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
-Decreased osteoporosis

-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.


Mrs. Burns said...

Good post. I keep the card I got from Motherhood listing all these good things in my diaper bag so I can remind myself what a good thing I am doing. I don't know if I ever told you about all my drama at the beginning. I wll send you an email.

Abbie said...

I've heard stories of other babies refusing milk from a sippy, but taking it fine from a bottle. Whenever Sophie had pumped milk or formula, it was from a bottle. Juice or water was in a sippy. Once she transfered to whole milk, I switched between bottle & sippy until she was finally off the bottle for good (like, last week.).

Nancy Face said...

Great post! I'm such a believer in breastfeeding! With my first baby, I foolishly quit abruptly at age 2 months to go back to work, and he accepted formula from a bottle. My second baby (Lauren) got sick and tired of breastfeeding at 7 months, and would kick and punch and bite me...she ended up preferring a bottle! My youngest LOVED breastfeeding, and my hubby had to talk me into weaning him at 15 months...I did it gradually, just by cutting back and offering the cup more and more.

I'm sorry about the trouble you're experiencing right now, and I wish I had some advice to offer. :(

Stephanie said...

oh guy, oliver drew blood more than once. it is the pits, but i kept with it and he stopped biting eventually. i have nursed both my babies til they were 13 months. neither took a bottle until after they were weaned and could have cows milk. weaning is no fun. i just gradually took away a feeding. they were old enough by that time to eat regular food, so they didn't necessarily need the milk. since jonah is a little younger, you will have to replace a feeding with formula or a meal, or something. my only other advice is this: once you are done for good, wear the world's tightest sports bra for about a week, day and night, until your boobs realize that they don't need to make milk anymore. good luck!

melmck said...

just FYI: SIDS research has shown that breastfeeding does not make a difference in the number for SIDS deaths. i have talked to a befriended many other mother's whose babies died of SIDS and i'd say at least 90% of them breastfed. some were breastfeeding the baby while it lost consciousness.

the SIDS research in incredibly skewed and totally political. i'm not saying it's bad to breastfeed, i'm just saying that breastfeeding honestly makes no difference as to whether your baby will die of SIDS or not.

kris said...

I agree - this transition is no fun. DD was done breast-feeding at 9-months and off the bottle at 12. But it differs in every child's case. DD took formula too because I wasn't home with her all the time. Just keep trying what you've read and it will get better.

As for breast-feeding being a natural birth control...it may help a little, but do not rely on that alone! That's what they tell you as you leave the hospital. When my friend had her baby she was discharged with a mother who also had a 9-month old at home. Can you imagine?

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

I am so sorry. I only had Liam bite me a few times before he got the idea that if he bites, he'll immediately be taken off the boob and given a firm "NO."

You are a good mommy for breastfeeding and knowing how beneficial it is. Keep up the good work!

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Gina told me to stop by- I highly recommend contacting someone from La Leche League to help you out (they are so very helpful and encouraging!) or a lactation consultant. All three of my boys tried to bite down a bit when they were first figuring things out, but really it gets better. If you can stick with it, that's great and best for you and baby for at least 1 year or longer. You also might want to check out www.kellymom.com or email me anytime!


Michelle said...

Hey Emily, excellent post momma! As for that breast, if it does not empty put chilled cabbage leafs on it and alternate, this will reduce inflamation in the milk glands, then I would apply heat in whatever way is comfortable for you. Be careful, cold cabbage is also one of the many ways you can stop your milk from coming in if you keep up with it alone.

I also agree about the la leche peeps. Any outside resources your comfortable calling in for encouragement to continuing to breast feed are a must, as it does become tiresome.