Thursday, June 18, 2009
I've been thinking for a while that my first and only post on the topic of breastfeeding may have not been entirely positive. In the early days, 99% of women (according to the Vancouver PHN) have trouble. I had a few minutes where I thought 'Maybe we should switch to formula.' I even made a couple bottles of formula to supplement, realized what a hassle it was to sterilize the bottles, cool them down, sterilize different water in a new pot, wait for it to cool down, mix the formula (we had free samples or I never would have even tried; it's SOOOOO expensive), and then get the formula the right temperature for the baby and coax him to drink from a bottle - NO THANKS! It was a massive hassle!!! I can't even imagine going out with sterilized water in a thermos, sterilized bottles in a bag, cold sterilized water and the formula, blah blah blah... no way! Pulling up my shirt and sticking the boy on is SO EASY! I am truly saddened for anyone who needs to use formula or feels that they need to.
I LOVE BREASTFEEDING!!!
It's so great. And if I thought making a bottle during the day was a hassle, doing at night would be even tougher. Again, it's so easy to just pull up my shirt! I can't possibly think of a more convenient thing. It's like this:
Do you want your baby to be less likely to join the growing ranks of overweight children, adolescents, and adults?
Do you want your baby to have less gastrointestinal infections, HALF as many ear infections, less allergies of ALL kinds, a higher IQ, and a lower SIDS risk?
Do you want your baby to be less likely to develop celiac disease?
Do you want your baby to be more willing to eat all kinds of foods when he starts solids because he's already had a little taste in your ever-changing milk?
Do you want to give your baby more than 100 ingredients that just can't be made in a lab or formed in cow's milk?
Do you want to prevent constipation in your little one?
Do you want to keep diaper rash away, and have way less yucky diapers to change?
Do you want your baby's mouth to get a workout that ensure optimum oral development and some perks for baby's future teeth, like less cavities?
Do you want a quicker postpartum recovering for yourself? Lower risk of uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, premenopausal breast cancer?
Do you want to save yourself a HUGE stack of cash?
I can only say this because I LOVE breastfeeding. Sure, it was rough at first, I was sore and putting cream on all the time, I had bloody scabs and a lot of pain, but I pushed through it without formula and now it's so great. I can't even imagine anything easier or better.
I also know that sometimes formula is needed (although with planning, even adoptive moms can breastfeed their babies!!! Cool hey?). At the end of the day, the most important thing is that your baby is getting fed - that's what really matters. I'm glad babies can do fine on formula, but I am incredible thankful for breastmilk, and that even cheap chocolate hasn't made Grant's tummy upset. I really do have the perfect baby.
If you're expecting, I strongly encourage you to try nursing - for at least six weeks. Give it a whirl. Even when your baby is fussy, it doesn't mean that you're not making milk anymore - your baby might just be fussy. It might take a while to figure out what bothers him or not, but I highly recommend the book published by La Leche League - "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding". If your baby is fussy due to things you are eating, it gives you a step-by-step guide to figure out what is bothering him and what you can do. When I first heard the title when Grant was just a few weeks old, I scoffed at it - pfft, womanly art, that's so corny. Now, I'm like "OOOOO I am sooo strong, I make milk! It IS a womanly art!"
One downside: He won't take a bottle, so I'm going to start him on a cup in the next few weeks, but for now, I can't be away from him for long. But, if I had given him a bottle more often up until now, he would know how, and it's still no big deal to me. I miss him terrible when I'm away from him, and I'd rather not pump.