Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Debunking the Boob

As a breastfeeding mother, I'm astonished by the number of people who receive false information regarding breastfeeding. Oddly, when I ask the misinformed person where he/she got their information it is often from someone who has never breastfed at all. Be leery of advice given to you by well meaning people whose children are grown. Their information is often outdated. When in doubt, ask a professional. I'm beginning to believe that the reason why some women do not breastfeed is due to lack of support and false information. Please, let me dispell some of the myths.

  • The most common question I'm asked is, "Doesn't it hurt?". For the record: NO, it does not hurt. If the baby is not latched on your breast properly it can pinch a little, but once you readjust the wee one, you hardly feel anything more than a gentle pulling. Also, most women don't realize that they are entitled to a visit from a lactation consultant after the birth of her baby. This is done during her hospital stay. In addition, do not be afraid to ask the nurses for help with positioning or any questions you might have. They are usually quite supportive and happy to help. You can also phone the lactation consultant if you have questions after you get home. La Leche League is another good resource.
  • Another common misconception that I've come across is "bottle feeding is easier". Actually, breastfeeding is easier. There are no bottles to clean and I can feed Satchel anywhere without having to mix and heat formula.
  • Most recently, I was told that breastfeeding can take nutrients away from the mother. This is another falsehood. There are NO health risks associated with breastfeeding, only benefits for both mother and child. The only thing that breastfeeding seems to burn a lot of is calories. I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans by my 6 week check up.
In brief, the benefits of breastfeeding for the mommies are:
  • Decreased risk of breast cancer
  • Decreased risk of ovarian cancer
  • Decreased risk of osteoporosis
In brief, the benefits of breastfeeding for the babies are:
  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from gastrointestinal trouble, respiratory problems, and ear infections.
  • Breastfeeding can protect your baby from developing allergies.
  • Breastfeeding may boost your child's intelligence.
  • Breastfeeding may protect against obesity later in life.
  • Breastfeeding may protect your baby from childhood leukemia.
  • Breastfeeding may protect your baby from developing type 1 diabetes.
  • Breastfeeding may lower your baby's risk of SIDS.
Then of course, there is the bonding between mother and child that is really wonderful!

For more detailed information about the benefits of breastfeeding, CLICK HERE! If you ever hear anything negative about breastfeeding, first consider the source...second talk to lactation consultant or at least a breastfeeding mommy. We love to share what we know.

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posted by Wendy at 11:59 AM


Blogger Rivkeh said...

Just happened across your blog & wanted to say THANK YOU for a beautiful, informative post!!! I feel so strongly about this. My mom breastfed all 5 of her kids, both of my sisters have done it, and when I have my little ones (hopefully soon-ish) I plan to as well. The terrible misinformation that seems to be so prevalent out there is astonishing to me. I am still trying to figure out when and where along the way we became so terrified of pain - even mild discomfort - that we are willing to compromise our health & our childrens' health to avoid it.
Yay for boobies! ;-)

1:55 PM  

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