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Monday, December 05, 2005

Up until I had a baby, I'd thought of my breasts as mostly-useless pieces of flesh. Then suddenly they had purpose. I had the tools to nourish another human being and help him grow. It was amazing psychologically, emotionally...and physically. At the height of nursing, I was 10 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight. Score!

Breastfeeding was convenient. I never sterilized bottles, mixed formula in the middle of the night, or bought that powdery stuff my formula-feeding peers wouldn't even taste. There are huge health benefits. For babies, breastfeeding reduces the risk and severity of infections, may cut risk of SIDS, and reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, and asthma later in life. Breastfeeding helps moms recover post-partum and may lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Plus, there was almost nothing that a boob in the mouth wouldn't fix for my crying baby.

That said, how you feed your baby is a personal choice. I wasn't going back to work so I choose without wondering when or how I'd pump at work. And I never had an ounce of breastmilk in my life and I turned out okay. That's true for most people my age because 80 percent of mothers in the US choose bottle over breast in the late 60s and early 70s.

Breastmilk and formula provide babies with essential nutrients. And bottle-feeding doesn't make someone a failure. The most important things are that baby is loved and fed. Plus, there's something appealing about having your body all to yourself--no leaking breasts, not feeling "touched out," and everyone gets to help feed baby.

Permalink | Breastfeeding | Comments (1)


I agree. I think if people want to breast feed, as I did, and it works for them, great! But we certainly don't need to attach a stigma to breast-fed versus bottle-fed babies. No parent should ever want to make another parent's experience more stressful than it already is by judging them on an issue like this! I mean either way, the important thing is the child IS being fed, right? There are a lot of children in the world who aren't, so not losing sight of the bigger picture might not be a bad thing. :^)

Posted by: Barbara | Dec 8, 2005 6:29:32 PM

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