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Thread: Benefits of breastfeeding???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7

    Question Benefits of breastfeeding???

    Ok girls. My family and friends keep telling me not to BF my son past 3 months. They tell me they only benefit from BF in the first few months, some even tell me only the first few weeks. My son is 2 months old and I originally planned on BF for his first year. But when they tell me this I wonder if itd be just as well to formula feed. So what exactly are the benefits from breastfeeding past the first few months? I need some help, support or something

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    1,437

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    Wow! I'm sorry your friends and family are so misinformed! The benefits of breastfeeding are so numerous that it would be impossible to list them all in one post. Do you have a copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding? It is full of the details of how far superior breastfeeding is in comparison to formula feeding! Do you have a local La Leche League group? It sounds like you could really use some support, and a local LLL group is a great place to get it.

    As far as your friends and family are concerned, you can tell them that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for all babies for at least the first 12 months of life, and thereafter as long as is mutually desired by mother and baby. The World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the U.S. Surgeon General have recommended breastfeeding for at least 2 years and beyond.

    Here are a couple of quick links to LLL info on the benefits of breastfeeding:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/advantages.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/prevention.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/advantagetoddler.html

    One question you might want to ask them is why are they so anxious for you to wean your baby? It sounds as though you enjoy breastfeeding and believe you are doing the best for your baby...why would they want to interfere with that?

    Hang in there! You are doing a great job, and your baby is very lucky to have you as his mother!


    Take Care,

    Tiana

    I think it might be fun for those on this forum to support this mom by writing in with one or two of your favorite advantages of breastfeeding. This is something we often do at meetings. Any takers?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    I, too, am sorry your family feels that way. I can completely understand how you feel, my husband's family is not that supportive of my breastfeeding. BIG HUGS TO YOU!!!

    Advantages:

    ~Fewer ear infections

    ~Awesome bonding experience

    ~Your chances of breast cancer decrease

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    I also question why they are telling you not to breastfeed. I had an extremely hard time with my mother-in-law who never believed in breastfeeding. I think it was because she tried and says it didn't work for her, so no one should be able to do it if she couldn't. I also know that it was definitely because she wanted to feed him herself. Thankfully there was an article in our local newspaper recently about nursing until the age of 2 and not introducinf solids until 6 months, so she finally believes me. She also just seems to have accepted that I'm nursing and that is that.

    As for benefits, one thing I have heard is that once solids are introduced, breastfed babies are more open to different foods as breastmilk changes flavours depending on what we eat. Breastmilk also changes as your baby's needs changes. There is always enough, it is always the right temperature and it is always readily available. Nothing worse than being out and about and trying to find a way to heat a bottle for a screaming little one. (I have friends who didn't nurse and I watched this happen over and over again to their children when all I had to do was find a place to sit and feed). Your immunity is also passed to the infant . I have a 10 year old who I breastfed for almost 2 years and he didn't get his first ear infection until he was 9 YEARS OLD. That is pretty amazing.

    If you love breastfeeding and want to feed until the infant until it is a yr old so be it, they'll just have to accept it.

    Keep up the good work.



    Mom to Justin 11/95 and Logan 10/05

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    99

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    Breastmilk is free. I haven't ever bought formula so I never thought much about how expensive it is. But this morning I was talking to someone who was saying a can of formula can cost $20 or more and only last 2-3 days. WOW! That's like $50 a week. If you have to buy formula for the next 9 months instead of breastfeeding, that's $1800. Someone correct me if my figures are wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    Some benefits I've experienced already (dd is 4.5 months)

    ~A closer bonding.
    ~Not having to drag formula and bottles wherever I go!
    ~The assurance that she is getting the best nutritionally, the way God and nature intended.
    ~Awesome immune system (has started to get a little cold a time or two but it never progressed).
    ~Has never had an ear infection! (both my older kid had 1 by this age)

    I could go on!!
    I'm sorr your friends and family are so misinformed.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    28

    Thumbs up Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    I needed good reasons to continue breastfeeding (I work full time + and have to pump a lot which is nuisance) so I did a lot of motivational research. I can definitely relate to not feeling support. Even the daycare has dropped subtle hints ="so when will you be weaning him...", not to mention well intentioned but poorly informed relatives. Needless to say, they get an earful of information :-)

    Some other benefits:

    Extended breastfeeding reduces Osteoporosis in mother
    Straighter teeth for the baby (nursing uses 44 muscles, bottle uses 4)
    Lower chance of allergies in baby
    reduces chances of childhood obesity
    Faster post partum weight loss

    Just to name a few.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    After the first few weeks, when we had BF'ing down, the main advantage was SLEEP. It was so easy to sleep with him right there and when he woke up to eat I could get him latched on while still half asleep and then nod right back off. The horomones your body releases while you're nursing are also relaxing so it's much easier to get back to sleep than if you had to get up, make a bottle and feed the baby. Co-sleeping and BFing are also easier on hubby since I would sleep with a hand on Alex and usually wake up as soon as he started moving. This meant DH was able to sleep through the whole thing. Actually, according to DH, there was a time or two that I slept through the whole thing. Alex would wake up and since we'd fallen asleep nursing, he'd just scooth over to me and latch on without any help from me

    I also second the immunity advantage. Alex didn't get sick very often and I noticed if I could catch the illness first he would either avoid it altogether or have a much shorter sick time than I did. I think most moms will say from time to time that they'd rather suffer than watch their babies suffer. If you're BFing in a way you get to do that. When you're dealing with a nasty cold and you angel is still healthy you know that you're already giving him or her the defenses to keep from feeling as bad as you do. This is a pretty cool feeling.

    It is awesome that you are doing the best thing for your baby in light of critisism from friends and family. I definitely reccomend finding a local LLL meeting so you find other nursing moms to meet with. If you enjoy books that have a strong humerous bent to them I definitely reccomend "So Thats What They're There For" It's on sale right now for $3 at the LLL Spring sale and is so funny yet informative.

    Keep checking in and know that we're all "rooting" for you to keep providing superior nourishment for your little one as long as you're both happy with it.

    Sabrina
    Mom to Alex: 12/08/04 and still happily nursing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    7

    Smile Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    Thanks girls for all the info and support. I have also been reading alot of articles online since I posted. I am also going to go to the library to check out those books you guys recommended. I feel so much better with all the support and knowing that I am giving my baby the best. I love the support on this board! Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    683

    Default Re: Benefits of breastfeeding???

    Kellymom.com (not a LLL source) has an extensive list of the advantages of breastfeeding, including the advantages of extended nursing too. You may want to check there.

    Also, I believe LLL has a tear-off sheet with great information as well. You might want to call one of your local LLL Leaders and ask her to send you one

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