Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why I Want to Breast Feed

There are so many reasons. The health of my child is my primary concern. There is no judgment here if you have not chosen to take the breast feeding path, but I would like to explain my reasons. 

I want to breast feed because it is natural. That is how we have evolved to feed our young. I want that closeness with my baby, and to have the natural milk cycle take place in my body (the production of oxytocin and prolactin). 

I have learned some interesting information about breast feeding:
  • There is a reduction in infant mortality. 
  • It will improve the baby's immune system and vision
  • Breast fed (exclusively for the first 6 months) babies test 11 IQ points higher than formula fed babies
  • Breast fed babies generally have "healthier" bowel movements (less diarrhea and constipation)
  • As children, breast fed babies have less allergies, respiratory illness (important for an asthmatic like myself), sickness, cavities, etc
  • The bowel movements of breast fed babies have a less offensive odor (admit it, this is a nice perk!)
  • Mothers who breast feed will burn about 500 more calories a day to produce milk
  • Breast feeding encourages the mother's uterus to contract faster (painful, but helpful)
  • A decrease in postpartum bleeding
  • A lower risk of breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer for the mother 
I am really looking forward to breast feeding. From research and conversations with mothers that have experience with breast feeding, I know it may not be easy. I can't lie, I am worried about how difficult breast feeding will be for me. I hope that my baby and I can get the hang of it quickly, and get started on the right foot. For this reason (and others), we are planning to spend the first hour after birth skin-to-skin and initiating breast feeding. We are also planning to spend the first two weeks at home alone as a family of three. We want to establish our new family bond, and for the baby and I to really get the hang of breast feeding and our new life. 

Although I am looking forward to the bonding that comes with breast feeding, I also plan to share this experience with my husband. Our plan is to start pumping as soon as possible, and my husband will be able to feed our baby as well. We don't plan to introduce a bottle to our baby until about 3 weeks of age (to avoid nipple confusion), but he will definitely be part of it all!  


If you're interested in following my breast feeding journey, you can find me on Twitter @DawnMarieMcG and I look forward to seeing you online!

Sources of information: 
My heart & instincts
"The Breastfeeding Book" Little, Brown and Company
"Undersize Infants Score Higher on IQ Tests IF Breastfed Exclusively" National Institutes of Health
"Little Known Benefits of Breastfeeding" www.askdrsears.com
"Breastfeeding Benefits" University of Michigan Health System
"Milk, Money and Madness - The Culture and Politics of Breastfeeding" Bergin & Garvey


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15 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing, I would also add that as a breast feeding mum I get more sleep, sleepy hormones at night and night time cuddles mean I don't have to go trooping around the house in the cold and dark!

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    1. This is also a great reason! Not having to run around a dark, cold house to get bottles warmed up is definitely a good reason! I am definitely going to enjoy the extra sleep at night.

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  2. Good luck to you! The sleeping issue is a real benefit - if you can learn to feed lying down, your sleep is hardly disturbed at all!

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    1. Let's hope we master that one. More sleep for both of us sounds ideal.

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  3. I loved seeing my little baby boy's eyes looking up into mine! Truly magical! :)
    @hannahmdy

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    1. These are the moments I'm dying for. I can't wait to experience that for myself!

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  4. Replies
    1. This is DEFINITELY a good reason to breast feed!

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  5. If your baby has an underdeveloped tear duct or weepy eye you can use breast milk to bathe it in which is fab medicine and helps clear it up x

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    Replies
    1. Great tips! If that comes up, I will definitely try this.

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  6. The bond that you get with your baby is amazing :)

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    1. You are so right! Thank you for reading! :)

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  7. The health benefits are amazing for both little one and mummy but the special time you get together is truely priceless :)

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    1. Yes it is! I'm grateful for the excuse to have him all to myself sometimes :)

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  8. When silicone gel-filled implants rupture, some women may notice decreased breast size, nodules (hard knots), uneven appearance of the breasts, pain or tenderness, tingling, swelling, numbness, burning, or changes in sensation. Other women may unknowingly experience a rupture without any symptoms (i.e., "silent rupture").
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