Monday, March 24, 2014
Planning To Breastfeed
There are so many topics that you discuss with your doctor or midwife during pregnancy to prepare for when your baby gets here. One of those topics is breastfeeding. I want to start off by saying if you chose not to, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that! It is a mother’s choice and we are so lucky to have such advanced formulas that can provide for our babies! That being said, if you are considering breastfeeding or know that you want to there are a few things I want to educate you on.
Benefits of breastfeeding for Momma:
Breastfeeding benefits not only your baby but you. Women don’t necessarily see it this way, but it truly does. It can lower your risk of certain diseases such as, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diabetes and postpartum depression. I personally feel it is especially important for mother’s because it does help reduce your risk of postpartum depression. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released while breastfeeding. This hormone is a dynamite natural antidepressant. Breastfeeding also forces you to take time to relax during your day, which I, myself, have a hard time with. At first I must admit, I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding because I didn’t have the patience to take the time and sit there until my little guy was done. For the first 2 months I mostly pumped. Now, he will take bottle of breast. I realized that this time is precious and once it is gone I can’t get it back. So taking that time to relax during the day is not the worst thing. Breastfeeding also helps lose that baby weight. When you breastfeed you are burning about 20 calories per ounce of milk. Do that math? For most women that’s anywhere from 300-600 calories per day! When you can burn calories by bonding with your baby, who needs the gym!? Another positive to breastfeeding is the amount of money saved. Even if you are pumping, most of what is bought is a one time expense.
Benefits of breastfeeding for Baby:
There are so many benefits for your baby if you decide to breastfeed. Breast milk has antibodies, cell, and hormones made specific to your baby. Your breast milk changes to fit your baby. It grows as your baby grows giving him or her the exact nutrients and antibodies necessary for your baby. It protects your baby from sickness and lowers the risks of developing problems later in life. Breast milk is also easy on the tummy for babies.
You have options!
If you are considering breastfeeding, but like myself, have some reservations, you have options to make sure your baby gets your breast milk! Pumping is a wonderful fit if you are feeling uncomfortable with direct feeding or you are finding that your baby is not latching efficiently. Pumping is just as economical as direct feeding. There are a few one time expenses, such as, your pump, (which is now covered by insurance), bottles and bottle accessories. With pumping, it is quick and easy and keeps your baby having all the benefits of your breast milk. Something I must tell you, pumping is not as efficient in producing the milk as your baby is direct. If you are finding you are having some difficultly with the amount your are producing, you should talk to your doctor or midwife about a lactation enhancement. There is one in particular called MILKY! which I have had the pleasure of trying recently and will be reviewing after a full week of my use.
Cons about breastfeeding:
I don’t want to deceive you and tell you everything is wonderful and you may not have problems. As stated above, you may have difficulty in your supply. If that is the case, talk to your doctor or midwife about a lactation enhancement. On the flip side, if you have an abundance and can’t quite keep up, you are at risk for mastitis, clogged milk ducts and engorgement. Also, breast milk is deficient in Vitamin D, so it is best to give your baby added Vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements made for breastfed babies are sold in your local drug store. None of the cons can’t be fixed very easily. The pros outweigh the cons in breastfeeding your baby.
This is just some food for thought to consider during your pregnancy. It is important when making any decision you make an informed decision.