To Breastfeed or Not

As a new mom I’ve learned how much pressure new moms feel to breastfeed.  As a dietitian breastfeeding was something I always wanted to do since I know how great it is for mom and baby.  However, it does not always go as smoothly as everyone hopes.  Luckily, Hannah is a good eater and we haven’t had any issues thus far.

The pros of breastfeeding for baby:

  • optimal nutrition
  • it’s easy for the baby to digest
  • strong immune component for baby
  • reduced risk of respiratory infection, gastrointestinal infections, asthma, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hypercholesteremia and childhood lukemia
  • reduced rates of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)
  • promotes bonding with mother
  • reduced rates of allergies and intolerances
  • helps promote proper jaw and teeth development
  • may increase intelligence and school performance through adolescence

The pros of breastfeeding for mom:

  • it’s free and doesn’t involve any preparation
  • promotes strong bond with baby
  • helps shrink uterus
  • helps mom return to pre-pregnancy size sooner
  • reduces postpartum bleeding
  • decreased risk for: type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression
  • improved bone density

Even though there are so many benefits of breastfeeding it does not mean that formula is bad!  You have to make the right choice for your own lifestyle, comfort level and medical situation.  Some women just don’t produce enough milk.  Some babies are not able to latch on properly.  Some women are not around their babies enough to do so and pumping may not be realistic.  Whatever your reason is, it’s important not to feel guilty if you are not able to breastfeed.

Since I have returned to work part-time I pump enough milk to provide Hannah with breast milk even when I’m not home.  I also give her bottles when we’re out in public which makes me more comfortable.  Again you have to do what is right for YOU!  This has been working really well for us and I hope to continue doing this till she is at least 6 months and I’ll evaluate at that point whether I want to continue or not.

Coming up in my next post:  The breastfeeding diet!

I’ll leave you with a couple photos from our recent trip to Bermuda.

Advertisements