Why breast is best for you and your baby

Breastfeeding is one of the most beautiful acts of being a mother for women who are able to breastfeed. It’s so fascinating how our bodies work and communicates with our babies.

I wasn’t able to breastfeed my son for very long (just a few weeks) because I got extremely ill and couldn’t continue. Unfortunately, not all women who would love to breastfeed are able to due to complications. And even when there isn’t, breastfeeding doesn’t come easy. I feel like we are so misinformed about this natural act and because things get a little tough at times and it’s viewed as “not normal” and the nursing relationship ends.

The second time around, when I became pregnant with my daughter, I was determined to equip myself with as much knowledge as possible so that I could handle any complications along the way. Let’s face it, there can be A LOT of hiccups. Bad latching, plugged ducts, nipple soreness, thrush, over-active let down, underproduction of milk… the list goes on. My midwife had recommended the book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. And I have to say, this book was my savior for building a strong and lasting nursing relationship with my daughter. I’d recommend it to any mama who’s considering breastfeeding. It’s only 12 bucks and totally worth it! One year later, my baby girl and I are still going strong!

 

Here’s a few more reasons why breastfeeding your baby is so exceptional:

  • Helps with faster postpartum recovery – Every time your nurse your baby, your body releases the hormone oxytocin which helps the contraction of the uterus.
  • A natural form of birth control – If your exclusively breastfeeding your baby (no bottles of pacifiers), you will have an effective form of birth control being at 98% effective.
  • You will have the ultimate mothering tool – Hungry baby? Nurse. She got hurt? Nurse. Needs a nap? Nurse. Fussy baby? Nurse. Breastfeeding your baby solves nearly everything!
  • Feeding your baby is so much easier – If you were not breastfeeding your baby, you’d have to wake up several times a night to walk into the kitchen to mix her formula and heat up her milk, wash bottles and sanitize them. Formula feeding is also much more of a hassle when you want to get out of the house as well. You’d have to pack extra bottles, formula and find a way to heat it up while you’re out. With breastfeeding, it’s baby + boob = ready!
  • You lose weight FAST! – The weight that you gained during your pregnancy serves a purpose after the baby is born too. As your body begins to produce milk, it’s using that little extra to compensate for the amount of calories that goes into making your breast-milk. Your body burns about 20 calories per ounce of milk you produce!
  • Lowers the risk of postpartum depression – If you’re nursing, the oxytocin hormone is released every time your little one latches on. This helps promote those loving feeling and helps you bond with your baby.
  • You protect your baby from getting sick – Your breastmilk contains living cells that help your baby’s new digestive system adapt to living outside of the womb. Every time your baby nurses, her body communicates with yours through the contact of her saliva on the nipple. Your body receives this information and will make adjustments as your baby needs them. Cool fact: If your baby gets sick, your body will automatically make milk that contains the antibodies to fight the SPECIFIC virus/bacteria that your baby has!

 

 

Nursing is so much more than just providing exceptional nutrients to your little one. It also builds an incredible bond between mother and child. I started out nursing with the reason being it was better for my baby nutritionally. Taking a look back on the past year of breastfeeding, it was so much more about the loving bond that we’ve established through each and every time she was at my breast. Nursing is beautifully intimate and has been so much more than a feeding. It’s been her source of comfort, a chance to re-connect and a special relationship that’s shared just between us.

9 comments

  1. Danielle says:

    Love your post! Like you I also had issues breastfeeding my first but I ended up pumping exclusively and not continuing past a year. With my second I was determined to arm myself with as much informaitln and support that I could and we are still succefully nursing at almost 13 month!

    • consciousearthmama@gmail.com says:

      I was pumping with my first as well. I was super sick and nursing took a lot out of me and I eventually had to switch to formula all together. My second is now almost a year old and still going strong! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  2. Courtney says:

    Beautiful photos! Unfortunately, breast feeding is not an accurate form of birth control! I am almost 9 months pregnant with my second, and still breastfeeding my 18 month old. Lol!

    • consciousearthmama@gmail.com says:

      Thank you! Congrats on baby #2! 🙂 I guess everyone’s body is a little different. I’m still nursing my 11 month old and it was a pretty good form of birth control for me. I stopped risking it after 8 months just in case. Haha.

  3. Tiny Bird says:

    Despite some struggles at the beginning, I’ve loved breastfeeding my kids! My youngest is 18 months and I’m about ready to be done, but am trying to hold out until he’s 2.

  4. Tiny Bird says:

    Despite having issues at the beginning with both of my babies, I was really stubborn about breastfeeding for all of these benefits. Thankfully I had oversupply!

    Now that my youngest is almost 2, I will have been pregnant or breastfeeding for almost 5 years straight! It’ll be so bittersweet when we finally wean.

    • consciousearthmama@gmail.com says:

      Sometimes, it’s SO good to be stubborn! I was the same way. The nipple soreness was nearly unbearable for me every time my daughter latched on. I had an oversupply too. I was always walking around with two wet circles on all my shirts. Hahaha. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

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