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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

three reasons I breastfeed

Happy world breastfeeding week!  How funny that I didn't even know a week like this existed until I became a breastfeeding mom.  In honor of this special week, I came up with my top three reasons that I decided to breastfeed.  I realize that breastfeeding is not for everyone and/or that not everyone can physically do it, and guess what?  THAT IS 100% OKAY!  As mothers, we do what we think is best for our babies and that is all that matters.  

Okay, so here we go...the top three reasons this momma decided to breastfeed--Ready, GO!

3. Financial.  For those of you that don't know me, I'm a huge fan of Dave Ramsey.  We do our best to "Live like no one else, so later we can LIVE like no one else!" I have a love-hate relationship with this kind of lifestyle, but lucky for me, breastfeeding fit right into it.  Formula is very expensive and those little cans that they sell go very quickly.  I was having a hard time calculating how much I would be spending on diapers in a year, let alone adding formula to that equation--don't worry, my palpitations eventually went away.  No, but seriously, breastfeeding saves an incredible amount of money.  

2.  The bonding.  When Abram was born, no question, breastfeeding was awkward.  I could never get the hold quite right, the breastfeeding pillow always pushed him up too far, and I was always so tense trying to figure out if he was comfortable, getting a good latch in this position, etc., etc.  Not to mention, the initial latch feels so weird and for 2 weeks after every latch is painful.  Toe curling, squirming, sometimes crying painful.  So where does this bonding come in?  In the early days, it would take a little bit for the sting to wear off after the initial latch, but when it did, there was no greater feeling than holding my brand new baby and nursing that sweet bundle.  I was always amazed when I would look down at him and think about how wonderfully made this tiny human was; nursing was innate for him.  He just knew how to do it!  That is so crazy and so cool.  Now, six months in, there is absolutely zero pain (until he pops a tooth and bites down--that will be fun) and I still marvel at how well he does with it.  When he pops off and flashes me that big, gummy grin and then jumps right back on, my heart just bursts with love.  Six months of breastfeeding thus far and I can't think of anything I would have rather been doing with all of those hundreds of minutes I've spent nursing him. 

1. Health benefits.  Okay, so I'm a nurse--what did you expect?  I'm not going to go into all of the "Research says..." stuff because if you care what the research says, you would read it on your own.  All I'm going to say is that breastfeeding makes for one healthy baby.  Momma's breastmilk helps protect against all kinds of illnesses for baby, reduces the risk of allergies, lowers the incidence of childhood obesity, and lowers the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  You should also know though, that there are also health benefits for YOU--the momma!  Breastfeeding can decrease the risk of postpartum depression and certain types of cancer, while melting away that baby weight!  Not really a health advantage, but how awesome to know that you single handedly put a bunch of weight on that newborn baby!  What an awesome feeling--you go momma!  

So that is my spiel on why I chose to breastfeed.  What are your reasons?  I would love to hear them! 

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