search
top

Attachment Parenting Element #3 – Breastfeed Your Baby

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.

Mother’s Intuition

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:

  1. Our society is not very breastfeeding friendly
  2. 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.

Moving on…

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.

12 Responsesto “Attachment Parenting Element #3 – Breastfeed Your Baby”

  1. Jess Ray says:

    DellaDea,

    I give you a lot of praise and credit for trying so hard. Thanks for sharing another experience and perspective for new moms to learn from.

  2. DellaDea says:

    I am in a situation similar to Sara – except I don’t have PCOS. My problem is insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), meaning I don’t have near the amount of milk-making equipment most women do. This is one breastfeeding issue that cannot be resolved by technique. At three days old, my daughter was a whole pound under her birth weight. I was advised by my LC to try a SNS to try to get my supply up and get some food into my daughter. Oh how I hated that SNS, it was a pain to clean and use, and oftentimes my daughter was still hungry after a feeding because most of what she was getting was coming out of the SNS, not me! Feedings took almost two hours because of how hungry she was and how slowly formula came out of the tube, then she was hungry again half an hour later. After trying the SNS for nearly a week in addition to pumping after every feeding and using lactogenic herbs and teas, my supply was up to about 1 oz every three hours or so and seems to have plateaued. The lack of sleep due to extended feedings and pumping in addition to caring for a newborn was taxing on me. One early morning after not being able to sleep all night due to constantly nursing my daughter, I made a bottle of formula and her daddy gave it to her. She finally went to sleep, content and full.

    I had every intention of exclusively breastfeeding even after a diagnosis of IGT by a midwife and an LC during pregnancy, since some women are still able to. I don’t regret having to feed formula to my daughter, but the loss of an exclusive breastfeeding relationship was emotionally devastating to me. I’m lucky to have a kid who isn’t picky about where her food comes from, breast or bottle, so I still nurse her for little snack feedings and comfort. What’s left is pumped and put in her next bottle. Some is better than none, I believe. I intend on keeping up this routine as long as I am able.

    Just throwing this out there for the commenters who believe women who formula feed are all ill-informed.

  3. Sara says:

    Thank you for your articles on attachment parenting. I usually don’t read the articles about breastfeeding because of my own personal experience. Like most new moms, I was told that like 99.9% of women can make plenty of milk for their baby. (OK, that number may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea.) My breasts were making a little milk, but not enough. I have PCOS – and nobody told me that there is a correlation between low milk supply and PCOS until I was in the doctor’s office with a baby that hadn’t had a wet diaper in 12 hours…and so, we started supplementing with formula. My milk did increase a little when I started breastfeeding AND pumping, but by then my daughter had decided that she liked bottles better than my nipples. So, I had to give most of her breastmilk through a bottle by way of pumping. Besides that, my milk was drying up fast, despite being attached to the pumps all day. Oh! I was going to say…I have very large breasts, flat nipples, and a small baby…so it would be hard for me to be discreet in public. In some other countries, women are not expected to “cover themselves” while they breastfeed. It’s natural. I so wish I could have breastfed for longer. I made it about 3 months until I was only getting about a tablespoon of milk after an hour of pumping and gave up.

  4. Jess Ray says:

    Good for you Janine! So many young moms feel the pressure to use formula, understandably so…I commend any young mom who takes the time to work through nursing challenges. Even as a not so young mom I had my moments…

  5. hello i’m a young mother and i have a seventh month old infant. And she’s completely breast fed i think it;s a miracle that my body can provide the nutrients she needs naturally. I love it, themoment i knew i was pregnant chose the choice of being a pro breastfeeding mommy. The baby’s bond to you is unbreakablre they know who is their life source the moment they bury their face in your chest.the comfort it gives them as well the motherly body heat that naturally flows onto their precious bodies. I’m eighteen years old and i just can’t understand why more teen moms think about breastfeeding their children. it truly does put your uterus naturally back in place sure it might take a while for a infant to latch on but don’t give up! They will get settled and eventually find their way to your breast if not ask for help ask a nurse or lactation advocate they’ll be more then glad to help you. No offense to formula feeding moms but cow milk is just not ment to be given to a infant it’s for calves. I believe that one should not ever feel embarressed about feeding your child in any case or senario yes you may be descreet but don’t be ashamed because your doing your part to society. Keeping your child healthy is the most that a mother can ever do and breastfeeding your new born is just one of many extrodinary things a mother can do for their child.

  6. Laura Jane says:

    More mother’s should breastfeed, perhaps then people wouldn’t act so strange when they see a nursing mother. I am breastfeeding my third little boy and wouldn’t have it any other way. Nice website btw.

  7. Excellent….nice to hear your baby came healthy 10 pounds and safe !

  8. Jess Ray says:

    Hi Nile,

    I just took a quick look at Healthy Moms, great site. Happy to network with you!

  9. Nile says:

    I really enjoyed breast feeding my son. Took 1 year and then another 4 months to wean off.

    I do agree that it seems that breastfeeding is not being emphasized enough and often looked down upon. However, I will never frown about it. It is a beautiful thing and any mother who is able to, should at least try it before deciding otherwise.

    By the way, I work as a virtual assistant of The Healthy Moms ( http://www.thehealthymoms.net ), the site is fairly new and I thought I would drop by some mom and health related sites to spread the word.

  10. Jess Ray says:

    Gilliauna,

    You make a good point. I know some women who “flaunt” breastfeeding with the intention of making people uncomfortable and then giving someone are hard time for staring or looking. The more of us who nurse in public with just a touch of modesty and respect for others the more I would hope nursing moms would be treated with the same respect and therefore find more support when they are out and about with their babies.

    Thanks for contributing to the conversation!

  11. Gilliauna says:

    I think as far as public breast feeding goes that this is one of those instances in society where the actions of a few have effected the many.

    Most of the time? I’ve passed people in the airport and other public places that are breast feeding and most people don’t even notice.

    It’s the trashy woman with the mini skirt and low-brow sneer that whips her breast out the neck of her shirt to expose herself to the world that sears into people’s mind’s eye though.

    There’s a serious “ick” factor in that situation and it makes the act -seem- lewd.

    Then, all of a sudden whenever the topic is brought up, it’s not all those discrete instances they missed that stick in their minds but rather the one bad seed in the bunch.

  12. Anisa says:

    I love that you are going through all these different AP elements. Will definitely be sending link love your way.

Leave a Reply

top