10 Reasons to Breastfeed

Today marks the 578th day of breastfeeding my little tot!  Well to be clear – I’m not actually breastfeeding her today because she is at Camp Grandma/Grandma while I am flying (yes – right now) to NYC for #BlogHer10!  But – we are still breastfeeding and my pump (Thanks Hygeia) is packed securely inside my luggage.

Many of you may remember the adventures I had while traveling to Miami for a week – without a tot – and without my handy pump!  I had a mommy moment while packing then and left the pump in my closet all alone!  Enter my introduction to hand expression and jokes from my hubby and friends!

There was a question as to whether I should continue to breastfeed when I returned or let her be weened since she had been off mommy milk for a whole week.  Two hours after our reunion she kindly asked for mommy – and I couldn’t say no.

Once again – I will continue to pump while away and I’ll let her decide if it’s time to ween or not.  It seems almost fitting that she would ween this trip because she is now 19 months AND my son weened while the hubs and I were vacationing in NYC over 6 yrs ago (he was 11 months – 3 weeks – and 3 days!).  It would be kinda neat to have NYC be both of their weening times.  But only time will tell – she is quite fond of our time together.

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I just wanted to share my (continued) story in hopes that I can encourage you or someone you know to keep it up for as long as it is beneficial for you and your child – whatever age that might be.  While the WABA has their own 10 steps for successful breastfeeding I’m going to give you my modified list!

1.  Have faith in yourself, your body, and your baby – the rest will come naturally.

2.  Trust your instincts – and don’t ALWAYS listen to the ‘professionals’ (i.e., your doctors, nurses, friends, and family).  I remember with my son a nurse ordered me to have a mammogram for a cracked nipple and instruct me to quit nursing immediately! I’m SOOOOO glad I didn’t listen to that nurse and trusted my own instincts instead!

3.  If it hurts or doesn’t feel right ask for help – a certified lactation consultant should be available at your local hospital or birthing center.  Reach out and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

4.  The first month is the hardest!  You are emotionally and physically exhausted – don’t be discouraged in the beginning.

5.  There is nothing easier to do than breastfeed your baby!  No bottles to warm up, no formula to buy, nothing to mix, and no water needed!  Oh – and you can’t leave the milk at home if you breastfeed – one less thing to tote in your diaper bag.

6.  There is nothing more nutritious than mommy milk for your baby – it’s the perfect food for every age!

7.  It’s free!  Whether you have lots of money or no money – breastmilk is always free.  Sure you have to continue to eat a healthy diet but we should all do that anyways – regardless of our financial status.

8. It’s better for the environment – nothing is artificially manufactured, packaged, or shipped to get your baby this perfect food – and there’s no waste!

9.  Yes, even daddy and caregivers can participate.  That’s my breastpumps were invented!  And don’t be scared of those either – you’ll get the hang of it.  It’s worth it!

10.  Lastly – because your baby deserves the very best!  And the breast really is the best!

How many days have you breastfeed your baby?  What problems or misconceptions are you dealing with?  Do you know where to go for help?  Let me know – I can point you in the right direction.

PS – I’m a working mom and I have to travel from time to time without my baby.  If I can make it 19 months I have faith you can make it to your own personal goal!





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4 Responses to 10 Reasons to Breastfeed

  1. Bonnie Yates says:

    I'm actually trying to build back up after a near weaning at 6 months… I started a new business and did not expect it to be so popular so fast! I got overwhelmed and it was just easier to have my mom or husband feed my baby frozen bm. I put it off for so long I've nearly dried up. This was not my intention so I am working round the clock to build back up.. sigh- so much easier to carve out that 20 min every few hours than to have to start all over! ;-) lesson learned.

  2. I went 13 months with my first and she weaned herself, told me “all done” and that was it. This time around my 5.5 month old is so interested in food that I think she'll wean fast too, which makes me sad. I love BF and find it's such an amazing part of parenting for me. I know it's not for everyone, but for me formula is not an option.

  3. Molly Jones says:

    Thank you for your wonderful site! I am a mom of two, my first son (now almost 5) weaned himself at about 9 months. My second little guy just turned 4 months and I am returning to work tomorrow – so have my pump all ready to go! When he was a week old his doctor was concerned that he wasn't gaining enough weight (totally off base, he was already back to his birth weight) and she wanted me to give him formula. I was proud of myself for telling her that I will not do that and although she was surprised she didn't force the issue. Now at 4 months he is almost 16 pounds, incredibly healthy and has never had formula. My work is very supportive of nursing moms so I am hoping to continue nursing until he is at least a year.

  4. Molly Jones says:

    Thank you for your wonderful site! I am a mom of two, my first son (now almost 5) weaned himself at about 9 months. My second little guy just turned 4 months and I am returning to work tomorrow – so have my pump all ready to go! When he was a week old his doctor was concerned that he wasn’t gaining enough weight (totally off base, he was already back to his birth weight) and she wanted me to give him formula. I was proud of myself for telling her that I will not do that and although she was surprised she didn’t force the issue. Now at 4 months he is almost 16 pounds, incredibly healthy and has never had formula. My work is very supportive of nursing moms so I am hoping to continue nursing until he is at least a year.

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