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Thursday, June 18, 2009

My Thoughts on Breastfeeding

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I’ve been breastfeeding for a year and a half now.
Times three babies. That’s a lot. I am so blessed to be able to breastfeed my babies. I know that it is the best food for their little bodies and that it is beneficial for our bonding experience. I also know that it is a great way to drop the baby weight. Breastfeeding also reduces the mom’s chance of many types of cancers and reduces the baby’s chance of many illnesses and diseases, while boosting the immune system to help fight off sickness. Breastfeeding is also very frugal. Just compare the cost of breastfeeding (free) to the cost of formula (far from free). Not to mention there is no cleaning and preparing bottles. These few reasons alone are enough to convince me that it is worthwhile. However, there are many more reasons to breastfeed your baby. Check out this list of 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child.


Here is a bit of my personal story…
My twins were born five weeks early. They each weighed 4 pounds 7 ounces at birth. They spent almost two weeks in the NICU. The doctors wanted to make sure that they were gaining weight sufficiently before they could go home. While the twins were in the NICU, their doctor pushed me to give them formula so that they could gain more weight. I was told by this doctor that babies couldn’t gain enough weight on breastmilk alone and I would HAVE to supplement with formula. We told them we wanted to think about it and I went back to my pregnancy and breastfeeding books to double check my facts. Sure enough, all the books said that breastmilk is the best thing for premature babies. Actually, when babies are born early, the mother’s body produces a higher calorie breastmilk that is specially designed for their unique needs. I think that is so amazing. The next time we met up with the doctor, we asked if he had any copies of the studies that proved that breastmilk alone wasn’t enough for the needed weight gain. He didn’t have anything. He told us that it was just from his experience. I should have made him some copies from my books. Then he would have something more than experience to reference to. Needless to say, we stuck to our guns and refused to supplement with formula. One of the babies gained 4 ounces in 24 hours! The doctors were really surprised. I don’t know how they never saw breastmilk work for weight gain, but I hope that they will remember my babies the next time they tell a breastfeeding mom that her milk isn’t good enough.

And if you think that one can’t breastfeed twins successfully…think again. My twins are 6 months old now, and are still exclusively breastfed. I don’t say this at all in a boastful way, just simply in the hope that it may encourage someone out there who may have been told that they can’t breastfeed or that it is not good enough for their baby.
As you can tell by now, I’m a HUGE advocate of breastfeeding. Grin. Don't forget to check out the 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child!

3 comments:

Kimberly said...

Yay! Breastfeeding is wonderful. I am still nursing Abigail. She'll be 13 months on Sunday. I love it. :)It's amazing how God gives us exactly what we need to feed and nurture our babies.

Heather said...

you are amazing.

Emily said...

Bravo! Your girls are beautiful! I am too an exclusive breastfeeder.Way to stick to your guns!