By my six month old son, of course.
I am wondering why only 36% of American moms make it through a mere 6 months of breast feeding. I didn't know it was that low until I read this NY Times article: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/most-moms-give-up-on-breast-feeding/?em
Anyway, this article has inspired me to talk about what breastfeeding has been like for me. Without really intending to, I came up with a list of 10 reasons to breastfeed. So if the American Academy of Pediatrics' statement that all women should breastfeed at least one year isn't enough for you, please allow me to assuage your fears and tell you why you, too, will love having your boobies sucked.
First of all, the experience.
I love being woken up in the early morning by the squeaking, panting Lorax moving all of his limbs to tell me he's hungry. I move him toward the boob and, with mouth snapping in the pitch black, he sniffs his way to his target. There is nothing in the world like the feeling of breastfeeding and, though few women admit it, it actually feels good. If I say any more, people will probably find it a bit too kinky. I fall asleep immediately after he starts eating, soothed by his little warm body next to mine.
Second of all, it won't make your undercarriage dry (at least not for that long).
Undercarriage is the word SR uses with the older lady patients. But that's an aside. So you may have heard that breastfeeding dries out your, well, undercarriage. This may be true, at first. But the longer you breastfeed, the more normal you will become. And by five months you will probably find you feel completely normal. So don't give up on the breastfeeding before that!
The Lorax just grabbed my tit with his little hand and twisted it as I was typing the above. It hurt but it was fun.
It costs nothing. Except for the extra food you will need to buy for yourself.
You get to eat more.
Humans have evolved to be fed breast milk and breast milk has evolved to feed humans. The proper development of every part of the human body depends on getting it. You are fooling yourself if you believe formula is a good substitute. Formula does not contain antibodies to protect babies from infection. And there are over 100 other ingredients in breast milk that cannot be duplicated in formula. Those that can be added to formula are not in the same form and are not as easily digested and cause constipation.
This means a lot for a baby's development. Let's take brain development as one example:
Here are average IQ's at age 27 years for increasing lengths of breastfeeding:
Breastfed ≤1 month: 99.4
Breastfed ≥1 to 3 months: 101.7
Breastfed 4 to 6 months: 102.3
Breastfed 7 to 9 months: 106.0
Breastfed greater than 10 years: 140.8 (just kidding about this last one)
You can see my old post for all of the health risks of not breastfeeding. But they include asthma, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.
Breastfeeding won't make you too tired to exercise. I have basically had the same energy level as I did before I got pregnant. I do feel it a bit more quickly, though, if I'm not eating a balanced diet.
You don't need to remember to bring a bottle and formula with you everywhere.
Your boobs will be bigger. I guess this could be a positive or a negative. I'll just leave it at that.
As long as you exclusively breastfeed, you can say that all of the precious cells in his little body came from you.
So I guess The Lorax is now composed of me and chocolate cupcake. Running Song of the Day: Det snurrar i min skalle by Familjen. Sweden has the best pop music in the world. But this song is special because it's actually in Swedish and, if that's not enough, the Swedish in it sounds so cool.
Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.
"Children are fascinated by the ordinary and can spend timeless moments watching sunlight play with dust. Their restlessness they learn from you. It is you who are thinking of there when you are here. It is you who thinks of then instead of now. Stop. Let your children become the teachers and you the student" - William Martin