For the past few generations, breastfeeding has not been the number one choice for new mothers. Most mothers who give birth in the hospital are provided with formula from day one, as an “option,” but rarely are they informed about the differences between bottle and breast. For new moms, particularly younger generations, this decision doesn’t really seem like a big deal. When I had my twins, there was never anyone that stepped in and said,“You really should consider breastfeeding over formula,” and frankly, I didn’t really see a difference. This may sound stupid to some people, but the formula companies have successfully brainwashed the majority of us into thinking that their formula is just as good as moms milk.
Don’t get me wrong- it is amazing that infants can survive on formula, and I realize in some cases that this is the only option for some people.
Yet, the idea that it is just as good, or BETTER, is completely FALSE.
In fact, breast is always going to be superior to formula. As I have seen recently, and I love it because it is so true, you are not choosing between Coke and Pepsi. You are choosing between a living substance and dead processed liquid.
When you have the majority hovered around you, including your pediatrician, telling you that formula is fine, of course the line is going to get blurry between what is the best for baby. The important thing is, that if you are pregnant, and reading this, that you are confident and able to make a clear and informed decision. The decision that is best for your baby, best for you, and comfortable. Not what is best for your doctor, or best for the formula companies.
I realize that not everyone is comfortable with breastfeeding. This, unfortunately has to do with the fact that most of us at this point were not breastfed. In America, breastfeeding is sort of taboo. Women are frowned upon when they nurse in public, and in extreme cases are told to go to restrooms to nurse. Boobs are for sex, not nursing. Women can walk around with their tits hanging out of their tops at the mall all day long, but damn that woman for feeding her baby! This is part of the programming that we must reverse. Breastfeeding needs to be turned from uncomfortable to the norm. One way that we do this is to encourage nursing, and other ways are through education and support. While it can seem strange to nurse in the beginning, with practice, it will feel just as comfortable as reading a book.
Also, it is important to keep in mind that formula has not been around as long as breast milk. We are just now starting to see the effects in adults who were formula fed. Sure, they may have made it through infancy, but unfortunately babies that are formula fed are more likely to experience health problems down the line. Trust me, I don’t like this either, because my twins were formula fed, and so was I. However, there is power in education, and freedom in truth.
Breastfeeding Benefits- The Power of Boobies
If you decide to breastfeed, know this:
- You will be giving your baby the most nutritious food he or she can get. It contains the perfect amount of enzymes and antibodies, decreasing their chances of illnesses, ear infections, colds, diarrhea, and SIDS, while also decreasing their chances of developing diabetes, cancers, and obesity in the future.
- It burns calories, helping you drop the baby weight faster.
- Acts as a contraceptive, which is “natures way” of spreading out your pregnancies (to be more specific, you don’t start your cycle back as quickly as you would if you formula fed).
- Decreases YOUR chance of breast cancer.
- Helps you recover faster from natural birth.
- Baby is able to digest breast milk easier, resulting in less or no spit up, which means you aren’t going through as many clothes. This also means that the baby doesn’t “smell” like formula fed babies do. Breast milk spit up does NOT smell like formula!
- FREE. FREE. FREE. Did I say free? Sure, lower income families can get formula through medicaid, but you don’t have to deal with this hassle if you just breastfeed from the start!
- Perfect temperature, and you can feed anytime, anywhere, and you don’t have to heat up a bottle!
- I repeat, you don’t have to heat up a bottle, so forget stumbling around in the kitchen at 3:00 am.
- You get bonding time with your baby, which is a different experience than formula feeding.
- If the baby gets a cold, recover time is quicker because the baby receives the mothers antibodies through breast milk.
- Baby gains weight naturally, the way he or she should. It is proven that formula fed babies weigh more than breast fed babies, and most pediatricians use growth charts based on formula fed infants. And we wonder why obesity is such a huge problem in America?
These are just a few of the many benefits of breastfeeding, and I’m hoping we are in the turning point where more mothers are becoming aware that breast is best. Like I said earlier, the most important thing we can do is spread the knowledge, so more mothers know the truth about breastfeeding, and are not just making decisions based on the television, magazine, and website solicitations about brand name formulas. We need to show each other support and lend a hand to help mothers learn how to feed their young, in a loving comfortable way. It is time we take back this beautiful, natural, and healthy past time. It is time we give our babies what they really need…their mommies.
For tips on breastfeeding in public and encouragement, check out my video (featuring Mr. Wiggles!) on Youtube:
How to Save Time + Get Healthy
Learn how YOU can be a SMART VEGAN while saving time (and money) with my FREE GUIDE, PLUS get easy vegan recipes and fun announcements in your email inbox when you join the Boho mailing list!