When my first child was born, I was so stressed and anxious--regardless of how many pregnancy books I had read--that I had a real hard time breastfeeding my baby. I can’t deny the myths that I had heard didn’t help much either. Between my dear aunt’s “baby’s hungry! I don’t think your milk is really enough” and my return to work soon after having him, I chose formula over breastmilk for him.

The first years were rough with ear infections, fevers and other typical things that baby’s fragile systems are vulnerable to and that drive us parents completely nuts. Then there was the guilt of feeling that by not nursing him I had kept him from the benefits of my milk to have a stronger immune system.

So before my second child was born, I knew he would exclusively be getting breastmilk.

According to Unicef:

“Optimal breastfeeding of infants under two years of age has the greatest potential impact on child survival of all preventive interventions, with the potential to prevent 1.4 million deaths in children under five in the developing world”.

Colostrum, the first milk produced by a mother’s breasts after childbirth, protects a baby against all sorts of infections and is a natural laxative for the newborn baby. The benefits of breastfeeding for both you and your baby are too many to count. For instance, it helps reduce your risk of post-partum hemorrhage (and many swear it helps speed the weight loss process. Did anybody say weight loss?!). But it also is ideal to create that special bond with your little bundle of joy.

That said, may I add another great side benefit? Think of the savings that would otherwise be spend in baby formula! It might have been a little painful for me at first--to nurse with chapped breasts as my hungry baby kept sucking--but it turned into something amazingly gratifying that I absolutely loved. It was around the time when he was one-and-a-half years old that I started weaning him--something that proved to be much harder for me to do than for him! Big lesson learned and completely worthwhile!

How about you? Will you be nursing your baby?

Image via Bludgeoner86/Flickr

About the author

Vicglamar is a journalist by profession, though she spent a couple of years studying pre-med before changing her major to communications. She has worked at the most prestigious newspapers in Venezuela. She had her first child when she moved to United States almost seven years ago and now has two boys affectionately nicknamed Trueno (thunder) and Relámpago (lighting).

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jjoa82

Well out of my 4 kids I breast feed 3, and I do see a difference now my second child didn't take well to breast feeding she was sent up to the nicu a few hour after she was born and she had to stay in there after i was sent home and with a 1 year old at home it was hard to stay in the hospital for visiting hours so myt family took turns visiting her. So I was unable to breast feed her.  Sigh, she they was always sick and landed in the hospital several times with pneumonia. With my other 3 they didnt even get a runny nose until I stopped breast feeding.

MAGDA...

MY BABY WANNA ONLY BREAST FEED, SHE'S 6 MONTH .. I DON'T WANNA GIVE HER NOW, I DON'T KNOW DO :(

LauraF

My son was breastfeed for a whole year it was rough, but not impossible I tried to supplement with formula but he hated it when I was about to weaning him before his first year he only drink formula for one month and was Similac Organic, that was the only formula he actually liked after that he started drinking cow milk and he is a happy, healthy 15 month old boy... I knew not just it was the best for me and for my son was also something I wanted to do my mom breastfeed me and my 4 sisters, and there is studies that show breastfeed babies have better immune system and smarter, I live in Kentucky a state famous for the allergies so I knew was the best gift I could give to my son. I really think the second baby will be so much easier...

nonmember avatar
I don't think that makes a difference I had the same situation you did and My son is perfectly healthy no ear infections or anything.. My sister on the other hand breastfed all three of her children and they all had horrible ear infections breathing problems and what not( she is a smoker as well)
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