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Breastfeeding. The best parenting choice I made.
The Breastfeeding Debate
Member Name: Michelle0987
The Breastfeeding Debate
Date: 02/10/10, updated on 02/10/10 (49 review reads)
Advantages: Boost the immune system, easy to digest, calming
Disadvantages: Cluster feeding, mastisis, Thrush
I am going to review breastfeeding and breastmilk. Unusual but very important.
I am a relatively young mum, 23, so not someone who would generally breastfeed. From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed. Breastfeeding isn't the norm in our family so I was going against the grain from the start.
I carried on with my pregnancy certain I was going to breastfeed, though my mum did buy some formula for me 'just in case'. When I had my daughter, they laid her on my chest and she latched on. It was a strange feeling but felt right.
Over the next few days I struggled greatly. She fed all the time, my nipples hurt and I wanted sleep but I persevered. When my milk came in she fed very regularly but at least slept more, so we both got some sleep. Over the next few weeks I experienced cluster feeding, where the baby feeds for hours on an evening. So I sat myself on the sofa, with the remote and some snacks and enjoyed the cuddles. This was difficult at times though but she finished cluster feeding at around 10 weeks.
The next few months carried on, we hit her first birthday and I was still breastfeeding. We were both happy. Now she is 14 months she feeds morning and night and we are no where near ready to stop. I work three days a week and she drinks cows milk at nursery so that isn't a problem. I have made the decision to carry on until she self weans, whether she is 2,3 or 4. We are happy and I am giving her the best start in life.
I feel so passionately about breastfeeding that I have just started a breastfeeding peer support course. I am enjoying it so far and have learnt a lot. Paticularly the benefits of breastfeeding.
The child is less likely to Gastroentiritis
Less likely to have ear and urine infections.
It boosts the immune system and protects the child from illness.
Babies are less likely to die from cot death.
Less likely to contract meningitis.
Easier to digest
Protects the gut flora
I also learnt that within 20 minutes of the mother picking up a bug she starts developing antibodies which are in the babies milk protecting it from the illness.
For the mother she is less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer, and osteoperosis.
It is also cheaper and better for the environment. What's not to like?
There are so many myths flying around, that breastmilk isn't beneficial after 6 months, that baby needs topping up with formula, that you need to eat a very good diet, that it makes your boobs saggy. These myths need to be dispelled. They are simply not true for the majority.
Breastfeeding is hard though. It takes commitment, determination and lots of support. You cn develop thrush, mastitis and cracked nipples and without the appropriate support it is very easy to give up.
In this country we need more breastfeeding support. Some PCT's have none at all and it is disgusting. Luckily in my area we have support and I hope to work for the people supporting breastfeeding once I have completely my training.
Breastfeeding has being such an emotional journey for me. I have loved it, hated it and at times wanted to give in but I am so glad we have got to where we are today. I never thought I would succeded but I did and for that, I am proud.
It is the parents choice whether or not to breastfeed, but hopefully in time with support and acceptance in society more people will breastfeed. It is an amazing thing to do for baby.
Summary: Amazing, I couldn't imagine feeding her any other way.