Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Benefits of Breastfeeding
-Prevents infection in infants (less diarrhea, flu,respiratory infections, etc.)
-Increases the effectiveness of baby's vaccines
-Protects against illness
-Lower incidents of SIDS (suddent infant death syndrome)
-Protection from allergies and eczema
-Decreased rates of diabetes, Chrons, cancer, Hodgkins, and Juvenile Arthritis
-Better cognitive development & higher IQs (even taking into acct. mother's economic status and education levels)
-Less adult obesity
-Better social development & more independent children
-The longer a baby is breastfed the less likely the child will need braces.
-Mothers loose their pregnancy weight faster and have decreased bleeding
-Natural birth control for mothers who breastfeed exclusively (stops when baby begins sleeping thru the night or eating other foods)
-Decreased rates of breast cancer in mothers (especially premenopausal) & other feminine cancers
-Decreased insulin requirements in diabetic women postpartum
-FREE (I bought my first canister of formula a couple days ago and it was $14!)
-More ecological (no trash produced)
The American Academy of Pediatrics says you should breastfeed your child exclusively (no formula, no solid foods, no juice, nothing) for the first six months of life. The AAP also recommends breastfeeding until your baby is 12 months old.
UNICEF recommends breastfeeding for at least two years, as do other international organizations.
I feel good about what I've been doing for Jonah (and for myself). I breastfed Jonah exclusively for the first five and a half months of his life and I continue to breastfeed. Now the big however. However, I feel this phase is coming to an end. Jonah will be 9 months old a week from tomorrow. Although he doesn't bite me with his teeth almost ever, he bites down hard now while breastfeeding now and pulls sometimes too. Breastfeeding has recently become very uncomfortable.
Yesterday I tried giving Jo pumped breastmilk in a sippy cup for his midday feeding. He screamed, cried, and sobbed. I didn't have the time, the heart, or the patience that day so I gave in and gave him the breast. I have been reading tips on weaning from books and online for the past several days. We are going to try as many as we need to.
Also (men, turn away now), I'm not sure if Jonah bit me or if that piece of skin I pulled off yesterday caused a tiny bit of bleeding on one of my nipples. Now there is a scab. I tried pumping instead of feeding from that side yesterday and I didn't get hardly anything out. I nursed on that side this morning and it didn't hurt like I thought it would (and like it did last time) but the breast didn't empty and I'm going to get an infection if I can't get the milk out. Any suggestions? I tried melting and rubbing it off gently with a warm, wet washcloth but it didn't work. Help.
Anyway, wish me luck with the weaning. I'd love tips from all you experienced mothers out there.