Breastfeeding: Controversial Bliss

I love breastfeeding.  The 15 minute refuges that I get to have with Audrey numerous times a day are profound.  Its a relationship that only she and I can have, and I’m so grateful for it. Looking down at my baby with milk dripping out of the corners of her mouth and smiling up at me melts my heart.  These moments aren’t just feeding; they are bonding moments with my little girl that help her grow into a conscientious and caring person.

And I’m so excited that breastfeeding is on the rise.  First off, it’s the single most important thing a mother can do to ensure a healthy start to her child’s life.  Breast milk helps a baby’s intestinal tract to develop and flourish with healthy bacteria, which is vital to the human body’s immune function.  It helps to “seal” the gut.  Formula actually harms the body in this process.  Formula companies like to point out that “breast is best”, as if breastfeeding is going above and beyond, but that formula is “good”.  I dislike this mentality.  Breast milk is normal and perfect for a baby’s body.  Formula is actually harmful.  Look at this ingredient list:

Corn syrup (sugar) is the first ingredient!  Ack!  Then soy protein isolate, which is a highly processed soy product that should always be avoided, as it interferes with hormonal balance.  Then oil, which is 100% processed fat, then more sugar.  Then more oils.  Then a bunch of chemicals that cannot be pronounced.  And so on.  This is quite far from being the perfect food that breast milk is.

I understand that some women have trouble with breastfeeding, and some of you may be thinking, “wow, she is being really harsh toward women who have used formula”.  I do not fault those individuals, as we live in a culture which doesn’t promote the breastfeeding lifestyle.  That is where our biggest opportunity lies.  Breastfeeding in public should be more acceptable than bottle feeding.  Sounds radical but it’s true.  Lactation consultants or doulas should be included with the birth process 100% of the time.  Most women who stop breastfeeding stop because it was painful or too difficult, or because they are told their babies aren’t gaining enough weight.  Let’s remember we live in an obese society; what is the right amount of weight?  Is the baby happy and alert?  To me that is more important than weight.  And, breastfed babies gain weight differently than textbook formula-fed babies.  What these women need is support, not formula!  Support with a good latch, support from other mothers in knowing that it does get easier,  support from their partners, support from our culture.  This is where the disconnect is.

In my grassroots effort to “Change the World”, I can start on this one with the simple act of breastfeeding proudly in public.  It may seem small, but the more people see it and become comfortable with it, the more mothers will embrace it and not feel embarrassed to bare their breasts for their baby in public.  Then the cultural shift can happen.

Some resources that I’ve found to be useful:

Womanly Art of Breastfeeding New 8th Edition

La Leche League

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5 thoughts on “Breastfeeding: Controversial Bliss

  1. ahhhh I love this awesome I breastfeed both my children my daughter is 4 and my son is 1 I am also going to breastfeed my unborn when she get’s here very beneficial to the child and wont hurt your pockets feeding some un needed mess to your child body ahh love it

  2. Thank you for writing about this! Breastfeeding issues are especially close to my heart because I had a lot of trouble breastfeeding my son, it took us 3 1/2 months to establish breastfeeding. He had a tongue tie that doctors refused to believe he had and we didn’t find anyone to clip it until he was 2 1/2 months old. I cringe when I read about the bad things in formula, because I had to supplement with formula at one point. Looking back on it I wish that I looked online and made my own homemade formula, which is way healthier. I didn’t know, though. I was told that the problem was me, that I simply could not breastfeed. I didn’t give up, even with everyone telling me “don’t feel guilty if you can’t breastfeed.” (which really just made me even angrier) The truth they dont tell you is that almost all women can breastfeed, it just requires education and a lot of patience and preserving, but it is SO worth it. There was a time I wasn’t sure we would ever be able breastfeed, but I kept going, to me it was the first lesson I ever taught my son… “Never give up on something you believe is right.”
    now he is a little boobie monster. 🙂

  3. Great post! You are very lucky that you had no problems breast feeding Audrey, I had a terrible time with Luke but persevered thru it. I had inverted nipples and it was so difficult for him to latch. Patience is an understatement. I’m a firm believer that successful breast feeding has SO much to do with the support around you…and educating yourself. This is why I’m so thankfully for Ashley’s store – a place where women can go and get some much needed support when they need it most! Some women just don’t have any support and I don’t blame them for doing the best they can, until you’ve walked in their shoes it’s impossible to know the mom guilt that follows when you feel unable to provide for your baby. Most women I’ve known have been depressed about their “failure” to breastfeed and instead of making them feel worse it’s important to encourage them to try again and understand where they’re coming from…it doesn’t come as easy for everyone.

    Every time I nurse Emma I am so thankful for those moments with her, I’ve been on the other side and know from experience how important it is to cherish every moment. The more we continue to support breastfeeding in a public way the more exposure and education I hope is available for every mom out there! We def need to help each other and keep spreading the word about the importance of breastfeeding!

  4. ladynewton1, thanks for the comment! Crunchy, I’m so glad you hung in there! Its easy to look back and wish we had done things differently, but everyone does what they believe is the best for their child at the time. Intention is so important too! And I agree with you, that all women CAN breastfeed. Some just need more support and assistance than others, and I would love our culture to embrace that and create a healthier environment around breastfeeding. I’m glad your baby is now a boobie monster! 🙂

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