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?
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.