As we continue to discuss the 7 baby “B’s” of attachment parenting as defined by Dr. Sears in The Baby Book
we come to #3…
Breastfeed Your Baby
“The benefits of breastfeeding in enhancing baby’s health and development are enormous, but what is not fully appreciated are the magnificent effects of breastfeeding on the mother.” – Dr. Sears
Here’s whats in it for you, the mom:
- Every time your baby feeds, hormones enter your system. These “mothering” hormones help form the chemical basis for mothering intuition.
- These hormones also help combat the “baby blues” and post-partum depression.
- Breastfeeding helps your uterus contract to its original size.
- Breastfeeding demands an additional 500 calories a day which helps take off baby weight.
I can personally attest to all of the benefits listed above.
It is amazing how your instincts kick in the minute your baby is born, you naturally want to put baby to breast and baby just latches on. Evalee was a power nurser from minute one and Jeremiah, once he was done cooing and talking, latched right on and has been eating like a champ ever since.
The Baby Blues
I’ve experienced a bit of emotional highs and lows after both of my babies were born, which is to be expected, but nothing as severe as depression. And, truly, when I did feel a little worn thin I credit it to sleep deprivation more than anything.
Getting My Body Back
I could literally feel my uterus and abdomen contracting when I would nurse Evalee and this time with Jeremiah I had some pretty intense cramps. I mentioned this to my midwife, Kathie, and she told me that this was normal for a second baby.
I am not writing the following to brag, just as a testament to the information listed above, but I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes within days of my babies being born. Actually, I am thinner now than I was before I got pregnant with Jeremiah, but I guess that is what happens when you give birth to a 10 pound baby boy!
So with all of these benefits for mom and baby, why are there not more moms choosing to breastfeed their baby?
I feel that it is due to two major factors:
- Our society is not very breastfeeding friendly
- OB/GYN’s and Pediatricians are not educating moms about the benefits because of the pressures from hospital admin executives pushing formula.
Do you remember the news story a few years back about a woman from Vermont getting kicked off a plane for nursing her daughter? I do, and it was insane! There were “nurse-ins” in airports and all sorts of hub-bub over the whole thing which was fantastic.
This logo was actually inspired by the incident and is now popping up in windows all over the country. This is certainly progress but here in my little town I get dirty looks all the time for nursing Jeremiah, I consider myself to be very discreet and respectful to others about it.
Why do people look at breastfeeding like its “dirty” or sexual in nature. Its my kid having lunch! I blame things like the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and magazines like Cosmopolitan for turning woman’s breast into overtly sexual object.
What do these anti-breastfeeding people think breasts are for?
And as far as the people with the most influence, the OB’s and Pediatricians, why are they not speaking up and empowering women to do what is truly best for themselves and their babies? I will tell you…
My pediatrician, who is pro breastfeeding and was looked at as a “hippie” for pushing more woman to nurse 20 years ago when he first came to our area (he’s not from the US, go figure), told me an interesting fact at Jeremiah’s last check up.
Nurses are actually encouraged to push formula on moms by the CEO’s of the hospital because they get funding and kick backs from the formula manufacturers. How crazy is that?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to single out moms who have formula fed their babies. I am lucky enough to be a full time SAHM. I can not IMAGINE trying to pump and all that jazz while working full time.
My advice to working moms is to at least nurse for the six weeks you have for maternity leave (which is a joke BTW). Your baby will at least get some much needed antibodies and it will help you and your body recover to go back to work that much faster.
The next element of attachment parenting is a really fun one in my not so humble opinion – Babywearing.
In this post I will talk not only about the benefits of wearing your baby but also about the cool slings, pouches and wraps out there you get to sport with you cute little bundle. So be sure to check back in for that one.
Til then…be sure to subscribe or leave a comment before you go.