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Q&A: Breastfeeding benefits?

Am I a bad mommy if I don’t breastfeed? How will it affect my baby?

Re: Am I a bad mommy if I don’t breastfeed? How will it affect my baby?

The Bump Expert

Of course you’re not a bad mommy… but do give nursing a chance. The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends breastfeeding for the first year, and exclusively for the first six months. A mother's milk contains the ideal nutrients, enzymes and antibodies for baby. Breastfed babies are less likely to have diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory illness, allergies, stomach bugs and colds. Plus, nursing decreases future risk of obesity, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, childhood leukemia and other forms of cancer. And, it's a great way to bond with baby. Need more? Studies link breastfeeding to higher IQs.

There are perks for you, too. Six months of formula will set you back about $500… breastmilk, not a penny. It’s always available, requires no preparation, and comes out at the perfect temperature. Worried about losing the pregnancy pounds? Yep, breastfeeding will help. It’s also been linked to decreased breast and uterine cancer and osteoporosis rates, helps you heal more quickly down below, and works (not perfectly!) as birth control. At the hospital, a lactation consultant can help you get comfortable with the nursing process. Your local La Leche League also offers support.

That said, if breastfeeding just won't work for you, skip the guilt trip. As long as you take good care of baby, the best fuel you can feed her is love.

Paula Kashtan

re: Q: Breastfeeding Benefits?

I am very grateful to be able to breastfeed my son- but it hasn't been easy. He had several anatomical features which made it difficult for him to latch properly, and I did too. Then he developed a sucking abnormality and he began chomping out milk instead of sucking- very inefficient for him and painful for me. Everyone around us said "bottle feed" and acted like I was a bad mom for continuing to breastfeed. The rediculous part is that a baby who can't suck can't take a bottle (chomping milk from a breast is more effective than chomping from a bottle), nor did he want to! It was in fact his incredible desire to nurse and the insticts to do so which ultimately helped him overcome his inability to suck. Now he nurses great and is growing faster than any weed I've ever seen. If breastfeeding doesn't work out well in the beginning YOU CAN STILL DO IT and there is lots of great help out there besides your hospital's lactation consultant (often not enough help). We found a lactation clinic which made all the difference in the world to us.

mary_jane |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

As long as you are caring for your child the best you can, no, it won't make you a bad mommy. I, personally, would say definitely breast-feed though... it's so much healthier for your child and gives them more than any manufactured formula ever could. I'm a firm believer that nature, God, your Creator, whatever you want to call it knew what they were doing when they made us like all other mammals to take care of our young. I wouldn't trade it (even the hard parts) for anything as the bonding time with DS is amazing! I encourage you to at least try to breast-feed for one month before nixing it though... that's how long it usually takes to get the hang of it.

cherokee6 |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

Just to point the time I was done buying a good breast pump-used on ebay-, nursing bras, breast pads, lanolin, nursing tank, a boppy I added it up (and this is without any nursing shirts for nursing in public more easily/discreetly) we spent $300 and time running from store to store just looking for nursing bras! On the other hand, I have almost 6 months worth of formula--that has been either free or purchased for less than $1.00 a can! And, you can buy Kmart or Target or Walmart brand formula for less than half the cost of Enfamil/Similac! So the arguement that it is cheaper--not always so.

mommy42115 |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

nursing tanks, pumps, boppies and other things are not always necessary... so pricing for those things although nice- not necessary.. i bought two regular pillows for nursing instead of a boppy - boppy 35 bucks at target, regular pillows which i can use after i'm done nursing 5 bucks apiece... it just depends on what you want to do, even though babies can build up a healthier immune system when breastfed for at least 6 months... its personal preference, do what works for you!

hayley.sean |

Breastmilk in a bottle?

I am breastfeeding and giving my baby (pumped) breastmilk from a bottle. Is anyone else doing this? I worry that it isn't the same, but my baby wasn't getting enough to eat at the breast so we had to attach a bottle as well.

etristan |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

I am pumping my milk to feed my baby (who is now 2 months old). I alternate between my milk and formula so I can store away enough milk in the freezer for when we are out visiting or she is at her babysitter's house. I'm told formula is a bit more concentrated and I usually feed her formula before bedtime. It's hard to know how much they get when they breastfeed. Seeing a quantity for me is much easier to know how much I should prepare for her in advance when we are not home.


re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

what everyone is forgetting to tell you is that breastfeeding extremely hurts. so you are going to need dedication and patience to do it. i've been bf for 10 days now and the nipples are falling apart! but i'm still doing it...

deelite2333 |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

I am currently breastfeeding as well and my little one is almost 10 weeks old. I will be going back to work in 3 weeks and am worrying that I won't be able to keep up with the supply and demand. I sometimes feel the pressure to continue to breast feed even though I feel sometimes I'm always doing it. I wish DH would realize that sometimes it would be easier if we switched to solely giving the little one formula.

mhouston |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

deelite2333, I don't know if you're still having problems with nursing, but get to a lactation consultant ASAP- it's probably not supposed to hurt as much as you say. The baby may be latched on badly, you may have an infection or other problems, but anything more than slight discomfort should be discussed with a lactation pro.To the topic: formula feeding moms are not inferior or selfish- but nursing rocks, and should be given a try whenever feasible.

Fashion Mujahid |

re: Q: Breastfeeding benefits?

My daughter is about 6 weeks old now, and although I set it in my mind that she would be breast-fed, it hasn't always been easy. Yes, it hurts....but it shouldn't be unbareable. My daughter was born about 3 weeks early, and lost well over 10% of her birth weight before we left the hospital. Her doctor was concerned at her 2 week visit that she hadn't gained enough back. It took us 4 weeks to regain her weight, several doctors visits, and lactation visits to be sure she was getting enough.....but she's finally on the right track. I say the breast is the best, but if for some reason you can't breast feed, don't beat yourself up over it.

tya_1982 |

Q&A: Breastfeeding benefits?

My son is 10 weeks now and I am both breastfeeding and formula feed. For breastfeeding I have used a nipple shield. I HIGHLY recommend it! It does not hurt at all. I love it!

CyndiM |

Q&A: Breastfeeding benefits?

I BF but since he doesn't get full i supplement with formula till he's satisfied. His pediatrician told me to not feel guilty about formula feeding, she said all that matters is that baby is growing.

Junesong_109 |