In honor of breastfeeding awareness month, I want to share with you some reasons why breastfeeding is flipping awesome.
Breast is best (yes, I went there but read on). So actually, fed is best. As long as a baby is fed, that's what is best for your baby. However, if we're getting technical here...breastfeeding is the healthiest choice for your little one. While there are wonderful brands of formula out there, nothing and I mean nothing, can compare to breastmilk. Breastmilk is so full of so many amazing nutrients and vitamins that to this day researchers still know that they have not uncovered them all. The science of breastmilk is like bottomless chips and salsa at Chilis...it's so good and it never ends!
It's easier. Sort of. The first 4-6 weeks of breastfeeding is hard, like really flipping hard. I've been through it three times and during each child I had days where I thought about just quitting. But I fought through the hard time and the nipple pains and engorgement because I knew in the end, that breastfeeding was so much easier. There's not really any bottles to wash, no bottles or formula to carry around, you never have to worry about not having baby's food in the case of a zombie apocalypse and you do not have to make bottles in the middle of the dark when you're basically a zombie yourself. Praise the Lord!
It's natural, but read on. We're the only species that will turn around and eat another mammal's milk when we consume dairy products. As mammals we are designed to feed our offspring. However while it is natural, natural doesn't always mean easy. Just because it doesn't come natural to you, don't get discouraged. I'm sure there's a monkey somewhere struggling to feed a chimp. You're not alone, promise!
It's beautiful. If you've ever thought for a second that breastfeeding was kinda weird, you're not alone. I remember once feeling like it would be odd to nurse my son. Why? Because our modern culture has sexualized breasts and if we're being honest here, we all know that we've probably used in that way (oops). But it's truly the most beautiful thing. Once you experience it and begin that journey, you find a whole new appreciation for your body and for the way God so cleverly created us.
It's healthy for YOU. The longer you breastfeed, the more you lower your chance of developing breast cancer or ovarian cancer. Every month counts - so even something like 4-6 months per child is huge! Also, breastfeeding usually helps most mothers lose weight! It's not always the magic solution and for myself, it takes about 6 months or so to really see the effects; and by around one year, I would also see a good drop from it as well!
You'll feel stronger. Breastfeeding makes you weak in the beginning. It makes you cry and it makes you feel like something so natural just isn't natural for you. You'll think you're doing it all wrong, and that's oaky. It's exactly how we all feel and even three kids in and I still felt that way each and every time. It's a daily struggle for awhile and then one day you realize how second nature it all becomes. Then one day, you'll approach whatever personal breast-feeding goal that you set for yourself and you may even surpass it. You'll feel like a champ. You'll feel like a goddess. You'll feel like you won a challenging game of LIFE. And you'll realize just how grateful you are for that.
Breastfeeding isn't for everyone and it certainly can't be done alone. It takes a village to breastfeed. It takes realizing that for those first few weeks, you may be glued to the sofa, with Netflix and a water bottle while a newborn sucks the life out of you. But you'll forever be grateful for trying. I encourage you to consider the option to breastfeed. Even if it feels so foreign to you and so out of your comfort zone, try it. You never know how easily you may fall in love with the gift that God provided for our babies.
Nurse on mamas!