“Whether you bottle feed, pump, breastfeed or all of the above; you are doing Great Momma!”
Making the decision to breastfeed is a personal choice. Every woman is different and every baby is different and no one should be pressured into choosing one way or the other just to satisfy someone else. I respect all moms regardless of their decision to breastfeed or not.
Breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby. Women’s bodies are designed to supply our children with a great source of nutrition.
Breastfeeding has it’s ups and downs and I want to share some honest truths about the pro’s & con’s that come with breastfeeding from my experience.
Pros Of Breastfeeding
Health Benefits For Baby
Breastmilk is made up of antibodies, vitamins, fluids and fat that help babies growth and development. The natural ingredients in breastmilk help boost a babies immunity to infection and sickness. If your baby gets sick, your breastmilk will change to help them fight off any illness. Breastmilk also helps to build a healthy digestive system for your baby.
It’s More Affordable
The cost of formula can add up quickly. Not to mention bottles and other feeding accessories. Breastfeeding doesn’t cost anything. You may need to pump if you are breastfeeding and now a lot of health insurance companies are giving you a free breast pump.
Whether you are at home or out in public you can feed your baby with no preparation required. You don’t have to worry about preparing, mixing, warming and cleaning bottles.
When breastfeeding your body will release oxytocin. Oxytocin is the anti-stress hormone that promotes relaxation and is produced by the pituitary gland in the brain. While you are breastfeeding you can sit down and put your feet up and take a break.
Good For Mom
Breastfeeding can help a nursing mom loose weight faster. You burn lots of calories when breastfeeding and it also makes the uterus contract which helps to shrink your stomach back down after giving birth.
Studies have shown that breastfeeding may reduce your risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, developing rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular disease as you get older.
Cons Of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding Can Be Painful
Sometimes you may have to deal with difficult and painful complications that are common when breastfeeding. Some of these include:
- Mastitis: An inflammation of breast tissue that sometimes involves an infection. The inflammation results in breast pain, swelling, warmth, redness and sometimes fever and chills.
- Clogged Milk Ducts: A blockage of one or more ducts carrying milk to the nipple.
- Breast Engorgement: When a mother makes more milk than her baby uses and they become painfully full. This can make it hard for your baby to breastfeed because they become firm and swollen.
- Cracked/Sore Nipples: There are several reason this can happen but the most common is when a baby is not latching properly and they are nipple feeding instead of breastfeeding.
It Can Be Demanding
Newborns nurse often and it honestly can be exhausting especially in the first months because you are breastfeeding your baby every 2-3 hours around the clock. Because you are the only that feeds your baby getting a break to sit, eat, shower and even sleep undisturbed time can be very hard.
Breastfeeding Can Be Difficult At First
Breastfeeding is a learning process for everyone. It is definitely not as easy as some people think. It can be very discouraging when your baby does not immediately latch or is not nursing enough. Although it can be discouraging at first it does get better.
You Have To Be Mindful Of What You Consume
Because your baby may have a reaction to different types of food in your diet you have to be careful of everything you eat and drink. Alcohol and nicotine should always be avoided because they can be harmful to your baby. You should even watch what medications you are taken because they too can negatively your little one. There are so many resources that can provide you with a list of safe medications while breastfeeding.
Judgement From Others
Breastfeeding can be hard for some women to deal with in public. Other peoples ignorant comments, opinions and glares make some moms uncomfortable. Some moms choose to use covers in public and still get shamed and judged. People can be so vile and obnoxious. As a result sometimes women will end up staying home more often and unfortunately this can lead to feeling isolated and lonely.
*Whether you breastfeed or formula feed your baby is your decision and no one else’s. It doesn’t mean you love your baby any less if they are not breastfed. At the end of the day fed is best and you have to do what is best for you and your baby. *
*6 Fun Facts About Breast Milk*
- Breast milk is a living substance that contains live cells, including stem cells, which go on to become other body cell types like brain, heart, kidney, or bone tissue.
- The amount of breast milk you are able to produce has nothing to do with your breast size. A mom with small breasts can have just as much milk-making tissue as a mom with large breasts.
- Moms of preemies have breast milk with more protein, fat, and other minerals for bone and brain growth as well as the most protective factors to prevent illness and infection.
- Breastfeeding burns between 500-600 calories a day.
- Breastmilk is adjustable: When your babies saliva makes contact from breastfeeding your mammary glands will analyze it to see if anything is not right and your milk will change to help your baby get over whatever illness or virus they may have.
- Breast milk cannot be replicated: Breast milk is always changing and it can’t be duplicated. No two mothers have the same breast milk, and breast milk taken from one woman during one part of the day won’t even be the same as a sample taken from the same woman later in the day.
Click here for a list of breastfeeding essentials
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