Wednesday 27 June 2012

Breastfeeding: Beyond Good

This is my final post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. I’ve enjoyed taking part in this campaign, and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading. This week we have to write about ‘breastfeeding beyond’.
I don’t really know what to say for this one. I would like to be knowledgeable and write about my experiences of weaning, or teething, or extended breastfeeding. But Ebony isn’t even six months old yet so unfortunately I don’t know anything about this.

So instead, I’m just going to share with you 10 things that, in my opinion, are beyond awesome about breastfeeding:
1. Breastmilk is a living organism, it is full of all kinds of magic ingredients including white blood cells which protect your baby from illness.
2. Your breast milk is unique for your baby. No two mothers produce the same milk. Your milk changes as your baby’s needs change. This cannot be replicated by formula.
3. I don’t have to get out of bed in the night. I just lift Ebony out of her cot and fee her. There’s no worrying about formula or sterlising.
4. In hot weather, your baby will feed more often and for shorter periods, this is nature’s way of ensuring your baby is not dehydrated. Feeding this way means your baby will get more foremilk which is quite watery, so you don’t need to give them water (despite what my Grandma will tell you).
5. Breast milk is a natural form of pain relief. It’s filled with hormones that make you and your baby feel good. If Ebony is having teething troubles, I just pop her on the breast and she calms down in no time. In fact I’ve found breastfeeding is the answer to any of Ebony’s problems. I don’t know if it’s the hormones, being close to me, or the soothing action of feeding, but it always helps to calm my crying baby.
6. Breastfeeding also releases nice hormones for Mum too. I’ve found that if I’m feeling stressed, feeding Ebony quickly calms me down. I think it’s a combination of the hormones and looking down at Ebony and realising how lucky I am.
7. Nature made it, specifically for your baby, so you know it’s safe. Formula milks contain cow’s milk which is specifically made from cows. If you look at your baby, and then look at a cow, they are quite different really. They have different needs. Calves become cows much quicker than babies become grown ups. Cows also have smaller brains in relation to their bodies, and this affects the amount of fats in the milk. Cow’s milk is great for growing cows, but not so great for growing babies. Cow’s milk is linked with, to name a few, obesity, diabetes, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Breast milk is linked with high IQs and strong immune systems.
8. It’s free! Thank crap, because you can spend a small fortune on your first child. Every company imaginable is trying to sell you something for your baby - snot suckers, pillows to prevent flat head, necklaces to prevent teething.. the list is endless. We’ve tried not to spend a fortune on our first child, although she has still accumulated more clothes than me and my husband put together (and she isn’t even five months old yet)! So, when you can feed your baby for free, I didn’t see much point in buying formula, bottles, sterilisers etc.
9. I haven’t had the chance to try this out myself yet, but I’ve read that breastfed babies are more accepting of new flavours. Breast milk changes flavour depending on what the mother has been eating, and this prepares the baby for taste when she starts eating solids. I eat a lot of spicy food so I’m looking forward to putting this to the test when I wean Ebony.
Logo10. The best thing about breastmilk is the pride I feel when I look at my daughter reaching a new developmental milestone. The first time she smiled at me, the first time she rolled over and the first time she reached out and grabbed an object I felt a deep sense of pride. This beautiful little girl has reached a new developmental milestone and has done it all with only breast milk. My breast milk. I alone (well I guess I had a helping hand from Mother Nature) have nourished this baby and allowed her to grow tall, get chubby and develop new skills. When I look back at photos of her from birth, I cannot believe how much she has changed and grown - I’m proud that she has achieved so much from just breast milk.
For more advice on where to find breastfeeding support, check out Tea with Felicity,Where Roots FlourishReally RachMy Mummy's Pennies and The Secret Life of Kate.
To be in with the chance of winning over £500 of breastfeeding goodies, all you need to do is comment on this blog! So please leave a comment below and you'll be entered into a raffle as part of the Scavenger Hunt's grand competition.

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