"You are going to stop once they get teeth, right?"
At six months: "You are still breastfeeding?"
At 12 months: "So, when are you going to stop breastfeeding?"
.Imagine the shock and comments I received when I announced that I would be pumping milk for my tube-fed daughter for the entire 1st year! I actually pumped for almost 18 months, but I digress.
It has always stunned me how so many people, have rejected God's plan for feeding babies. The formula companies and sexual revolution really gave Americans a warped view on this. Breastfeeding is the perfect food for babies and has so many amazing benefits for both baby and mom. I thought I would share my top 10 favorite breastfeeding perks, the benefits of breastfeeding that have made the inconveniences, comments and troubles completely worthwhile.
9. Breastfeeding makes night feeding much more tolerable. Who wants to listen there baby cry while they stumble around trying to make up a bottle at 2 in the morning? Not this momma! I loved, loved, loved that I could just pick up my baby and hold her to me. Done.
8. Breastfeeding makes packing for trips away from the house simpler. Having to make sure I have enough formula and bottled water for everything from a simple outing to an overnight at my parent's house? No thanks. I have everything I need to feed the baby already on me.
7. You can do other things while feeding baby (when you need to). Since you don't need to hands--one to hold baby and one to hold the bottle--you always have one hand free to cuddle another child, talk on the phone, write those thank-you notes you have been putting off. Put baby in a sling and you can even nurse while you clean your house or cook dinner. Now that is convenience.
6. Breastfeeding infants are healthier. Did you know breastfeeding babies get less ear infections and colds than formula fed babies? Mom's breast milk contains loads of immune boosting antibodies that give babies the capability to fight off infections. My children very rarely got sick with colds and ear infections as babies.
5. Breastfeeding infants have less tummy troubles than formula fed infants. Breast milk is filled with good bacteria called probiotics that are crucial for maintaining healthy digestion. Breast milk was designed to be the perfect food for babies still developing digestive track. Much of the colic, gassiness and other tummy troubles that plague so many babies is due to formula. Breastfed babies rarely have these troubles. When they do, it is usually caused foods in mom's diet. An elimination diet can reveal the source of the problem and mom can simply remove the offending food from her diet.
4. Breastfeeding promotes bonding. There just simply is no better way to bond with baby. Breastfeeding is a much more intimate experience than bottle feeding. The feel good and bonding hormones produce in mom while baby nurses are not produce when baby drinks from a bottle. Breastfeeding also encourages mom to avoid prolonged separation from her infant, which is opposite of what our culture encourages, but so much better for baby.
3. Breastfeeding is a natural and moral way to space children, since it naturally delays the return of mom's fertility (if you do it "right"). You can read my article about how this works here. For now, suffice it to say that breastfeeding the way our ancestors breastfed their babies--frequently, on demand, day and night, and without supplementing before six months--can keep mom in a hormonal state of infertility for an average of 14 months.
2. Did I mention that breastfeeding moms (who practice ecological breastfeeding) frequently don't have a menstrual cycle for an average of 14 months? That alone makes the minor inconveniences worth the trouble!
1. Breastfeeding is practically free! Babies are expensive enough without having to pay for artificial food every week.
More Reading: Does Breastfeeding Really Prevent Pregnancy?