One of the biggest areas about being a new mom that I was unsure of was breastfeeding. Growing up, I had seen women sitting in the nursery, or in the back of the church, covered with a cute baby blanket, with an air of mystery about them. I thought it was kind of cool, kind of gross, and kind of weird, all at the same time.
By the time I was married, I was rather indifferent to the actual act of breastfeeding, but knew that I wanted to breastfeed. Unlike most men, Micah is perfectly comfortable with my BF, even more so than me sometimes! It might be from growing up in Bethel, as BF is a natural part of life among the Eskimos, or it might be from Mom Peter teaching him to view it with respect, instead of the disdain or outright weirdness that most men feel. It might be because his sister, Rebekah, has a gazillion kids (Okay, just five) and studied to be a midwife herself.
Whatever the cause, Micah is one of the few men I’ve ever met that not only LIKE babies, but is more comfortable with BF, dirty diapers, and spit-up than I am!
Because of him actually caring about BF, we knew that we wanted *Baby* to receive as many benefits and life-boosts as possible, one of the best being Mommy’s milk as opposed to formula.
- You can breastfeed just about anywhere (as long as you don’t get embarrassed in public, like I used to)
- Pumped BM lasts longer at room temperature than formula (6 hours as opposed to 1-2 hours)
- As long as he is receiving BM, baby shares the mom’s immune system (So Caleb has yet to get a cold, sniffles for a day and then it’s gone)
- BM helps baby sleep better (he goes to sleep right after eating, right on time, and slept through the night at 6 weeks)
- BF babies usually experience little-to-no colic (no fussiness unless he’s being a troll baby —>)
- They also experience least of a need to burp (unless they eat with their mouth’s open like Caleb)
- It’s FREE! (Horray! Love to save money!)
- BF helps mom lose weight quicker (think about it, you burn calories by sitting on your tush!)
- It helps physically develop baby’s face by toning and promoting facial structure development, also helps shape the mouth and prepare it for speech (ie. helps make baby cuter!)
- BM is loaded with valuable vitamins and nutrients that help ward off countless childhood diseases and maladies, even diarrhea! (a healthier baby is a happier baby)
- BF babies have a decreased chance of SIDS (Statistics show that out of every 87 babies that die from SIDS, only 3 are breastfeed)
- On average, BF babies have higher IQs. Experts considering BF to be the “4th trimester” due to the specific proteins that stimulate brain growth that can only be found in BM (baby genius, anyone?)
- BF helps protect mom from developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as reduced risk of heart disease (the more means of prevention, the better)
- BF creates an unique emotional and physical bond between mom and baby (I feel closest to Caleb when feeding him)
- Children who were BF as babies are usually more assertive, socially adjusted, friendly, mature, and secure in themselves and their surroundings (Meaning, hopefully Caleb won’t be a weirdie)
Sadly, some moms aren’t able to BF, either do to a complication, ailment, or something on the part of the baby. Others can’t BF due to work complications. The important thing is that each mom is doing the best she can for her little one.
I have been so blessed in my BF efforts with Caleb in that he took to it like a duck to water. No sooner did he pop out than they were lifting him up to me to feed within the first 15 minutes. As soon as he latched on, this overwhelming love and fierce protection swept over me. Since that day, we haven’t had any major complications or occurrences. Once or twice I was a bit grumpy when Micah had to wake me up out of dead sleep in order to let Caleb feed. (Made me kind of wish that I could just take them off, hand them to Micah, and let him do the feeding!)
The other day I was reading someone’s blog and they were describing their feelings as they weaned their nearly-one-year-old son, and I couldn’t help it. I cried.
Caleb is already three months old. If I am able to continue breastfeeding until his first birthday, then a 1/4 of that time is already gone… and it’s breaking my heart just thinking about it.
And another thing to think of: Micah and I are already talking about when we’re going to start trying for Baby #2, and if that happens, I might have to stop breastfeeding early! So our time together could even be shorter than 9 more months! What about it Moms? Did you have to stop BF when you got pregnant the 2nd time? Or is there hope?
Another aspect of BF is the sheer hilarity of it. We’ve all heard of the “oops” incidents, but it seems as though I’ve had more than my fair share of them. From forgetting to bring my breast pump to work and having to manually express into a Tupperware bowl, to being full-to-bursting and the front of my shirt going from light blue to dark blue in some very compromising spots, you name it, it’s happened.
What’s getting REALLY embarrassing is my body responding, EVEN WHEN IT’S NOT MY BABY! Seriously. Caleb is at home. I’m at work. A baby cries and nature takes over. Sigh… I’ve learned to wear patterns and always have a jacket handy.
But in spite of all that, I wouldn’t give up BF for anything. For those few minutes, I’m the most important person in his world…
…at least until he’s full and then he’s Daddy’s little man all over again!