Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Breastfeeding

Hats off! To all breastfeeding mothers out there (myself included). It's one of the most rewarding and wonderful experience a mother can have.
There was never a doubt in my mind that I would breastfeed my baby. As a first time mom, it wasn't that easy for me but thanks to my mother who's always there to guide me. The moment my son was born, we were already encouraged to start breastfeeding. It was a challenge for both me and my baby. I even had blisters and mind you it really is painful every time my baby would suckle  but we did it successfully and with flying colors. Finding the right and most comfortable position for me and my baby during breastfeeding, my commitment, patience too and my love for my little one knowing that I am giving him the best for him are my ingredients for a successful breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has a lot benefits for both the mother and the baby, here are some of them (if not all):
  • It creates a very special, intense bond between mother and baby. A special time for both to cuddle, to make your baby feel warm, comforted and loved. Your baby would instantly know it's you and would never confuse you with a sitter or anyone else. It's also the best time to know your child better.
  • It's the only food for your baby for the first 6 mos. of his life. Breast milk contains all the complete nutrients your child needs for his growth and development. As your child grows your milk also changes to suit your child's needs. It's just amazing how nature works! No milk formula can duplicate that. They've tried for years but they just can't.
  • It's the best way to get back in shape after giving birth faster than any diet programs out there and without diet or exercise at that! Breastfeeding helps shrink the uterus back to it's original size and also increases the mother's metabolism which burns up any excess fat gained during pregnancy.
  • Colostrum, which is the first breast milk that your baby receives or suckle, is very rich in nutrients and antibodies that would give your baby the best start in life and strengthens your child's immunity.
  • Saves you a lot money because it's naturally available. No need to buy expensive milk formula, feeding bottles, sterilizer and many other things. 
  • Protection against allergies, infections and all kinds of illnesses and even obesity, later in your child's life. My baby rarely got sick and was never hospitalized (thank God!). So it also saves you money on hospital expenses and medicines.
  • It's a natural contraceptive as it delays fertility for mothers who are exclusively breastfeeding.
  • Very bottles to wash and sterilize, no milk to prepare, no need test it at the back of your hands if it's the right temperature.
  • Convenient during travel. All you need to bring are diapers, clothes and other necessities. No need for bottles, sterilized water and milk formula that takes so much space. Breast milk is readily available, sterile and always at the right temperature so lesser chances of contamination.
  • Breast milk is essential for your child's growth and brain development. Breastfed babies are found to have higher IQ and EQ. 
  • Reduces the risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, cervical cancer and postpartum depression (PPD).
  • Breastfed babies are less irritable, smells good too and baby poo are less smelly.
  • You can nurse while sleeping so you get more sleep, you won't have to get up in the middle of the night to prepare his milk and you can easily satisfy your baby's hunger without him having to wait.
  • Breastfeeding makes you feel good and satisfied. The endorphin effect of the hormones produced during breastfeeding gives you a relaxed feeling.
  • Breast milk is easier to digest, reduces risk of chronic constipation, colic and stomach upsets.
    The list can go on and on and on.... There's just too many benefits with breastfeeding. Whether you breastfeed or not, it's really your decision. It won't make you less of a woman or a mother for that matter if you don't. Just take this point into consideration, cow's milk are for baby cows and human milk are for human babies. Wouldn't you want to give the best for your baby?

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