Is breast really best?… 

“Breast is best”

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I’ve heard the saying “breast is best” before, but the full implication of it never quite got to me. That is, until I had a baby. 
Yes, it’s obvious that mother’s milk is what a baby should (ideally) be feeding on. After all, that is the purpose of the teat. Sorry to disappoint you boys if that’s a newsflash to you… 

Anyhow, for some women breastfeeding isn’t an option. Whether it’s low production, latching issues or health issues, some women just can’t breastfeed. 

Then there are some women choose not to breastfeed, even if they can.  Breastfeeding can be very taxing on mom and she may not have the time, patience or desire to be at babies beck and call. 

Ultimately, it’s the mother’s choice. Not the pediatrician’s, gynecologist’s, nurse’s, father’s, family member’s, friend’s or that opinionated lady’s in line at Starbucks ordering her matcha in her fair trade mumu. It’s up to the mama/mamacita/mum/mommy/ma. 

But why would a capable mother opt out? Because breastfeeding is hard yo! There is a reason why there are classes, lactation specialists and breastfeeding support groups. 

I’m an imbisile and didn’t take a class on breastfeeding. My smug ass was like: I have boobs. Check. Baby sucks the nipple. Check. 

NEWSFLASH! It’s not that easy! Well maybe it is for mothers of multiple offspring. But for us new moms? Yeah… there’s a learning curve. For some of us anyway… 

Luckily, breastfeeding is just another thing that gets better with practice. Practice makes perfect! Sidenote: I sound like my mother more and more as I get older… which I’m okay with. She’s a cool cat. 

So how to decide for yourself? 

Here are some points to help you in your decision: 

Breastmilk pros: 

For baby:

  • It provides antibiodies to baby, so less illnesses 
  • It’s more easily digested than formula, so less constipation in baby
  • May help lower risk of SIDS in first year
  • May raise babies IQ 
  • May help reduce risk of kiddo becoming overweight, asthmatic, diabetic, along with a few diseases 
  • Baby gets to bond with mom 

For mom: 

  • Reduces risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis and ovarian cancer
  • You drop your pregnancy weight quickly, since nursing burns a good amount of calories 
  • Oxytocin is released while breastfeeding, which in turn helps your uterus get back into shape 
  • It’s easy on the pocketbook 
  • Mom gets to bond with baby 

Breastmilk Cons:

For baby: 

  • If baby has galatctosemia, little baby can’t process the milk well
  • Baby has to feed more regularly… but honestly babies don’t seem to care so it’s not a con per se 

For mom:

  • Sore nipples
  • Worry and stress about production
  • Pumping and storage of milk 
  • Breast engorgement
  • Blocked ducts
  • Mastitis
  • At babies beck and call/ lack of freedom 
  • More frequent feedings than formula
  • You have to monitor your medication, caffeine and alcohol intake 
  • You may have to go on a strict diet if baby doesn’t respond well to what you eat (i.e. No dairy if baby has a reaction)

Formula Pros: 

  • Other caretakers can partake in feeding baby (yes, pumping also can be done, but formula doesn’t require mom) 
  • Caretakers also get more opportunities to bond with baby 
  • You know exactly how much baby is ingesting (again, same with pumping and bottle feeding) 
  • Slower digestion of formula, so less frequent feedings 
  • Mom doesn’t have to worry about her diet and medications 

Formula Cons: 

  • It does not provide the same amount of protection against infections as breastmilk 
  • It can be pricey
  • It can cause digestive issues such as gas and constipation 

Bottom line: it’s up to the mom. Don’t let anyone guilt trip you if you opt out of breastfeeding. Your baby will love you nonetheless. 

And… that’s about all I have to say about that… 

Per usual, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Likes, comments and sharing are all appreciated responses! 

xoxo,
ICRIEDOVERSPILTMILK 

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