Breastfeeding is a topic that causes a great deal of controversy, though I don’t think it should.
That doesn’t mean, however, it shouldn’t stir deep emotion. (Almost every aspect of the mother/child relationship is filled with intense emotion.) We have to learn to communicate with one another from a place of mutual respect.
The problem comes when we say, “You should . . .” or “All mothers should . . .”
As a doula, my job is to provide my clients with unbiased information. It is their responsibility to make their decisions from a place of informed consent.
For example . . . While I had two VBACs and would encourage others to seriously consider it, I also have Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan in my library. This is another emotion-laden topic, but we won’t get into it at this time.
As you would expect, I am pro-breastfeeding for many reasons. And because today is the first day of World Breastfeeding Week, I would like to celebrate breastfeeding moms everywhere . . .
Colostrum (first milk) is rich in nutrients and antibodies.
Breast milk changes as baby’s needs change.
Breast milk is more digestible.
There is less risk of baby developing Type 2 diabetes, asthma and other respiratory diseases, diarrhea, and ear infections. There is also less chance of baby becoming obese.
Breastfeeding is linked to higher scores on IQ tests.
Mom benefits too.
Traveling with baby is easier.
Breastfeeding saves money.
Breastfeeding lowers the mother’s chance of getting osteoporosis, ovarian and breast cancers, and Type 2 diabetes. It also lowers the risk of developing postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding has also been shown to intensify the bond between mother and baby.
Finally, whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, I encourage you to respect your fellow mamas. Parenting has many joys, but it is tough, very tough. Let’s not make it even more difficult on one another.