Friday, July 22, 2011

"What have you done for me lately?"

Grab your sports bra and hop, hop, hop!

It's the Breastfeeding Blog Hop!
Whee!


You can get all the details on how to join in by visiting Jen at Life With Levi! While you're at it, take come time to check out her fun mama blog!

This weeks topic is...
 The Benefits of Breastfeeding

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We all talked a few weeks ago about the changes in your body that breastfeeding brings. There were a few pluses (no periods, weight loss) in a long litany of minuses (saggy boobs, sore nipples).

All of that aside, we've all heard it: Breast is Best. While I don't think that formula feeding makes a woman less of a mother or gives her child less of a shot then a mother who does breastfeed, it was indeed the right thing for us and for a number of reasons.

"Waahh! I haz no boobeez!"
In all honesty, the number one reason we wanted to breastfeed is because it's free. FREE! We weren't laying out money for formula or bottles except for a few I kept for pumping. Until PJ was almost 6 months he ate for free! FREE! When PJ was born, Pete had been looking for a nursing job for months and wouldn't find one for months after that. If we had needed to formula feed we would have made it work, but thankfully, PJ and I both took well to breastfeeding and likely saved $700-$1000 dollars doing so!

For PJ, the benefits were plentiful! Breast milk provided him with nutrients and antibodies and helped him to fight illness (via womanshealth.com). Breastfeeding has been found to reduce incidence of ear infection and can be easier on baby's teeny little tummy then formula. Even when it seems like your milk hasn't come in and your boobs are useless, there's colostrum, baby!!!! It's all chock-full-o-goodness for your brand-new babes tiny digestive parts! Breastfeeding your child can even reduce chances of SIDS.

SpongePete SquareBaby
Breastfeeding was the perfect fit for PJ and I. He went from a very tiny, fragile, jaundiced newborn (born 2.5 weeks early at a hefty 6 lbs even) to being strong, healthy, and so chunky he was practically square! Except for a brief bout of congestion he wasn't sick once during his entire first year (of course, he saved his first real illness for his 1st birthday party, but whatev!)!

For me, the benefits were amazing. It made me feel so alive, so useful to be able to provide nutrition for my son. Nursing was time that was just for us and allowed me to sit down and relax whenever he needed to eat! Breastfeeding even forced me to take better care of myself, making sure I drank enough water and ate enough healthy foods! I didn't have to fuss with mixing formula or cleaning bottles, all I had to do when PJ was hungry was whip out a boob. Heck, that's pretty much how I got pregnant in the first place! (Har, har.) I didn't need to pack anything special in my diaper bag as long as my bra was packin'! (Double har. Okay. No more boob jokes)

Studies have shown that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of postpartum depression, ovarian cancer, diabetes, and breast cancer, the last being extremely important to me as my family has a complex history of breast cancer. Back to work? Pump away, because breastfeeding mamas miss less work thanks to those healthy babies having fun at daycare! Want to be a green mama? Boobies don't result in any waste, don't need water to clean them (well, extra water, since I assume you shower), and don't need to use any energy to warm them- it's served right off the tap!

Do you want even more resources to help you learn more about the benefits of breastfeeding? Click here to be taken to the US Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health to find tons of information!

Got something to say about the benefits of breastfeeding?
LINK UP!



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