost to 12 months with all 3, it's so wonderful! I'm thanking my genes for sure.

  9. Monica, thanks for sharing. I wrote this weeks posts all at one time and I think the "sometimes people decide not to breastfeed, or stop earlier on for their own private or physical reasons and that's totally fine and their own darn business" sentence will be on tomorrows post. Just incase I came across judgmental at all.

    I think there are a lot of super mommies out there that didn't nurse, or couldn't, or stopped for reasons, etc And I think their bonding was still amazing and I respect them so much for all their love and dedication because mothering is so much more than just nursing! amen?

  10. Melissa, wow! That's awesome. My nursing goals in the past have been 18 months, but I think it's totally the best health for mommy most likely to nurse to 2 years. Lots of people around the world nurse till 3. Wist there wasn't a stigma either. WAY TO GO to do it while working! I could never do that.

  11. Jenn I'm so proud of you! You're doing awesome. I use a Medala pump. My first baby wouldn't really take a bottle, but now my kids will take any bottle. I just to pick one that is BPA free and is more healthy and made for nursing babies. I did like the Adiri, but they are hard to find---still on

  12. Adrienne, awesome "testimonies" he he Woman after my own heart.

  13. In response to Monica- I bet you would never believe this but as a "breastfeeding educator- RN" I would recommend ladies stop trying to nurse. Shhhh.... don't tell my past employer, ha ha! Honestly and in my some what professional opinion- breastfeeding is NOT always best for every mom. Yes, medically it is the best but that is all for not if a mom can't enjoy her baby. I have had moms start to cry when her baby was brought in from the nursery only because she knew she would have to breastfeed- that is NOT right! No matter what it takes to truly enjoy your baby you need to do without guilt. I loved what I did and spent hours and hours working with the same mom if she wanted the help and only if it made her happy. I LOVE this, "And that's all we can do as mothers every single day -- make the best decision for us at any given moment." You could not be more right! Blessings!

  14. Mary Ann RagsdaleJuly 26, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    I Love breastfeeding and I feel very strongly about it. Everyone has their own opinion about it and for how long etc, and it really divides us. I started weaning my first at 12 mo and my second will be 1 next week and I just dropped my first feeding. (My rant is that I wish America would just freaking acknowledge it- no matter how old the child is or your opinion about it- and offer a place to bf that is not in public and not sitting on a toilet. How hard is that? It offends me that airports will have a room dedicated to smokers but no where to bf- at least a chair in the bathroom would be nice.) Thanks for posting Candra you are right on. I am a broken record in my mind about moms today doing whats more convenient and not whats best- in every area... food, discipline, etc. I choose to bf for a year because it's best for them. not me. Just as I choose everyday to feed them healthy food and discipline them when it's not easy or convenient. Only God knows our heart and holds us accountable. I can't judge anyone else's actions. I am only responsible for my own.
    Mary Ann
    Mary Ann

  15. Nice post! I've been blessed to nurse all 7 of mine. I love that time I get to SIT and nurture them. Call me lazy, but I've never pumped or given them a bottle. I find it easier to just carry them with me where ever I go and ween straight to the cup...I usually don't ween until closer to 2 years.

  16. We're nearing 8 months of breastfeeding, which I'm firmly convinced is what we need to do, but it is so hard at times. Working full time and taking classes on the weekends means I'm pumping 7 days a week sometimes, either in a storage closet at work or in my car. On days when I teach morning and night classes (thankfully, not too often), I don't get to see Grace much. I haven't encouraged her to sleep through the night because I want her to nurse and help keep my supply up - but it's so tiring. Most of the moms I talk to didn't want to stop breastfeeding, but they had to. I'm trying not to let that happen but it's just a day at a time. I hope to work from home for later babies, but it is what it is for now.

    Sorry for the ramble, it's just a constant issue for me now.

  17. I love breastfeeding! I nursed Ty until I got pregnant with Troy (he was 7.5 months old and weaned himself...maybe something with the milk tasting different?? *shrug*). I nursed Troy till his first birthday, and Audrey is still going strong at almost 11 months. I did pump some with the boys, more with Ty than Troy, but Audrey has never had a pumped bottle or formula, and Troy never had formula, that I can remember (obviously Ty did.) I have been blessed with an ABUNDANT milk supply (as in the lactation consultant in the hospital was astonished), though I have a couple of friends who wanted to nurse who were not so blessed - and I know you address this in another post, too. One of them just made no milk at all. Like you said, you have do do what is best for you and your baby and not beat yoruself up or make you both miserable over it. I intend to keep nursing Audrey at least twice a day for the forseeable future, and she is still nursing 3 or 4 times a day right now. :)

  18. Thank you all for reading and commenting and sharing your awesome insight!



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