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Monday, December 05, 2005

Breastfeeding offers parents a win-win-win-win-win scenario. First, the child gets nutrients and natural antibodies from the mama, which means the kid gets a great head start toward building a powerhouse immune system. Secondly, the wife gets to bond with the baby and work through her postpartum emotions. Third, it makes tight-assed people very uncomfortable. Fourth, it’s free, and fifth, it’s always there, like a bottomless keg ready to be tapped at a moment’s notice, so no late-night trips for formula, no fumbling with bottles and microwaves, and minimal cleanup.

True, there are potential pitfalls for the mom, like sore nipples (ouch), plugged ducts (double-ouch), and mastitis (super-humongous-ouch), and there lots of places where it’s easy to feel self-conscious about showing your breasts to the easily titillated. But I think these are easily outweighed by the pros, so if the mother is willing and medically able, more power to her.

If nothing else, we should consider the adage that "Michael Jordan was breastfed, Michael Jackson was not."

Permalink | Breastfeeding | Comments (6)


Our second is now two months old so we're in the height of breast feeding. Just thought I'd like to strike down the idea that breast milk is free. That milk doesn't get produced out of thin air you know. My wife eats many more meals per day to produce the milk she does. That food surely ain't free.

Of course it probably *is* still cheaper than formula, but one could argue that formula is ridiculously expensive in the first place.

Also, breasts aren't bottomless. We had to supplement our son with fomula at the beginning due to his initial ravenous appeitite.

And you can add pumping to one of the negatives for working moms. My wife absolutely hates having to do it.

Posted by: Scott C | Dec 6, 2005 12:38:13 AM

I'm all for making tight-assed people uncomfortable, hurrah! I've actually found that mildly entertaining with my second, I am not self-conscious like I was with the first.

I do disagree with bonding being such a huge benefit for breastfeeding, though - at least for me. I bond with my daughter regardless of how I feed her. Actually, when I'm bottle feeding her, I need to pay more attention to her than when I'm breastfeeding, so I end up staring into her eyes and "bonding" more than I do when I'm breastfeeding (and in the latter case, usually watching TV or reading a book).

There are also plenty of ways to make overnight formula feeding a snap, with the HUGE HUGE HUGE benefit that it's not just mom who can do it. :-)

Posted by: Cynical Mom | Dec 6, 2005 1:57:29 AM

I nursed my first daughter until her first birthday in spite of the fact I returned to work when she was 8 weeks old. Did I love pumping? No way! Did I do it anyway? Absolutely! Sometimes it was the only time I left my desk at work. I wouldn't change my decision at all. With my second daughter (I was a full time SAHM by the time she was born), the only thing I would have changed is I'd have nursed her beyond her first birthday. She obviously wasn't ready to quit and she has health problems associated with her milk allergy/asthma that could have been prevented or minimized had she stuck to the breast a bit longer. As it was, we ended up giving her soy formula her entire second year - and I'd have rather pumped for a year, if we had realized the milk allergy soon enough.

Just my two cents, not that it was asked for. :)

Posted by: Holly | Dec 6, 2005 8:50:13 AM

I have had no desire to breastfeed. NONE. My doctors told me that if the desire wasn't there, I could resent the baby. I didn't want to go there. I feel that bottle-feeding has been the best option for me and the bonding experience that I have had has been awesome. Tons of eye-contact and cooing. Lots of smiles and giggles. Nothing beats feeding a happy baby, no matter how you do it!

Posted by: Goldberry | Dec 6, 2005 9:32:15 AM

Amen to that.

Posted by: LOD | Dec 6, 2005 2:26:05 PM

I, too am in favor of making tight-assed people very uncomfortable, but I have to say breastfeeding my daughter, I'm told by medical professionals, actually the gradual weaning thereof, CAUSED my depression. I still don't regret it, but I'm not sure if my family would not have been better off if I hadn't. All this speaks to is that I agree with MIC - personal choice. Great for some, not so great for others.

Posted by: Barbara | Dec 8, 2005 6:32:38 PM

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