Muffin is nearing the end of ten months and I can't believe I've been nursing this long! My goal was to make it to a year, which is the recommended amount of time to breastfeed a baby. At first it seemed impossible, I hated it! When I was pregnant it seemed like the logical way to feed a baby, and the easiest! I was not prepared for the first few weeks of feeding a newborn. Don't let anyone tell you that it's a piece of cake, because it is not!
I remember hating it and hating myself for hating it. I felt frustrated for not loving it because it was the natural way to take care of my little one. It wasn't until after the first growth spurt at three weeks that I finally came to terms with it. If you can make it past those first few weeks, it is worth it! Don't give up!
Whatever obstacles you come through can be combatted with a great support system and a ton of research! Every time I nursed my newborn I had my phone in my hand researching baby center and every resource I could find on breastfeeding. I would read and re-read things until I understood feeding times, what cluster feeding meant, how often to switch sides, etc! Research would comfort me!
Now that Mia is 10 months she has self-weaned to two feedings, morning and night, and she has a bottle of whole milk in the afternoon. My goal is to have her weaned fully by the end of her twelfth month. Once you realize that you won't always be nursing 10 times a day, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel! I have been blessed to nurse her exclusively without any formula feedings these ten months. Since I work part-time I also pumped during my breaks.
Here are ten reasons why I have loved nursing:
- It's free! You can't beat free, formula can be so expensive!
- It's fast. There's no warming up a bottle in the middle of the night or when you're out in public.
- It's easy. You don't have to think up what kind of bottle you want or how many scoops you need.
- It's germ free. No worrying about if the water is clean or if the bottle has been sitting out for too long.
- There's no guesswork. Breastfed babies drink as much as they need and want, there's no overfeeding or underfeeding. No worries on if your little one is getting enough nutrition.
- Unlimited health benefits. There is no discounting the endless amounts of antibodies and nutrients that are essential to growth and development. No chemist can copy God's 'formula'. Also, breast fed babies are less likely to have diabetes, diseases, or be obese!
- Less spit up/burping. There's no air in this 'bottle' to gulp down, meaning less burping and spit up! And who loves spit up?
- Bonding time. Although I understand you can do this with a bottle-fed baby, this is more about the skin-to-skin benefits that really help a newborn regulate body temperature. Also, nursing creates a bond between mother and baby that helps with post-partum depression because of the nurturing connection you feel with the little one.
- Faster recovery time/dropping baby weight! Nursing helps a new mommy contract everything which helps the healing process accelerate. It also means that baby weight will be lost faster and without any extra steps!
- Poo isn't as stinky! All poo is stinky, but most people agree that breastfed baby poo isn't as raunchy as formula fed baby poo.
If you can't nurse for whatever reason please understand that I know it doesn't work for everyone! Some women just have a hard time producing enough. Though there are ways to increase your supply I would never encourage a mom to continue hitting her head against a wall and feel frustrated in a way that takes a way from the joy of having a newborn.