Embracing Everything Emma

Enjoying Life One Baby Step at a Time…

Why Breast is Best November 15, 2012

There has been a recently hot topic brought up over the past few weeks about a new doll called, “The Breast Milk Baby”. Some people are all for it, other people are completely against it. Me personally? I’m for it but not really here to talk about that today. Today I want to talk about as a society what we’re teaching our kids. When you look at baby dolls galore, they all come with a bottle. Do you get what I’m stepping in here? Not one, until now, has ever promoted breast milk as the “best milk”. Not one. No wonder it’s such a hard comprehension for my generation to understand the benefits of breastfeeding and why it’s just now starting to come back into the picture. For years, we’ve been trained to believe bottle feeding is the way to go. I’m not here to say that if you’re a bottle feeding and/or formula feeding mom that you’re wrong in doing so. I was a bottle feeding mom for reasons beyond my control (I used breast milk and pumped for over a year). It’s all about making the decision that’s best for you and your family and I personally don’t believe that any decision is “wrong” if it’s what is best for you and your child. I am going to say, however, that facts show that breast IS best and we should be teaching our kids this. I’m really not sure why we haven’t or why I haven’t realized how big this issue until now. I wanted to share you, as parents, why breast is best and some facts to support it:

Breastfeeding does, in fact, help you loose weight postpartum. It releases a hormone called Oxytocin which helps your uterus return to it’s original size sooner, helping in the weight loss process. This is the hormone also released during labor so at first, you will probably notice similar cramps during this adjustment. Also, breastfeeding burns calories. This is why you don’t need to “diet” while breastfeeding. Eating healthy yes, dieting no. The average calories burned daily is 500.I lost 30+ pounds in the year of breastfeeding alone. I’m working on losing an additional 20 and am pretty sure that getting pregnant and breastfeeding again might be my best bet. Ha!

Breastfeeding sessions don’t take all day. Once you get past the learning curve and the crazy eating habits of a newborn, the average nursing period lasts about 16 minutes. At the beginning, some babies need more time and some less. Some babies, and moms, have a hard time adjusting and learning which takes some extra time, too, but once you get into the swing of things, it usually goes pretty quick. 16 minutes isn’t bad at all! When I pumped for Emma, it would last about 20 minutes from start to finish, including clean up, so I was glad to know that breastfeeding really didn’t last any longer. Since I only did exclusive breastfeeding for about four weeks, I never got out of the odd phase of feeding times and patterns.

Breastfeeding can reduce risks of certain cancers (breast, ovarian, and uterine). Studies show that a woman who receives breast milk or breastfeeds is 25% less likely to have one of these cancers and a woman who receives breast milk AND breastfeeds is 50% less likely. This is the statistic I’m hoping Emma will reach one day. We are fighting to end breast cancer (and other cancers for that matter) in the Linkous house as we are a two generations of breast cancer survivors (my grandmother and my mom). I would like to think that the disease will end there. If not there, however, I would like to see it end with me. I don’t want my little girl to ever have that battle to fight and I’d like to think we’re helping her as much as we can.

Breastfeeding limits the amount of sugar intake your child has. The only form of sugar that reaches a breastfed baby is lactose, which is the only kind of sugar someone needs, where as other forms of milk contain sucrose, which can be damaging to a child’s teeth. Beyond that, breast milk also gives all the nutrients infants need for healthy development. No formula has ever been able to reproduce the antibodies found in breast milk. Ever. Babies don’t need ANYTHING other than breast milk where as formula babies often need other forms of food earlier (three months versus six months). The antibodies in breast milk help protect babies from different illnesses and keep breastfed babies less sick than most. Beyond that, as your child grows into an adult, it will help them have lower blood pressure, cholesterol, as well as lower rates in obesity and diabetes if they were breastfed for a year or longer.

No periods! Ok, so this is not necessarily a “health” incentive but it’s incentive enough for me! There’s something wonderful about not only skipping your cycle for 10 months but tack on another “x” months for nursing. It doesn’t get much better than that! There’s A LOT going on as a new parent and not much time to do anything, much less deal with that time of the month. So, there you go. Breastfeeding is healthy AND great for time management.

I hope this will help as you make decisions on what to do as a new mom. I encourage you to give breast a chance!

Are there any additional facts I forgot to share? Any tips you have for newly breastfeeding moms or moms who are on the fence?


2 Responses to “Why Breast is Best”

  1. No periods!!!!!!!!! WOOT!!!!

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