Ok, listen ladies! I know the topic of breastfeeding can be a controversial subject for many reasons but I think it’s important to have conversations that help spark thought and awareness as well as help educate ourselves. What’s interesting to me is how breastfeeding (in public, specifically) makes some people sooooo uncomfortable. I’ve never truly understood why people make such a big deal out of it. Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things in this world; something a mother was created to do but in our culture (especially here in the US), we’ve been taught to over-sexualize the woman’s body so the thought of a woman with her breast out in public, for the sole purpose of nourishing her child, comes off as shameful and inappropriate. I had a friend get told once in public to cover up her baby with a blanket while she was nursing, to which she responded “Do you put covers over your head when you eat”? COME ON PEOPLE!! I don’t know ANY moms who decide to nurse in public because she’s looking to get attention or just wants people to see her boobs. So let’s do us mamas all a favor and get over whatever insecurities we might have about seeing a little boob or nipple — we’ve all seen them before!!
For me personally, I had a really great experience with breastfeeding. I was fortunate that Steele latched on with my first attempt at feeding her the day she was born and I’ve never had any real issues outside of minor soreness. Thankfully, I was able to breastfeed Steele until I no longer was really producing any milk (which was essentially a few months before her 2nd birthday). And still to this day, I let her “nurse” on me when she wants to feel comforted. She basically uses my boob as a pacifier at night when she needs help going to sleep….and I’m okay with that!
I realize, though, that not everyone has such a pleasant experience when it comes to breastfeeding. I have friends and colleagues who ultimately decided against it for various reasons – the mother had a low milk supply, the baby was latching on correctly, engorgement of the breast that caused extreme pain, moms who went back to work fairly quickly and/or traveled a lot for work, or even moms who choose not to breastfeed for various personal reasons.
Ultimately, whether you decide to breastfeed or not is YOUR decision and like I’ve said before, you have to make the best decision that you feel is right for you, your child and your family. Again, in the experience of motherhood – my hope is that all women feel educated, that you know your options and that you feel supported, empowered & respected in whatever you choose.
So with that, I wanted to share some of the many benefits of breastfeeding:
- Breastfeeding allows you to create a natural bond between you and your baby. For me, breastfeeding created an intimacy with my daughter that I believe to be unparalleled to anything else.
- Breastmilk provides the best nutrients for your baby. It contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses, bacteria and infections
- I was recently sent an article from my friend Dani about how a mother’s breast milk morphs to meet your baby’s changing needs.”A Mom’s body will actually change the milk’s immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby’s particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies”. Read the full article HERE…… the body is truly an amazing vessel!
- Breastmilk is more digestible for babies, which reduces asthma and allergies as they get older
- Breastfeeding lessens the risk of childhood obesity
- Breastfeeding helps boost a strong immune system
- Breastfeeding burns calories, which makes it easier to lose the baby weight that you put on during pregnancy. The oxytocin released when you nurse helps your uterus contract & return to its normal size more quickly
- Breastfeeding your child can reduce stress and risks of postpartum depression
- and to top it all off…….IT’S FREE!!
If breastfeeding is for you – there’s so much more information out there on the topic – tips & positions to try when breastfeeding, how to reduce pain when breastfeeding, information on lactation consultants and so on.
My plan and goal is to breastfeed baby number 2 when he or she arrives, so much more to come on this topic! I’m interested to hear your stories, so please share. Whether you’ve decided to breastfeed or not…I’m all ears!
Love & Light to you beauties!
(Photo of the beautiful @tinamarieclark)