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Monday, April 7, 2014

Why Breastfeed?

So you are having a baby. Possibly the question has came up as to whether to breastfeed or not? Are there advantages to breastfeeding? There are several benefits to breastfeeding.

I want to share with you some of my breastfeeding tips. I thoroughly enjoyed that journey. It is a journey like no other. The benefits for my children and myself are wonderful and quite memorable.


My first day in the hospital after my delivery, it felt as though my milk came in with a vengeance. I could not sleep through the night I was so full. When they brought my baby to me, I explained how uncomfortable that I was. The nurse then tells me, “Oh you could have let us know, we would have brought your baby to you through the night to nurse her.” I thought now she tells me. She then informed me that I could keep the baby right in the room with me. That was a relief, because I was not aware of that at the time. That just makes it so much more convenient when time to breastfeed my baby. That was a learning process.


There is such joy and relief each time that I breast fed. The feeling of the milk coming in is indescribable. Each time after breastfeeding, it feels like a relief and a release. There is even greater joy when I observed by baby acting as though she was just given a “knock out substance,” because she was now sleeping and looking so relaxed.


Besides the fact that I did take La Leche breastfeeding classes, I had previously discussed it with my family. Sadly enough most of the women were against breastfeeding adding that it was old fashion. So my basic support for breastfeeding was my husband and my father. They were both very supportive. So that helped with my decision to breastfeed. Also, I had already learned from the classes the important antibodies are passed on to the baby for immediate protection. I thought that was just awesome, since it is usually several weeks before my baby would get her shots. I had also learned that the baby gets the food that you eat in that direct order that you eat. That was so fascinating, because I used to eat all of my food in no particular order. I had never considered eating for example, all my potatoes, then all my green beans, then all my meat, in separate orders.


I liked the fact that breastfeeding really eliminated a lot of bottles. I did learn form La Leche that it was suggested to give your baby at least one bottle a day, so that if I was away, my baby would be used to it. We did do that, however, one day when my baby was 5 months ago, we were presented with a problem. I was grocery shopping. When I got home my husband explained the baby is refusing the bottle. I told him,  “Oh she is just being fussy, she will take it for me.” So I attempted to give her the bottle, she actually sealed her lips and turned her head away. So I then breastfed her and no problems. So then the bottle once a day was becoming a battle. My husband stated, “She knows the difference, she knows what she wants. I knew of the breast pumps, but did not consider it at the time, even though we tried different nipples on bottles. One day it was about 9 hours and she still would not take the bottle. So we decided the battle was not worth it, I stopped the breastfeeding and she eventually took the bottle, but also by 6 months, she was becoming familiar with the sippy cup, which worked out well.


One of the downfalls I experienced was when I heard another baby crying, my milk would automatically come in. I then learned I needed to wear breast pads to absorb any leaks and prevent my clothing from getting spotting. I also tried to avoid being around other crying babies, but sometimes it was inevitable.


Although I experienced soreness of the nipples in the beginning and thought to myself what have I gotten myself into, that soon disappeared, it was only temporarily. I almost compare it to the pain that may be felt during delivery, but after the baby comes, you forget about the pain, because of the joy of your baby.


Although I was comfortable in my home breastfeeding, I was somewhat uncomfortable during it in public. I had been taught in La Leche how it can be done indiscreetly in public. I recall being in the doctor's office waiting to get my baby's first shots. The office was full. There was quite a wait. I discretely went to the bathroom and put a cloth over my baby's head and my breast so as not to be exposed and came back out to sit and nurse my baby.


Although my husband and I disagreed about this, our children's teeth came out beautifully straight. He was worried the pacifier would cause “buck teeth.” I assured him, they would be fine, because the baby needed something to suck on other than my breast.


Although I experienced sore nipples, womenshealth.gov talks about breast challenges such as low supply of milk, fungal infections, inverted nipples, flat nipples, breastfeeding a baby with health problems, and much more, I was blessed to not experience any of these problems.


Personal Experience

Common Breastfeeding challenges

Credit: Canva

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