Monday, March 23, 2009

Thoughts on Breastfeeding.

As I said in my last post, I have been obsessed about breastfeeding. What's there not to love about it? Actually, there is a lot.

First of all, it is very uncomfortable at first. Secondly, it can make your nipples extremely sore. The baby who is breastfed requires more frequent feedings that those on formula. You can never leave baby for long hours. It can be exhausting.

And that's precisely why I only breastfed my eldest for 2 1/2 months.

But when I had my 2nd, I felt determined to try breastfeeding longer.

Breastfeeding is a choice. Especially for women living in countries where infant formula milk is very accessible. Unless you live in a remote jungle somewhere in the Amazon, we can get formula milk in all groceries. I also feel, that one has to be ready physically and emotionally before deciding whether or not to breastfeed. If one feels she is not 100% sure about breastfeeding baby, it's not really going to work. Why? Refer to 2nd paragraph.

So what's there not to love about breastfeeding? First of all, think of all the benefits that baby can get from it. There's the stronger immune system, less digestive problems and the comfort that baby can get. Second, it is the best and easiest way for new mommies to lose weight. Third, it is was cheaper than spending on formula milk.

It works for some and it doesn't for others. But then again, it is a choice.

During the first 3 days postpartum, I hardly had any milk supply. I felt so tired and frustrated. I didn't feel good physically. I felt sick. And I was so tempted to send the husband to the nearest drugstore to get a can of infant formula.

I am happy I didn't. I had to remind myself a million times not to give up.

When there isn't enough milk, you can always take supplements. Prepare soup every meal -- preferably broth with lots of ginger. Drink a lot -- be it water, juice or milk. Eat healthy. And think positive. And again, think of the benefits it will have on your baby.


Heather said...

I was only successful nursing 2 of 3 kids. The first one just didn't so I pumped for 6 months for her. I guess I was lucky with the other 2 because my discomfort (okay, pain) with nursing eased after 2-3 weeks. And after being tied to an electric pump it was much less time-consuming to me to just let the baby get milk right from the source!

Congrats on keeping with it. I've found it's totally worth it and wish I'd tried harder with my first born. Oh well. She's no worse for wear.

Midas said...

I was just thinking this very thought the other day. Why did I breastfeed? Sure there were benefits, but why did I really do it five times? Then it kind of disappoint me that the foremost reason might have been convinience. I don't want to have to get up and mix formula at midnight. I just want to whip it up and go back to sleep.