However I do want to make a clear point that breast milk is far better for our children than artificial formulas.
For years formula companies have tried to market their products as just as good as breast milk. And people have blindly accepted this as truth. But in reality this is far from true.
Human milk is rich in the nurtrients needed for brain development. There are approximately 400 nutrients in breast milk that are not present in artificial formulas. And naturally, the amount of fats and other nutrients in mother's milk changes as a baby's needs change. The antibodies that help fight infections are only found in breast milk and cannot be created in a science lab.
Every mammal on earth has a perfect, nutritious, nourishing and natural food for their offspring. That of course is the milk each mammal naturally produces as a result of giving birth. There is no question in any other species about what to feed their new baby, their bodies naturally produce what it needs.
Sadly some human beings do not accept nature and would rather listen to mass media and opinions of others telling them what to feed their young, instead of trusting their natural instincts to breast feed.
But only you can decide whether to breast or bottle feed. It is your body and your baby.
Obviously breast milk is BETTER for babies as it is the milk nature intended for them, rather than artificial formula. Breast feeding also encourages close physical contact, bonding and connection between Mumma and baby. The regular eye contact deepens the bond between the two.
While the bubba feels nutured, nourished and secure, snuggled up into the warmth of their Mumma's boob, the breast feeding Mumma produces hormones that further calm and create a loving connection between the two.
The affectional bonding that occurs from the touch and eye contact during breast feeding helps the child to feel secure and will aid in fostering a positive emotional wellbeing in later years.
There are so many positives to breast feeding.....
* Colostrum which is full of vital nutirents and has no artificial equivalent.
* It is easy for babies to digest.
* It is suitable for ALL babies.
* You can feed wherever you are, travel is easy, no need to worry about sterile bottles etc.
* Night feeds are easy, especially if you co-sleep. Just stay in bed and offer your boob.
* Breast milk has the necessary minerals and important antibodies that babies need.
* Connection and touch which is vitally important for bonding.
I can completely understand why some Mumma's get completely overwhelmed with the all-consuming nature of breast feeding. That feeling that you are resigned to the sofa with the almost constant feeds.
This is completely natural and will pass all too soon. Babies grow and develop so fast and before you know it, the baby stage is over and you wonder where your tiny baby has gone!
It is amazing how much you can grow emotionally, if you are willing to surrender to your child's needs and let go of everything else that you feel you need to be doing. We were never meant to raise children without support and whatever support you can get will help to nurture you as a Mumma and allow you to focus your energy on the vulnerable little human you are blessed to have.
Trying to do too much while breast feeding is a sure way to hinder the natural process. To nurture others, Mumma's first need to nurture themselves.
Often I hear Mumma's who are not sure if they can breast feed, or they tried to nurse, but failed or their milk dried up or their baby decided they wanted a bottle etc.
When I was pregnant, there was no question whether I would breast feed or not....my babies were going to get MY milk. So I nurtured my health, my emotions and affirmed to myself that I was strong and healthy and that my milk was nourishing and perfect for my baby.
Having this faith or trust in your body to naturally do what it is designed to, is to me, THE most important factor in whether a Mumma will breast feed successfully or not.
It amazes me that today half of those who start breast feeding give up within the first six weeks. This is rarely because of lack of milk. More than likely it's because of lack of knowledge on breast feeding, no guidance or support or stress over the frustration from something so natural being so difficult.
This stress can lead to problems with the breasts, and milk supply. Louise L Hay states that breasts represent mothering, nurturing and nourishment. And if there are any problems while breast feeding ie soreness, mastitis etc there maybe a refusal to nourish the self. Putting everyone else first and forgetting your own needs. She puts forward an affirmation to help Mumma's through these problems.
'I am impotant. I count. I now care for and nourish myself with love and with joy'. (Louise L Hay, Heal your Body).
There is a lot of support for breast feeding mothers. I was fortunate to have a very supportive midwife who not only helped with my two home births, but was available anytime I needed her for advice and support on any birth, baby or breast matter. Even if it is just a breast feeding group online, at least then you will realise you are not alone in your concerns and may connect with other Mumma's who will willing share their advice and experience.
For me, full term breast feeding my two children was an amazingly enriching and connecting experience. I feel it worked because I was supported, nourished with nutritious food & self-nurtured. Mainly though it was just natural for me to breast feed and I trusted that my body would do what it needed to do.
Breast feeding is best. Let's get back to nurturing and nourishing ourselves as Mumma's so we can give our babies a natural, nutritious start for optimal health.