...why breast is best.
I'm a fan of breastfeeding. I'm somewhat of a lactivist even. I started reading about breastfeeding benefits before I was pregnant and started attending La Leche League around 4 months into my pregnancy. Much like my desire to be a mother, I have always known I will breastfeed my children. We took a private class, read books together, and my husband has been completely supportive from the get go. I am often overly eager to share my knowledge of breastfeeding benefits with pregnant (or not-yet pregnant) friends and people I meet, and am always extending the invitation to attend my [amazing] La Leche League group- what incredible support and friendship Addison and I have found. :-)
A few of my favorite benefits of breastfeeding...
*Sets the foundation for the baby's immune system, lines the gut with beneficial cultures
*It matches the needs of the baby as they change- amazing!
*Lowers the child's risk of obesity, certain cancers, asthma, diabetes and possibly childhood leukemia
*breastfed babies don't get sick as often as formula-fed babies... they have less respiratory infections and ear infections, and many illnesses are less severe in breastfed babies
*It's never recalled for contamination or manufacturing errors
*You don't run out- you can breastfeed when the power is out, when there's terrible weather and you don't want to go to the store, when you're not near a store, wherever, whenever!
*Breastfeeding helps moms heal from childbirth, contracting the uterus in early days/weeks and lowering likelihood of postpartum depression
*Mom's risk of breast cancer, and ovarian cancer are greatly reduced
*Baby weight melts off- breastfeeding burns tons of calories!
Wow, breastfeeding is just great for everyone! These were my reasons for deciding to breastfeed... but aren't why I fell in love with breastfeeding over the past three weeks. I fell in love with breastfeeding when tiny beautiful perfect little Addison hugged my breast in her little arms and fell asleep with her amazing little hand over my heart... just like that I melted, literally melted. I fell in love with breastfeeding when her little arms wrap around my breast as she feeds, holding on as she knows my breast is hers. I fell in love again when I come into the room or closer to her and her attention stops and focuses on me as if to say, "Oh! You! Come over here! Let me nurse!" The shift of her gaze and the tiny little mouth opening in my direction are her way of saying she needs me, and it takes my breath away. While leaky boobs are funny (especially when you say, "leaky boob"and not "oversupply of the milk ducts," haha) it amazes me how my breasts react to Addison's cry. It's as if my milk has a mind of it's own and says, "I'm coming!" faster than the rest of my body can get to her. There's a sense of accomplishment for a new mother when simply putting baby to breast quiets her cries and fussing...to see that my milk and my breast meet her hunger and emotional needs is not only flattering but gratifying- I love being able to take away her worries.
We are still feeding every 2-3 hours, I am exhausted... we haven't had a good night's sleep in a while now, but I will never complain when Addison wants to feed because as I have told her, "it's all hers. made just for her, and she can take her time and stay latched as long as she needs to... each time that hand rests upon my breast, my heart melts all over again. That tiny hand has changed my world.