Lately, with the boom of friends and acquaintances who have given birth, I have noticed something. Breastfeeding is not always the feeding method of choice. I have seen lots of pictures of new moms, in hospitals, feeding their baby formula in a bottle. My first question is always "why?"
Now, I understand the women who can't breastfeed. There are women with medical issues, women who have tried and tried and just can't. I sympathize with you. I had a desire to breastfeed my son until he was at least a year. We made it to about 7 months. I struggled with supply, he was losing weight, so we started supplementing. But I still breastfed as much as I could.
Why? you may ask? Because I wanted my son to have the best. And breast milk is the best. Proven by countless studies, there is so much in breast milk that they can't replicate in formula, including antibodies which help keep the baby from getting sick as much, and helps jump start baby's immune system. Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop heart disease. Breastfed babies tend to have fewer allergies, a higher IQ, a lower chance of developing asthma, a lower chance of becoming overweight, and have fewer ear infections! Not to mention that formula is so expensive!
It's also good for the mother! Scientific research suggests that breastfeeding might reduce risk of Breast Cancer, Ovarian cancer, Osteoporosis and now it might lower the risk of developing diabetes.
It must be good, right? The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a policy statement that strongly supports breastfeeding. Now, the AAP has joined a long list of organizations, including the World Health Organization and UNICEF, that strongly support breastfeeding.
So why with all the positives on breastfeeding do women "choose" not to. (again, not pointing at women who have tried and can't.) Is it for convenience? personally, I Think breastfeeding is more convenient. You don't have to carry bottles and formula around, you don't have to worry about running out of formula if you are out of the
house for any length of time, and you really can breastfeed anywhere. I think sometimes formula feeding can be easier, but if that is the only thing you are thinking of, isn't that a little selfish? I mean, it is easier for you, but you are cheating your baby out of something that can benefit his life in so many ways!
I loved breastfeeding, and as anyone who knows me knows it was a 7 month long struggle. I cried, I prayed, I struggled, but I stuck with it. But I feel good about it because I tried. I know that Jack got all those wonderful benefits for at least a few months of his life. Not to mention the bonding. I loved the feeling of holding him close and nursing him. I cherish that time I had with him. Especially now that he won't sit still for a minute... forget about cuddling!
So now that you know what I think, let me know what you think!
*rude or hurtful comments will not be tolerated. This is for discussion only. I will not publish any comments that I feel are mean.*