Sunday, October 17, 2010
Last month as I took a vacation with my family to California a billboard caught my eye. It simply stated; "Babies are born to be breastfed." My heart leapt and my skin filled with goose bumps. Yes, babies are born to be breastfed! That's what our bodies are naturally and wisely made to do.
When I came home I found an article in the Salt Lake Tribune that pertained to the California billboard. It reported that Utah leads the nation in breastfeeding but that only 60 percent of moms do it for more than six months. What does this say about other states?
Do you know the many hidden benefits of breastfeeding? You may be surprised.
-mother's milk passes along antibodies to baby and lessens the chance of obesity and diabetes and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, as well as, common colds, flus and viruses
-nursing babies' jaws are naturally formed at the breast and their speech is improved when they begin talking
-nursing babies are more quickly bonded with their mothers at the breast because of oxytocin which is released as the mother nurses
-nursing is the perfect distance from the breast to the mother's face for a newborn baby's eyes
to see and focus
-the longer a woman nurses throughout her life the less risk that she will have breast and ovarian cancer
-helps moms to reduce their pregnancy weight naturally and shrinks the uterus down to size
-reduces baby's risk of developing food allergies and asthma
-reduces the risk of postpartum depression
-increases baby's IQ
-it is the perfect nutrition for your growing infant
-it slows you down and allows more one on one time with your babe in arms
-it increases bone density
-breastfed babies are 10 times less likely to need hospitalization in the first year of life
-antibody response to vaccines are 10x higher than formula fed babies
-babies have a reduced risk of heart disease later in life
-reduced risk of acute appendicitis and arthritis for baby
...and the list goes on!!!
If we are so concerned with eating well in pregnancy and having a drug free and natural birth then we should be just as concerned with how we will feed our baby when it is born. In today's fast paced and self oriented world we must not forget to slow down and continue to give our babies the best of us after they are born.
I completely understand the difficult situation that arises for mothers who must work and who struggle to breastfeed their babies. Is there any way you could pump and stock up your breastmilk in the freezer for when its needed? Breastmilk stores for a year in the freezer and can easily be warmed in a bottle so baby gets the nutritional benefits of your milk even when you are away. You can rent electric pumps from most hospitals for a reasonable price and while you eat lunch you can plug it in and pump.
In a world where we are fighting for natural pregnancy and simple birth methods we must not forget to nurse our babies and continue to give them everything they need. It can be a sacrifice, but it is a worthy one. Just like everything else we must think wisely about what we are feeding these tiny ones and give them the best that we have. Breastfeeding is truly best feeding!