Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The joys of breastfeeding

As many of my friends know, I am a huge breastfeeding advocate. I didnt realize how much I would love it until now. My little Ethan is 3 1/2 months old and we still breastfeed on demand. I breastfeed him if he's tired, hungry, achy from teething, whenever he needs it, which is on average ever 2 1/2 - 4 hours (less often at night).

Before he was born, my reasoning for wanting to breastfeed were all health related. You know the normal reasons (it helps with there immune system, lower chance of obseity, allergies, etc) and some personal more selfish reasons (to help me lose weight, lol). And these reasons are still a giant reason I breastfeed, but more reasons are one's I didn't think about before I had Ethan.

Such as, its one less thing I do not have to remember when leaving the house. As a mother, you know the laundry list of things that you need when you are getting ready to leave the house (extra diapers, extra clothes, toys, medicine, etc) and I am grateful that remembering to pack a bottle is not on the list. I do have the thought "when was the last time he ate" and "should I feed him before we leave". However I do not have to plan and think about how long we will be out, and how many bottles he will need, and make sure I have everything. I just whip them out, and he is ready to go.

Another, and very big reason I love breastfeeding, is middle of the night feedings. When Ethan wakes up in the middle of the night, I don't really have to. I zombie walk to his bedroom, pick him up, lay on the couch, and close my eyes while he goes to town. Twenty minutes later (or longer if I actually fall asleep) I open my eyes, he's done eating and back to bed we go. It's not like formula, when you have to wake up, prepare the bottle, make sure its not to hot/cold and then hold it in the infants mouth the correct angle/way so he/she can eat. (Now, I will say that the one downside to breastfeeding is mama does all the middle of the night feedings, daddy is off the hook. But I do not mind, like I said, I don't really wake up).

Another pro to breastfeeding that I would have never thought of before is worrying how much they eat. I know many formula fed mama's and they stress about how many ounces of formula their baby ate last. And I have no idea how many ounces Ethan eats. I know that he eats 15ish minutes, and every 2-3 hours.

Lastly, he can eat whenever. Ethan can use nurse to sooth or eat. There is no worry about overeating. My body and Ethan knows what he needs and when Ethan nurses to sooth, he's not really sucking out milk. He more just suckles for comfort and nothing really comes out.

 I know that most mama's start out with the desire to breastfeed; some cannot, some quit. I read a statistic in a parenting magazine saying only 30% of mom's breastfeed past 3 months. Whatever the reason for stopping, I do not condemn. I just thought I would share why I love it so. I could not imagine our life another way. Breastfeeding is easy to me, its a joy of mine, and it is creating a bond unbreakable.

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