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Breast Feeding Is Best But Love Is All That Really Matters
The Breastfeeding Debate
Member Name: Machair1
The Breastfeeding Debate
Advantages: It is convenient, offers good immunity to the baby,reduces breast cancer in later life.
Disadvantages: Many feel a failure if they can't-you shouldn't.Bottle feeding means partners can help.
I would like to review this topic because I have had 4 children and have breast fed them all so I think I can help new mums to understand the advantages and the disadvantages of feeding their babies.
If you are expecting your first baby I hope this will help you to prepare for the future and to most of all enjoy your baby.
I am also a trained nurse who completed a course in obstetrics so hope to enlighten you from a professional and personal prospective.
Having a baby is first and foremost an achievement in itself and I think every new mum should be really proud of herself whether the birth was natural or assisted. The baby who is born needs to be nurtured and loved. If it can be breast fed then the benefits will be very good, but if not no new mother should feel a failure as the love is so much more important.
In the first few minutes after delivery feeding the baby will encourage the womb to contract to expel the placenta and it also helps the bond between mum and baby. It is lovely but not essential as some mums are prevented from doing this due to difficult deliveries.
In the first three days the breast produces colostrum which is a thick substance containing all the antibodies needed to help the immune system in the baby. If you can feed for the first three days it is beneficial even if the intention is to bottle feed afterwards. This isn't essential and the baby will do fine straight onto the bottle.
If you have had a difficult delivery especially if you have had pain relief the baby may be too tired to feed and so just wait and watch as this will pass.
After three days your milk will come in and you may feel exhausted. Not only will the excitement and happiness of the birth be with you but you may feel like you just want to sleep and rest. It is ok to feel this way. You should be proud of what you have done and take each day at a time. The baby will cry sometimes for hours and feeding may seem endless. It will settle down.
What I did was fed the baby on demand and got myself in front of the telly cosy and warm with everything to hand. I had food and drinks easily available as you can get really dehydrated. More important I just cuddled the baby and learnt to say to myself this was a miracle!
Today women are made to feel they have to do so much in their lives. It doesn't matter what you decide to do regarding feeding your baby. Yes if you can breast feed it will help your baby in so many ways but it is not a sin to bottle feed in any way.
Sometimes babies are thirsty and want water so offer boiled water which has cooled to them instead of milk sometimes between feeds especially if the temperature is warm. This will also help the jaundice some babies have after delivery.
There are many people to help you so never feel alone. You can contact either your midwife or health visitor and the organisations below can also help
La Leche League
Tel. 0845 120 2918
National Childbirth Trust
Tel. 0870 444 8708
Breast feeding lessens the chance of the mum developing breast cancer in later life and offers immunity to the baby but don't get yourself totally focused on these issues if you are a new mum because it is not a failure to bottle feed your baby. Love is all that matters. If you bottle feed your partner can help it can be less tiring. You may get sore sometimes and want a rest for a day so a bottle may be necessary at times. You can also express milk so your partner can feed the baby sometimes at night to give you a rest.
My babies are now all adults and have successful lives. I treasure those days when I breast fed them but you know caring for them is the bottom line. Don't make pressures out of childbirth and babyhood -enjoy every moment because it passes quickly and doing your best is all that matters.
Summary: Try To Breast Feed If You Can But Remember Love Is More Important.