Breast is Best.
I know some moms choose to bottle feed and we all have our reasons. So, I make it a point not to look down or judge moms for bottle feeding, but I do wonder if they have all the facts about why it's so important. For me, it was whats in the best interest for the baby. I know there are many different types of milk available that claim to be just as good as breast milk. Which may be true, but for me why get the second best option for my baby when I am able to produce the BEST available option and I get health benefits as well.
Some 85 percent of mothers who wanted to breastfeed exclusively intended to do so for at least three months, but only 32 actually reached their breastfeeding goals.
Only 1 percent of moms set out to breastfeed for less than a month, but that was exactly how long more than 40 percent of moms lasted. (Source)
I breastfed my 1st & 2nd child for 6 months. When they both got teeth, I was a little scared of being bit! If I could do it over again, I would have went longer. With this baby my (minimum) goal is 10 months, but I would love to do a full year if I am able. Luckily, with the first two children - my job (at the time) had a breast feeding room (b/c I was in a cubicle) with a refrigerator. With my current position, I have my own office so I will be able to close the door and pump with more ease when I return to work.
Here are some (but not all) benefits for Breastfeeding:
The evidence for the value of breastfeeding to children's and women's health is scientific, solid, and continually being reaffirmed by new research. Medical experts agree with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in recommending exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for the first year of life and beyond. The comprehensive review and analysis of breastfeeding research released in 2007 by the DHHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality strongly supports the evidence demonstrated in the research:
- For the child: reduced risk of ear, skin, stomach, and respiratory infections, diarrhea, sudden infant death syndrome, and necrotizing enterocolitis; and in the longer term, reduced risk of obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood leukemia.
- For the mother: reduced risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and postpartum depression. (Source)
Here are just a few websites/resources for more information to help make an informed decision:
Did you breastfeed? What were your reasons - why or why not? Do you have regrets about anything? Do you have advice for any expecting mothers?