This is part of a series of blog posts I'm calling “The Mammy Lists”
Why I breastfed.*
- There is a correlation between amount of time spent breastfeeding and the incidence of breast cancer. A woman who breastfeeds for a month in her life is less likely to develop breast cancer than a woman who doesn't.
- Breast milk contains your white blood cells, the cells that fight bacteria in your body. this means that a breastfed baby is automatically immune to all of the bacteria in the mother's immediate environment. A new baby has almost no protection against bacteria in the environment, thats why you sterilise everything.3. Its cheaper.
- Breastfed babies develop faster (or, I should say, formula fed babies develop slower) breastmilk is specifically designed to support the development of little brains and little eyes and baby formula is a poor imitation.
- Humans are mammals, mammals breastfeed. If you fed a bay human unmodified cows milk it would die. if you fed a bay cow human milk it would die. our bodies make the perfect food for our offspring, it's arrogant to assume that our science can satisfactorily approximate what nature has been perfecting for millions of years.
- In the developing world
breastfeeding saves lives. even starving women can breastfed adequately, so there is no reason for babies to dies of starvation or malnutrition.
let me say that again so you hear me:
If breastfeeding were the global norm no baby would die of starvation or malnutrition.
There is evidence of women in concentration camps in world war II who breastfed healthy children. Women in the developing world bottle fed because it's perceived as a more civilised, more western way to fed your children. These women do not have to money to buy infant formula or the resources to keep feeding equipment sterile and safe. I want to be part of the change in culture which sees breastfeeding to be more widespread and accepted wherever you live.
- If you are breastfeeding you will never run out of milk if, for example, you get trapped on the m25 for 2 hours, or get locked out of your house. (both of which happened to me!)
- Visible breastfeeding will encourage other women to breastfeed.
- Breastfeeding will soothe a crying baby in 9.99% of cases :-) Including after his/her imunisations. Priceless.
*I breastfed my Squiggle exclusively for 3 months. I then combination fed between 3-4 months and switched completely to baby formula after 4 months. The reason I switched to combination feeding in the first place is that (for his night feeds especially) he was getting more and more unsatisfied even after full feds. I persisted (as you are told to) for about 2 weeks of offering breast after breast before I gave up. I switched to exclusive bottle feeding at four months mostly out of convenience and my desire to live a more selfish life. I felt guilty about it.