Wednesday 6 June 2012

The Benefit of Breastfeeding

This post is part of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of breastfeeding and provide an online platform for people to share their experiences. For the first week of June, we have been asked to write about the benefits of breastfeeding.

I didn’t want to write a post about health benefits, or bonding benefits, because I’m sure there will be plenty of posts like that. If you are considering breastfeeding, please do have a look into the benefits because there are many.
But for me, the ultimate bestest most wonderful thing about breastfeeding is that I get my baby back from the greedy mitts of whoever is currently holding her.
I spent nine months slaving over a hot stove (my uterus), blending together the best quality ingredients I could find, adding extra nutrients to my diet specially (ginger nuts are nutritious, right?) in order to form the perfect baby.
It’s hard work to grow a baby. It’s repetitive, mundane manual labour. Repeatedly running to the toilet to be sick, mundanely eating salad for lunch (I just want chips, ok?) and the manual stuff, well it’s heavy lifting when you’re trying to get off the sofa towards the end.
It’s hard work, and no-one helps you with it. Sure, my husband took on more (ahem, all) of the housework and cooking, and my parents decorated our living room, and strangers let me sit down on trains, and this was all very kind but I was still the one doing all the hard work.
And when the blessed baby finally arrives, all of a sudden you’re not alone anymore. Everyone, and I mean everyone, wants a piece of that tiny being. Visitors flock to see the newest member of your family. Everyone wants a cuddle. And it is so, so hard to prise your baby back from the grabby arms of a doting grandmother.
Breastfeeding guarantees that I will have the sole attention of my baby (and she of me) for a number of hours each day. Bottle fed babies are often fed by grandmas, or dads, or visitors. But not my baby; she can only be fed by me. Yes it means I have to get up in the night if she is hungry, but it is so worth it to spend that time with her.
It can be quite stressful when my baby has been kidnapped (dramatic? Perhaps, but this is sometimes how it feels if she has been taken away for too long) by extended family. She often looks across the room at me, with with wide eyes, as if to say “Ok, I played ball. I smiled and giggled, will you take me back now?” But I know (and I’m pretty sure she knows) that all she needs to do is decide she’s hungry and she’ll be back in my arms in no time. Then it’s my job to try my best to hold onto her for a bit, before another relative wants “their turn”.
Breastfeeding allows me to be reunited with my baby when she has been in another’s arms too long. It allows me to reconnect with her, and calm her, and it reinforces our bond. I am so glad I chose to breastfeed. It’s tough at the beginning, but it gets easier so fast, and it’s so worth it in the long run.
I look back so fondly on the memories of breastfeeding Ebony when she was tiny, I’m glad that I was the only person able to share those moments with her. They’re very special memories and I shall never forget how perfect life felt. Ebony is five months old this week, she’s stronger now and is awake more so needs constant entertaining. It’s nice to have those quiet moments when she’s feeding, it’s the only time she’s not screeching with excitement! Ebony has a feed first thing in the morning, and then feeds to sleep at night, so I start and end every day with cuddles with the most important person in my life. I can’t imagine anything better!
Please check out some of the other blogs participating in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt; Tea With FelicityMy Gorgerous Boys BlogLife Love and Living With Boys,Diary of the Milkshake Mummy and Smiling Like Sunshine.
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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