Oct 17, 2008

Breast Feeding

Okay, people. I'm really excited about breast feeding so allow me to air my feelings on this topic!

I just cannot stop talking about my doula! I love her. I feel so fortunate to have taken the 6-week class with her, have extra sessions with her and now I’ve taken her breast-feeding class as well.

With all the reading and research I had done prior to the class, I was already totally sold on breast-feeding. But now it’s just written in stone people. I learned even so much more. Hopefully it all comes naturally, but if not, I am 100% dedicated to getting the support I need and making it work!

Through the research I had already done, I knew that breastfeeding is proven to increase babies IQ, strengthen their immune system, and decrease their chances of obesity, diabetes and allergies. I also knew that it increased bonding and decreased mom’s risk of osteoporosis, and ovarian and breast cancer. I also knew that it decreases bleeding after delivery, helps the uterus return to it’s pre-pregnant size, helps your stomach muscles to return to pre-pregnancy status and burns a TON of calories.

But I didn’t know how bad formula was. I bought into the company’s claims that it’s just as good. Those same companies sell that line of poo to doctors who sell that to their patients and I think that’s awful! It’s nothing like breast milk and contains tons of things that are actually bad for babies!

I also bought into the idea that some people just won’t be able to breastfeed. But we learned so much about what you can do to help your baby learn to feed and to help your milk come in and we watched video after video of skilled lactation consultants help babies and moms become successful, who had been unable to breastfeed for as long as the first month and a half of life.

We also learned about how using pain medication, pitocin and epidurals during labor can significantly reduce a baby’s ability to breast-feed. We learned about studies and saw videos of babies who had been born naturally with no meds and ones who had not and the difference in their instinct and ability to breast-feed was very distinct.

We also learned a lot about the hormones. Prolactin makes the milk and it is also the hormone that causes the mother to be fiercely protective of her baby so it strongly bonds mom and baby. And Oxytocin releases the milk and is the “love” hormone. So it also builds that strong bond between mom and baby. Prolactin and Oxytocin are released each time you feed. So each time you feed you not only get a rush of these hormones that soothe and calm both mom and baby but also cause the two to bond stronger and stronger. If you don’t breastfeed those hormones decrease and fade away! Why would you ever want to miss out on that!?

Well, I know this is super long and I’m on my soapbox, but this is only the tip of the iceberg of all that I’ve learned and as you can tell, I’m very excited about it all!


Cheryl said...

That is a great advertisement for breastfeeding! I'm so glad you are that gung-ho about it. Maybe you will be a consultant someday and help other moms and babies.

meaningfulalbums said...

Me too! I am also very excited about breastfeeding! Pretty soon we'll have a little club at church : ) Shan, me, you... who's next?