Today’s post is very special to me because breastfeeding has been my life since baby Mateo arrived to this world 6 months ago. So as I way of celebration I want to explain why I chose to breastfeed and how my experience has been so far.
There is one thing I never expected when I had my baby 6 months ago: somehow, my breasts became kind of a public affair on which everyone seemed to have an opinion. If I had got a pound for each person that asked me something related to my breasts we would be covered for nappies for life. Questions such as: why do you breastfeed? How long are you going to breastfeed for? Does he have enough with your milk? Does he put on enough weight by just breasfeeding? Why don’t you give him formula? When are you going to stop breastfeeding? Why don’t you give him “normal” milk? (meaning formula) Do you express your milk? Why don’t you express your milk? Don’t you get tired of breastfeeding?… I could go on but I’m sure you get the picture, right?
I don’t really mind these kind of questions, but I never go into the real reasons of my choice to breastfeed my baby and I usually just give a short pleasing answer because at the end of the day that’s all people are after. But to celebrate 6 months of exclusively breastfeeding Mateo, I want explain why I really do it.
I breastfeed because…
… I feel that not only I nourish you with my milk but I also nourish you with my love.
… I love the complicity I feel between us when you are in my arms eating from my breast.
… your food is always ready, at the perfect temperature and it never runs out.
… I can sooth you instantly.
… I love how you look at me with your beautiful eyes and make me feel like I’m the most important person in the world.
… I’ve got one free hand to caress your soft skin and hair (or to tickle you on your chubby legs!)
… I love hearing your impatient laugh when you are about to eat.
… I know I’m giving you the best I can.
… I don’t want to be away from you, I want to be there for when you need me.
… I feel more in tune with my own nature, knowing that women thousands of years ago did the same, and that women from every race do the same, no matter where they’re from.
… I don’t count lines on a bottle, I trust you and I know you’ll eat what you need.
… it just feels right.
These reasons are enough for me to carrying breastfeeding as long as he and me want, but there are plenty of more proven scientific reasons that show further benefits of breastfeeding. These are just some:
… because breastfed babies have less risk of suffering digestive and breathing illnesses in the long term apart from being less likely to catch flus and other viruses.
… because it reduces the risk of developing breast and/or uterus cancer as well as diminishes the effects of osteoporosis.
… because it helps you regain your pre-pregnancy figure.
… because it’s better for the environment because formula is made of de-fattened cow’s milk.
… because it is free and better quality than any other milk. The average expenditure on formula per year is about €2,500.
… because it’s empowering for the new mum, preventing post-natal depression.
… because the milk nutrients change depending on your baby’s needs, one milk definitely does not fit all.
… because breast milk is “vaccinating” your baby from everyday viruses and therefore he’ll be ill less often.
… because it helps you to know your baby better.
… because it helps to develop a stronger sense of confidence in your baby as well as a better development of their brain.
There are plenty more reasons that could go on this list but I think these are enough for now.
I could say that breastfeeding has given me a new vision of my self and has made me discovered love at another level. Having said that, the start was not easy and I’m just glad I had the courage and the patience to stick to it and overcome whatever difficulties I found. I am just so happy I didn’t give up because now it’s my favourite time of the day (it’s just lucky that happens so often!).
As I said above, this is MY experience and MY reasons, and I do acknowledge that every mummy and baby tandem is different and different choices may work for them. At the end of the day, happy mummy equals happy baby, and that’s what really matters. I’d just thought I owed it to me and my baby to be finally answer all those questions honestly. I don’t expect my breasts to stop being a public affair any time soon, but maybe next time I will go into more detail and hopefully I’ll be able to help other mums to enjoy their breastfeeding time.
Hope you enjoyed the post and I’d love to hear about your reasons for breastfeeding (or not!).
Pilar & Mateo