Have baby & breasts? Breast feed!

 

 

 

**My long pending, real long rant**
**My long pending, real long rant**

 

People are constantly advising me (I am sure only with the best of intentions) to give N the bottle now and then, so I can stay out a little longer, sleep a bit more… Fortunately for me and my babies, the wiser (sometimes louder) voices were more influential.

I’ve been luckier than most working-mums I know.

When I had O, I took a break for 18 months, so she was exclusively breastfed, and never once was given the bottle. I never really planned or worried then.

It was different this time around.

With N, I rejoined work when she was 2 months old.

But I seem to have a really active guardian angel, because working hasn’t really affected my breastfeeding plan.

I have the liberty of flexi hours and working from home. Very supportive colleagues. Fuel is cheap, so I can run between home and work every 2-3 hours, and the city is real small, so it’s not really time-consuming. R is at home in the morning, when I am at work, so she is actually not in babycare which would made bf-ing more difficult.

As I said my Angel is real active.

N is 5 months now and has started on semisolids like mashed fruits and dal. So my day is a bit more flexible.

It’s not that I am proud (except sometimes, I really do swell up) of managing to keep my children off formula. I am NOT judgemental of those who don’t exclusively BF. Sometimes it’s just so difficult to do that, especially if you don’t have a supportive work or family environment.

 

But I AM JUDGEMENTAL of those who make STUPID and absolutely fake excuses not to BREASTFEED.

It is NOT a question of choice or ‘your wish’. You have brought a baby into the world, then you bl***y well do what’s best for him or her.

 

Here is a golden truth. The more you breastfeed, the more you produce. So don’t tell me there wasn’t enough milk.

 

Here is WHY I do, and WHY YOU SHOULD

Because you simply MUST. Your baby NEEDS it.

 

You’ve made a choice to have a child biologically, then breastfeeding is a responsibility, a duty that comes with it.

You can’t expect Nestle to be the primary caregiver in terms of nutrition for you child.

Because your breasts are not for mere cleavage show or sex appeal.

Your breasts house the mammary glands. As far as I am concerned it’s main use is not to up the sales of push-up bras/minimisers or promote implants.

Cats do it. Dogs do it. Lions and tigers do it. Elephants do it. And any mammal with a 2-bit brain would do it. So just DO IT!

I know sometimes our lives and work schedules are such that we can’t exclusively breast feed our babies. Not everyone can get obsessive-compulsive. Try expressing milk. Or at least keep formula feeds to a minimum. But don’t give up breastfeeding entirely. That’s criminal!

Breastfeeding is comforting. It’s like snuggling up in your man’s arms, as against using a blow-up dummy.

Yes it hurts, your nipples can get sore and crack. But there is plenty of good ointments to help with that.

 

Let’s get scientific now

Breastfeeding reduces or even eliminates food allergies & eczema. I can stand guarantee for the latter.

Formula fed children have a drastic increase in childhood cancers. “The risk of artificially fed children was 1-8 times that of long-term breastfed children, and the risk for short term feeders was 1-9 times that of long term breast feeders.” Davis, M.K. Infant Feeding and Childhood Cancer. “Lancet 1988

Breast milk contains at least 100 (some sources say up to 400) ingredients not found in formula including at least 4 unique proteins. There are unique and powerful immune building properties in breast milk, and it can enhance brain development

There is growing evidence that breastfeeding can raise your child’s I.Q. and there are numerous studies pointing to higher developmental test scores in breastfed children. **That should get all the competitive mums tearing out their bras and dumping the bottle**

 

And for the Mum

Breastfeeding mothers have lower rates of certain cancers (breast, ovarian, uterine, and endometrial) as well as a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Also, “Women who were breastfed as infants, even if only for a short time, showed an approximate 25% lower risk of developing premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women who were bottle-fed as an infant.” (Freudenheim, J. “Exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk of breast cancer.” Epidemiology 1994 5:324-331)

 

And here is one I REALLY like, though it’s wacky as feminists tend to be: Breastfeeding “confirms a woman’s power to control her own body, and challenges the male-dominated medical model and business interests that promote bottle feeding.” from Breastfeeding-A Feminist Issue by Penny Van Esterik.

 

Breastfeeding encourages uterine contractions after childbirth, returning the uterus to it’s pre-pregnancy size much faster. It has been shown that the uteruses of formula feeding mothers sometimes never return to the pre-pregnancy state.

 

AND I LOVE THIS:Boosts prolactin (a hormone that enhances feelings of nurturing and contentment) levels, speeds up post-partum weight loss… OR IN MY CASE, ALL THE EXTRA CALORIES I CONSUME SEEM TO BURN UP DOUBLE QUICK.

 

Breastfeeding boosts women’s self-reliance and self esteem: by meeting the needs of their infants, they increase their confidence in their ability parent and nurture.

 

Breastfeeding is easier and less time consuming. There is no preparation involved, and you don’t have to prepare, warm, or transport bottles. JUST PERFECT FOR MOI!

 

The skin-to-skin contact offered by breastfeeding reduces the stress babies experience when they enter the world from the warmth and safety of the womb. After vaccinations especially, when my babies were stressed, I could see them relax and the stressed facial expression clear as they breastfed.

  

I LOVE the way my babies snuggle upto me, and the ‘insecure me’ finds unparalled comfort in this exclusive bonding experience. And I can stay neither angry nor depressed for too long, when I am bf-ing. 

THINK GREEN:Breastmilk is actually the most ecological food available to humans.

There is less consumption of natural resources and landfill space. The production and packaging of formula uses paper, glass, plastic, and metals, all of which need to be produced and disposed of.

(Some of the info was taken from http://www.parentingweb.com. A real fantastic resource.)

 

Why Formula SUCKS!

Breastmilk is a living substance. Each woman’s milk is individually tailored for her own baby. What’s more, her milk changes constantly – both during a feed and day by day – to meet the baby’s evolving needs. When a mother is exposed to pathogens in the environment, she produces antibodies to combat them. The mother’s antibodies are then passed on to her baby via her breastmilk. Source: WABA Breastfeeding…WBW 1997- Nature’s Way

Breast milk is created by the human body to feed human babies. It is perfectly formulated for the nutritional needs of human babies. So who is creating formula?

Cow’s milk is created by cows to feed calves. It is perfectly formulated for the nutritional needs of calves. What’s your baby? Bovine or Human?

“Compositionally, I’d call it apples to apples but functionally, it’s apples to oranges in many ways.”

It’s only in the last 60 years that we have begun to give babies the highly processed convenience food called ‘formula’. The health consequences include five times the risk of gastroenteritis, twice the risk of developing eczema and diabetes and up to eight times the risk of developing lymphatic cancer – which are staggering. With UK formula manufacturers spending around £20 (approx $50AUD) per baby promoting artificial milk compared to the paltry 14 pence (approx 35cAUD) per baby the government spends promoting breastfeeding, can we ever hope to reverse the trend?

 And if the fashionistas feel breastfeeding isn’t hip enough, check out some trendy feeding ponchos, slings and tops online.  I got a nice modest one from ToysRUs which I use when I have to feed N outside of my home.

An open appeal: Can Angelina Jolie or someother hip mum (even Britney would do) please breastfeed in public or make a show of it? Maybe more would be inspired to!

 

Footnote: I know there are those who genuinely can’t BF. Infection, diseases, or simply because you did not have your child biologically (though here again is something interesting). This is not to comment on them. I am only being mean to those who are being irresponsible.

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10 thoughts on “Have baby & breasts? Breast feed!

  1. Mahas says:

    Excellent! Since my wife does not work yet, and is part of an extended family, there has been no question of not breastfeeding, but we do get riled at people we know who don’t.

    P:S: Angelina Jolie DID in fact appear in a magazine photograph breasfeeding her baby!

  2. Vikram says:

    My son, now 1.7 yrs, has been on breast milk alone for more than his first year. Now, he has solids as well. Shyama, my wife, made the right decision. Others we knew at ante-natal classes have now turned formula freaks. If only more people realised humans and animals are not too far apart and give their children their biological due. By the way, hospitals and doctors in Delhi tried their best to convince us that the child was undernourished due to breast feeding. But it’s been no way Jose, to all those fattened by formula peddlers.

    • UmmON says:

      in madras hospitals/nursing homes insist on bf only. great that you and shyama stood your ground on this. mail me some pics man of the lil fellow. what’s his name?

      • Vikram says:

        You can see photos of Sakya H. Kilpady in my facebook account. Not the latest though. Will update soon.

  3. Gayatri says:

    Hello,

    I agree with all the reasons of breastfeeding etc. Its great that you have managed to breastfeed your children and also advocate it strongly. But, please do not make categorical statements like “breasts are there and so breastmilk is produced and there is nothing like there is less milk”. You must also know that there are a whole lot of other factors that influence breast milk production and in some cases whatever you do it does not work out.
    If you have any suggestions/advice, any “gharelu nuskey” please share and in that way encourage mums to try and breast feed their children. But, please do not rubbish some mothers personal agony which thankfully you did not have to go through.

    Best wishes
    Gayatri

    • UmmON says:

      please read the article again. i’ve made it clear that there are mothers who have genuine reasons for not being able to breastfeed. i know a few myself. it is NOT about them.
      but i know SO MANY (way too many in fact which brought about this vent) who just can’t be bothered to breastfeed. who find it easier to just give the bottle. who don’t even try. some are honest and say they don’t want to, and some say not enough milk without even trying. and them I WILL RUBBISH.
      and what is ‘gharelu nuskey’ — assuming that it is hindi for something, but i don’t understand the language.

  4. Krithika says:

    I wish I can tell you how much of nodding of the head I have been doing. One day, if (I am hoping it will be when) we get to adopt, we would so like to find someone to put me on an adoptive lactation protocol.
    My other pet peeve is that medical fraternity is doing more damage unto a breastfeeding relationship than help establish it. At a majority of the hospitals, the pressure to breast feed is huge, but information and support absolutely zero.
    I know of well-meaning nurses who actually try to put a new born on schedule so that they don’t disturb mommy! I was “allowed” to breastfeed my preemie 5x a day for th first three days and then put on formula because my milk did not come in. The baby had newborn jaundice; so formula was increased to keep him hydrated. I was actively discouraged from waking up a sleepy child to nurse. He did poorly on formula and started refluxing from day 3. He was then shifted to hypo allergenic formula (*banging my head*). Miraculously my milk did come in on the 6th day of our hospitalisation – I do now know how lucky I am that my milk came in at all.
    And I know I am not alone. Terrible information is being made available to mothers in the name of lactation support. Your child is not gaining x amount of weight, put him on formula. Formula has lesser amount of calories per ounce when compared to breastmilk! For the 22 to 24 kcal per ounce in BM, formula has 18 to 20. The best advice we ever got was not to give bottles.
    A wonderful breastfeeding support site http://www.kellymom.com had this information on how it is easy to overfeed with bottle. About how milk flows out of the nipple into the mouth of the child, forcing the child to swallow. The swallowing action brings more milk from the bottle into a child’s mouth. It does look like the child is hungrily gulping down milk, whereas she/he may be overfed.
    Vani, there is only one issue where I think a little differently (and this is from my observation and has no other basis:) From labour and delivery to raising a child, a mother’s instinct is invalidated on a day to day basis. Be it the medical fraternity or family, everyone tells the mom – I have seen more babies than you have, you know nothing. To a first time mom, that can be very scary. I know I have a contrary streak in me and perhaps my training makes me want to see if there is another side to the story, to a lot of women what their mothers/mothers in law say is Gospel.
    I agree the advice to” just give that damn bottle” is very intrusive, I would just chalk it up to systematic invalidation of a woman’s instincts. If anything I feel sorry for women who have been handed out this advice they dont make enough. It is a very prevalent myth, but it just shakes your confidence if you are not well informed. And good information about breastfeeding is very, very hard to come by.
    Thanks for sharing your blog. I enjoyed reading it.

    • UmmON says:

      hi Kritika
      thanks for your comments. yes, true about how ‘influences’ around you can mess it up. but in this day and age of information at a click, seems difficult to believe that people are not taking the effort to do what’s best.
      you saw vikram’s comment about formula right? what do you do with docs like this?
      good luck with your adoption. hope it does goes smooth. make sure you choose a good agency. karnaprayag is a good one. very clean, straight, helpful.

      • Krithika says:

        Tks for reco, I dont know anyone who adopted from Karnaprayag, but it seemed totally on the level when I wrote about it. I heard there is a prof at Manipal who does adoptive lactation protocol, that should be interesting when it comes to that.
        I agree there is a lot of information online, but it can be daunting to find relevant information from that, if someone around you is not asking you to look up a particular site that would help. (My sister asked me to look up Kellymom because it helped her). That and the idea that elders cant be wrong. But a lot of women dont even bother to look up…
        I just re-read what Vikram (formerly of TNIE?) wrote. Awesome of his wife. I have a tiny kid too and I know what he is talking about.

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