At the Heart of Breastfeeding...
In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, let us pay homage to the nursing mom. The decision to breastfeed is one of the most important ones a new mom will make. There is definitely no doubt about the benefits that the newborn receive from breast milk. Besides the commitment of time and effort, the main obstacle is the social stigma. Although breastfeeding has been around since the creation of man, most people know very little about it or the health benefits to baby and mom. Society as a whole tends to take a negative stance on topics that it knows so little about. It’s especially hard if she is the first person in the family to breastfeed. Most of us have seen the viral video of the women breastfeeding versus those women showing lots of cleavage. If you haven’t seen it, you can probably guess who received the favorable reactions from the public versus those who received looks of disgust and negative comments. Let’s change the tide and start being supportive and encouraging to moms who choose to give the very best to their babies. Let us lift them up and not tear them down.
Ask any breastfeeding mom and she will tell you that it’s quite a challenge. What drives her to continue is that she understands how superior breast milk is for her little one as opposed to formula. The breastfeeding mom knows that her baby will be less colicky and less likely to deal with allergies, ear infections, and other illnesses. Breastfed children are generally healthier with less risk of diabetes and obesity. The benefits of breastfeeding continue even through adolescence. The bonding that occurs between mom and baby is indescribable! God designed the female body in such a way that the milk evolves as the baby grows, so the little one always get exactly what he or she needs. No formula created in a lab could ever achieve this.
Being a new mom and learning how to breastfeed can be anxiety provoking, if you let it. The mindset must be different. With formula-fed babies, it’s quite easy to look at the bottle and see how much milk little Johnny has drank. With breastfeeding, you must trust your body and know that you can do it. There are different sets of rules that apply with breastfed babies versus formula-fed babies. Trust yourself. If you know of someone who is contemplating breastfeeding or is already doing it, be supportive and positive. As new moms embark upon this new endeavor, they need encouragement and love. As with anything in life, when breastfeeding is first initiated, it can be challenging. Stick with it! You have the promise of knowing the rewards you and your baby will reap will go way beyond the 6 months to a year of nursing.
- Pamela Lacy