Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why I chose to breastfeed

Sorry my non-baby friends…no fun videos for you this time.  But I’ll do my best to make up with an awesome Friday Five tomorrow.

Let me start by telling you why I wanted to write this post:  a very large majority of what I see and read these days is about why people chose to formula feed.  Some of my favorite bloggers and quite a few of other blogs I follow have either chosen or switched to formula.  At Peanut’s daycare, she is the only baby that is currently breastfed. 

There are some very obvious choices for choosing to nurse your baby – it’s nutritional, it’s natural, it’s bonding.

 

But to be honest with you, I didn’t really ever see anything else as an option.  To me (although I totally understand other peoples choices and decisions), formula is something that you go to when you are unable, for whatever reason, to breastfeed.  For mothers that cannot provide, for one reason or another, enough food for their baby, formula is an amazing alternative.  However, for me, it wasn’t an option I was going to consider unless something was going really wrong.

This actually made things easier, believe it or not, when things were painful and hard in the first month, I didn’t consider formula as an option since I was still producing enough for the baby to eat.

With that in mind, here are some other reasons that breastfeeding was the right choice for us:

  • It’s free!  Well, sort of.  Since I am working full time and breastfeeding, we made quite an investment in all the supplies.  But when you add them all up, it’s still significantly cheaper than buying formula.
  • It’s easier and quicker and more efficient in the middle of the night.  There is no need to warm up and make a bottle or watch the baby cry while it warms up. 
  • It’s also easier when we’re traveling someplace.  There is no need to pack bottles, the right amount of formula, etc.  I just bring…me.
  • The milk my baby gets is made just for her.  It’s like a custom order.
  • There’s still plenty of ways for Jon to bond with the baby.  He changes her, plays with her, and takes naps on the couch with her (while I supervise).  On top of it, we introduced Peanut to a bottle at 2 weeks and Jon has been able to feed her at least once a day.
  • It’s awesome to help you lose the baby weight.  Seriously, it’s incredible.
  • Whatever immunities my mature immune system is able to gather, I get to pass on to the baby.
  • It’s healthy for me and the baby! 

What did you choose to feed your baby?

Why was that the right choice for you and your family?

14 comments:

  1. Hi Kat, thanks for posting this! I am having my first baby later this year and plan to breastfeed, and it is nice to see someone else sticking up for it. The blog world does seem to be full of bloggers who write well-constructed arguments against breastfeeding, and it's refreshing to hear you speak so positively about it.

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  2. I know it's going to be hard but I'm determined and don't see formula as an option for Zoey either (due in 4 1/2 weeks)! Great post!!

    ~ GGG

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  3. I haven't seen many blogs personally talking about formula feeding. The ones that I follow are mostly breastfeeding mom blogs. But I am with you on all the reasons you stated for why you breastfeed. I formula fed my first son and I regretted it almost immediately after I stopped breastfeeding (3 weeks in) He got reflux, had constipation issues, and it was so expensive to feed him (he ate more than a normal baby as well). I vowed to stick with it this time and I have a 1 month old and it is going great!

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  4. I ended up having to switch to formula, but I would have much rather stuck to breast feeding. We found out Joshua had a dairy allergy the hard way while I was breastfeeding (had bloody poop and broke out in horrible hives all at the same time, poor thing) So I had to eliminate dairy from my diet while I continued to pump and feed him hypoallergenic formula from the pediatrician. As my diet changed though, I started to dry up, we tried all the tricks we were told to try but nothing was helping. So he ended up getting breastmilk from a bottle until he was 6 months old, then we had to switch to formula for good. But I agree with you, breast is best! :-P For many reasons in many cases, good for you! :)

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  5. I'm not a mom yet but really want to try to breastfeed if at all possible. I realize there are challenges and it may not work out as planned but the reasons you present are exactly why it's worth trying to make it work!

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I am currently 24 weeks pregnant and have been thinking about this a lot. Because of some health issues, my doctor has told me that it is likely that I won't be able to breast feed although, he says we won't know for sure until the time comes. I have been reading as much as possible on both options since I do not know what I'll be able to do. I like when people tell about what they did but also know that it is not always an option for everyone...like you mentioned. It tends to offend me when people act like someone is a bad parent because they formula feed, when in the end it may have been the only option they had to feed their child.

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  7. I wish I was still breastfeeding Emma. If I would have known that switching her to a special formula still wasn't going to fix her acid reflux I would have totally stuck with breastmilk. As a new mom though you just don't know what to do and after three months of projectile vomiting I caved and switched to the A.R. formula. I miss breastfeeding. It may not have sat well on Emma's poor belly but it never once was painful and she was an immediate latcher. At least when we have another baby I will know!

    For any mom out there, my advice is to at least always give breastfeeding a shot and in the end if you switch to formula you can say you tried. I know that with Emma, I fed her for three months and I know that she got all the good stuff needed to support her immune system. Breastfeeding can take a toll and can be very stressful at times but I will say from experience that switching to formula has it's plus' and minus'. It's SO expensive and takes a while to prepare formula for leaving the house. However at least in public you don't have to excuse yourself from an activity to feed or "whip it out" :)

    I wish all new mommy's the best of luck and what ever choice is made, remember it's YOUR choice!

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  8. Like you, it really wasn't a choice for me. I just knew that I was going to breastfeed. It's weird - back home, most people formula feed, but in my professional life and friends near me now, most breastfeed. Definitely the health benefits pushed me, but once my son was born, it seemed natural to me. And I will say for those who haven't yet had kids, although I knew I would BF, it seemed unnatural and weird to me before my kids were born (yes, even with #2).

    It can definitely be a hard road though, and I was lucky that the biggest issue we faced was a peanut allergy that I could easily change my diet to fix. For anyone wanting to BF, get your lactation consultant contacts in order and don't be afraid to use them for any issue.

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  9. I couldnt agree more with everything you have said!!! I have an 8.5 month old and plan to BF her til a year. As long as I can make it, I was not even considering formula for all of the above stated reasons. This is a great, well written post and I agree with you again that SO many of the blogs I read advocate for formula - which is fine - its just nice to read a perspective that I agree with! I work part time and so my pump goes every where with me! Its slightly inconvenient, however a small price to pay for the long term benefits!

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  10. I had the exact same approach to it, formula was an option if I couldn't...but as long as I could breastfeed I was going to because it was free and it's so much better for the baby. From the beginning, however, we received free samples of formula and so {because it was free} I started giving Zoe a bottle maybe once a day instead of me feeding her {mostly I would pump that feeding, especially when my boobs were getting used to nursing}. My main goal with Zoe was that I needed to her to be able to eat whatever was available when it was available. So, she never got bottles heated up {she takes them room temp or cold}, we made sure she could take a bottle, gave her whatever brand of sample formula was in the house. So, from the get go she was like 99% breast, 1% bottle. Once the free formula stopped coming she was 100% breast. At about 8 months she did a little nursing strike and refused to nurse on my left side...so we brought back formula on a regular basis. Now at 10 months she's 50/50 and we're probably going to wean between 11 and 12 months.

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  11. So far...we're making it. All 3 days, and MAN is it hard. And, admittedly, we did give him 1/2 an oz of formula in the hospital b/c he hadn't had a wet diaper (even though production is fine - very weird). I'm trying to not let formula enter my mind, but, I've got to admit? As painful as it is currently? It's certainly crossed my mind. But...this is a good reminder.

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  12. I admire women who breastfeed. Not that I don't admire the women who choose not to, but I can only imagine how difficult it is. You are the provider of food for your child...which is a huge responsibility and a lot of work! Yet the health benefits are beyond argument. Thanks for sharing this. I know it can be a very controversial topic among women.

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  13. I started out nursing and then developed a DVT and had to go on blood thinners and stopped nursing, switched to formula because of the medication.

    Honestly, it broke my heart.

    Granted my son has grown up to be a strong, smart, strapping young man, (he's 10), but I would have loved to have nursed him for at least a year. But it didn't work out for me.

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  14. I always thought I would breastfeed too. Although I can't really say for sure until I have kids. Glad I'll be having kids in Europe though, their long maternity leaves make it easier for things like this.

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