Other breastfeeding advocates probably think this is all wonderful! I do not bash formula feeding, but simply try to educate others around me. Still, I know there are plenty of moms- specifically those who never really considered breastfeeding- asking "What do you care? Why does it matter to you what/how I feed my baby?"
This is a fair enough question. After all- it is not my child. I am not one of those parents who feels that just because a child gets formula means they will not be happy, healthy, smart children. In fact, formula helped nourish my own child.
Yet, I do care if others breastfeed. I really do- and there are several reasons why. Many are scientific, information based. Others are from my personal experience.
So to answer this question I am sure many moms are wondering- here is a list of reasons why I want YOU to breastfeed. There are too many to list- but here are some of my top reasons.
- Breast is not best- it is NORMAL! Breastfeeding is the natural way to nourish your child. Our society- however, does not look at breastfeeding this way, and until more women breastfeed, this will not change. So yes, I want YOU to breastfeed so when I am blessed with another child and I breastfeed, it will not seem to be an abnormal act to others around me.
- So that your child can have the perfect nourishment. Formula is NOT poison- let me just get that point across. It is necessary for some circumstances- but no matter what that commercial, pamphlet, or sample can of formula says- it CAN NOT duplicate breastmilk. NOT EVEN CLOSE! Breastmilk is amazing stuff. IT CURES CANCER!!!! It can treat pink eye, burns, and so much more! Can you imagine all that healing power, plus nourishment that is tailored specifically for your baby at their age/stage. No matter what the big formula companies want you to believe- they can not do as good a job of this as your body can
- I want to SAVE YOU MONEY! I love saving money. I am a crazy couponer. I bargain shop, I watch for great deals to have vacations, etc. And I LOVE saving other people money. So I want you to choose breastfeeding to save you money. Breastfeeding is FREE! You need no equipment. Sure, if you plan to return to work, at some point you may need a pump (hand expression is a FREE option) and you will need something to store milk and feed the baby....BUT not as much as if you formula feed. Formula costs can run close to $100/month or so. Even using generic brands and coupons you still spend around $60 a month on formula. Bottles wear down/out faster if they are the only source to put the food in baby's mouth. Then add on the time and cost to wash bottles. Don't forget that formula fed babies are more susceptible to colic, ear infections, and more (this does not mean your baby will have these issues if you formula feed, but there is a higher chance of it happening). You get WIC? They will pay for formula? Here is a little tidbit I have found- If you choose to formula feed- Mom does not get as much Grocery allowance during that first year. Often times the amount of formula provided by WIC is not enough to meet the baby's needs. Finally, when your child starts solids- most WIC programs provide more baby food to breastfed babies then to formula fed babies. So breastfeeding- even when on WIC is a cheaper choice.
- I want you to learn how AMAZING your body is. Through my breastfeeding experience, speaking with other breastfeeding moms, and all of my research into breastfeeding- I have learned to appreciate my body more than I ever thought possible. Women are amazing! The fact that we are able to nourish our babies for 9 months in the womb, and then continue to provide 100% of the nourishment that they need for the first year or more (before age one solids are just for fun) is truly a miracle! You will learn to love your body and appreciate how amazing it is every time you bring your little one to your breast.
- The benefits are endless- you, my friend, are less likely to get ovarian cancer if you breastfeed. Your healing time is faster after birth when you breastfeed. I LOVE you- otherwise I wouldn't care about these benefits and be urging you to consider breastfeeding! I want you to have all these miraculous benefits.
- The sense of accomplishment- I thought about putting the bonding experience- but I will be honest- not every mother LOVES breastfeeding- and those that do, certainly do not love it 100% of the time. But, even if you do not have the wonderful, warm feeling moms talk about- there is something you will have- a sense of accomplishment. I felt it when I hit that magic 8 week mark. The one where breastfeeding finally clicked for both Lil Man and I and I was so proud of myself for not quitting all those times I felt like it. The sense of pride you get when you are "awarded" your "bronze boobies" for hitting the 3 month mark. The fact that you stuck with it, even when it was hard, you were tired, and all you wanted was to just not feel like a giant cow/pacifier (see my post on why these thoughts are bad here)- you will feel so PROUD of yourself, and your little one, for making it to these milestones.