I had a conversation tonight with a friend that is breastfeeding her 4 month old. They had a few issues to start off where baby was unable to latch, so she pumped and fed her bottles. She worked through it and now baby can suckle just fine. Her baby’s doctor (not a pediatrician) advised her that baby needed more ounces based on her age, explaining that babies increase intake as they get older. My friend has been stressing over this and began supplementing with formula. Since she has started her supplementation, her baby has been gassy and a little more fussy than she used to be.
I would like to make it known loud and clear…breastfed babies DO NOT generally increase milk intake during 1 to 6 months (unless during a growth spurt and it is for a short time and will go back down). This is because babies metabolize breast milk (efficiently) and formula (not so efficiently) differently. Formula also has the same ingredients from day one until the baby no longer uses it. The nutrition available in it does not change, so babies have to drink more to get all of the nutrients that they need. With breast milk, it changes as baby grows to meet all of the nutritional needs, causing them to only need a consistent number of ounces. Usually this is between 2.5 to 5 ounces per feeding. After 6 months (or whenever solids are introduced) milk intake will generally decrease some. Kellymom has a great explanation of this and an expressed breastmilk calculator to determine the amount of milk a working mother might need for her baby.
The amount of breast milk that babies need is always a question for new moms, especially when compared to a friend’s (or someone that they know’s) formula fed baby. Breast milk is one of the most nutrient dense foods and able to 100% sustain life for your newborn, no need to supplement (save that money for college or something) 🙂
In my experience breastfeeding can be completely painless and sometimes I don’t even feel it at all and forget he is nursing, or assume he fell asleep at the breast. Let me tell you about my latest encounter where I did actually feel Jackson latched on. First, let me throw out that Jackson, Bo, and I co-sleep, it works wonderfully for us and allows us all to get more sleep and have more bonding time. When Jackson wakes in the middle of the night, he will reach out and touch my breast, either with his face or hand, this is a trigger to me to pull my shirt down (I sleep in a very stretchy tank top with a low neckline) to allow him access to his “ninny” (this is a term my family has used since my oldest brother was born for breastfeeding), he latches and away he goes suckling. I often fall back into a light dose while he is “snacking” and being soothed back to sleep. Well, last night we had the same thing happen, except apparently I fell into a deeper sleep. I decided to roll over at some point; problem was…JACKSON WAS STILL LATCHED, OUCH! I had no clue because that is how breastfeeding can be. Your breast are MADE for feeding your child. IF this is the intention, I do not feel that they are intended to hurt while sustaining your baby’s life. It is all about learning (both baby and momma) how to breastfeed and latch correctly. It is possible to have no tenderness, pain, cracked nipples (I do not use, nor have I ever past week two, lanolin nipple cream), etc.. Learning the correct method sometimes is a breeze, sometimes it is a little more stressful, but in the long run it is so worth it for all of the nutritional and emotional benefits of breastfeeding your baby.
I know co-sleeping is a very controversial topic, it is completely safe if done correctly. It has been being practiced since the beginning of time safely. It allows most parents more sleep and baby a feeling of safeness. Here are some co-sleeping DO’S and DON’T’s to help you decide if it something for your family.
Ok, so there has been a ton of controversy about a photo that has been floating around. With comments ranging from beautiful to disgusting, abuse of uniform, trying to get reactions, cover up, etc.. Really people? Let me tell you what I saw when I first saw the picture and my reactions. I thought it was beautiful; I saw two happy, healthy mommas and three healthy babies getting the nutrition and bonding they need, especially being a military mother with who knows what kind of time restraints. These two mommas have got to be some of the strongest out there, making sure to BREASTFEED their babies, even with a hectic schedule and during lunch breaks while drilling. So proud to say that these women are helping us to have the freedom to have an opinion! What do you think?
People sure do drive me nuts with all of their negativity. Cover up, umm NO THANKS, you put a cover over your head when you eat. I do not cover my baby when he eats because he does not like it and I want to be able to see him. My baby doesn’t ask people chew with their mouths closed, not to talk with food in their mouth, to stop slurping, etc., so don’t ask him to cover up or eat in a “private, more comfortable” place. Thanks, but we are comfortable RIGHT here where we are 🙂 Feel me?
Here’s the deal, I grew up being breastfed, loving it and not thinking once that it was odd. I was the fourth of six children, all of which were breastfed for as long as we wanted. I decided that age five was long enough for me. Well truth be told, my younger brother Zach came along and he dominated the breast so I said “fine you can have it.” 🙂 I self weaned, exactly as I believe children should do. I started out breastfeeding for nutrition and ended up continuing for comfort and closeness with my mother. My mother and I fed in public without the thought that it was weird, wrong, gross, or that it might be detrimental to me. Mothers and babies/children should be able to always have that comfort and support without negativity from the public.
I breastfeed and will continue to breastfeed for as long as my son and any future children want. I breastfeed for a multitude of reasons. 1) It is supremely healthy for baby and mother, 2) It is cheaper, 3) It is “fast food” at its finest, taking no time to wash bottles, mix formula, or warm bottles, and 4) It is mutually wanted by both my son and me; we connect, love and snuggle every time that he is at the breast.
I am not under the assumption that extended breastfeeding is for every mother, but it is for me and for many other mothers out there. What I am saying is simply…let mothers decide what is best for them, without judgement. Just because one mother decides to breastfeed past what is comfortable to one person, does not mean that they are asking for your input, thoughts, or ridicule. Let them be and give them the respect that they give you when eating.