Just do a quick Google search and you’ll see there are tons of reasons to breastfeed your child. Breast is best, dontcha know?
When I found out I was pregnant with Bee I knew I wanted to breastfeed as long as I possibly could, with my goal being at least a year.
It was tough in the beginning, but I kept with it and didn’t give up.
1. Formula costs money!
And breastfeeding doesn’t have to. This was my number one reason for wanting to breastfeed prior to her birth. I really didn’t know anything about breastfeeding besides that it was close to free and money was going to be tight when Bee arrived. I did purchase a couple nursing bras, both reusable and disposable nursing pads, and a breast pump that my insurance ended up covering, so it wasn’t completely without cost for me. That was entirely by choice, though. Honestly, I’m pretty sure knowing we couldn’t afford to buy her formula was probably the main reason I stuck it out those first couple months when her latching on hurt so much it nearly brought me to tears.
2. Breastfeeding makes the whole world right again.
It really was, and still is, a lifesaver. Whenever my little stranger started crying and seemed inconsolable those first few weeks home, all I had to do was offer her my boob. Even now, 10 months later, breastfeeding fixes most of Bee’s problems. Just the other day she tried pulling herself up from crawling to standing using our couch. She lost her balance, fell backwards and bonked her head on the floor. I watched it happen and as the tears and screaming started, I pulled my boob out. It took about 5 seconds of nursing before she calmed down.
3. The bonding time.
I know, I know… I thought it sounded sooooo lame before Bee was born. I’m not one of those women who is big into mushy emotional stuff, so when my doc started telling me about bonding and hormones, it took a whole lot for me not to roll my eyes. But, to my surprise, upon Bee’s arrival, I really didn’t feel that instant bond and love that all those other moms talk about. She seemed like this weird, tiny, alien that just cried, ate, pooped and spent most of her time sleeping. Once the initial pain of her latching on wore off, I started to really appreciate the opportunity to bond with her and feel close to her. It was the only time I felt that way during the first week. And today I still enjoy that feeling, although now she isn’t nearly as good a nurser as she used to be! She’s always getting distracted and wanting to play instead.
4. So convenient!
I absolutely loved being able to pull Bee out of her co sleeper and stick her on my boob in the middle of the night. That’s all it ever took to put her back to sleep at 2am. It still works today, except she’s in her own crib in her own room now and I can’t just lay in my bed and nurse her anymore. I’ve never envied those moms who have to get up with the crying baby, make a bottle and get their, now wide awake, little one back to sleep! And speaking of convenience, I have never had to take bottles, water and formula everywhere I go!
5. My baby is healthier than your baby!
Or so I like to think. Honestly, I don’t know how true that is, but everything I’ve ever read says breastfed babies have a lower risk of developing tons of diseases and allergies and stuff, so I roll with it. Not to mention little Bee has only gotten one cold in her first 10 months of life. Compare that to the average baby who gets anywhere between 6-12 infections during their first year… I think I’ll thank breast milk for that!
I could go on for days about the benefits of breast milk, but these are the five main reasons I stuck it out and have spent 10 months breastfeeding.
Were you able to breastfeed? How long did you make it? What was your motivation on those tough days?
UPDATED 7/18/16: Bee turns 1 year a week from today! Still breastfeeding at 1 year old. She’s slowly weaning herself and I’m not sure how much longer we’ll continue breastfeeding. The only time she nurses now is right before naps and at bedtime. She doesn’t even wake up at night anymore (usually).
UPDATED 11/9/16: Bee is now 15 months old and still breastfeeding. She only nurses right before bed for a couple minutes and right before I lay her down for naps. The sessions don’t last longer than 5 minutes, but she hasn’t completely given it up yet.