When I lost my milk with my first baby. I think it stirred up an even stronger desire to breastfeed my next baby.
I was determined to breastfeed my second. Before she was born, I tried to be as educated as I could be, which I feel helped a ton!
After she was born it was not easy to breastfeed. We had some unexpected issues, which is basically normal with child-birth, nursing, and raising children. The benefits definitely outweigh the effort put in.
I think because I formula-fed my first baby, I was able to appreciate, and recognize the benefits of breastfeeding with my second.
After birth, breastfeeding is basically essential to recovery.
As you nurse your body releases oxytocin (the love hormone) which helps with let-down. It also helps with contracting your uterus back to pre-pregnancy size.
When you breastfeed exclusively, (without pacifiers or supplementing formula) your periods are delayed, which will be a natural contraception. For the first three months of post-partum after having my first baby, I was so paranoid that I was pregnant. Anytime I felt sick or something felt off I would immediately assume I was pregnant. I’m sure Cory was getting tired of me saying, I think I’m pregnant….
Bonding with your baby.
Breastfeeding naturally creates moments for you to bond with your baby.
There is almost nothing as comforting as nursing, enjoying skin to skin, and knowing that you are giving your baby the best you can give them nutritionally.
It gives you a unique connection as well, when you breastfeed. There is no one in the world that can replace you. With my first child, at times I felt replaceable. That was the WORST feeling ever. I could spend hours away from her because she didn’t immediately need me. Whereas with my other children, the most I can spend away from them without them needing me is three hours.
It’s a relationship where you need each other. Honestly words can’t describe the bond that comes from breastfeeding.
It’s less expensive than it’s alternatives.
This might be the least of the benefits, but it still has an impact. Breastfeeding is very cheap, almost free! Formula is so expensive, and it can be stressful to spend a couple hundred dollars a month on formula (that was over four years ago, so the cost has probably increased since then). Breastfeeding being almost free, just adds to the peace that it brings to you as the mom.
Once you become comfortable with breastfeeding, it is more convenient, and takes less time.
Eventually nursing becomes less stressful, and less time consuming than bottle feeding, because I have done both bottle feeding and nursing I know how stressful both can be.
Nursing is really hard to master as mother and baby, so initially it is stressful. Learning how to latch, the most comfortable positions for both of you, nursing in public, and that is if everything goes smoothly.
It does get easier. With my second child I felt by month three I was feeling quite comfortable with nursing in all aspects. With my third baby, I felt comfortable even faster. About a week after birth I felt we had things down pretty well together. He was 10 lbs. 3 oz., he came out ready to eat, and he was also very good at it from the beginning.
It has been extremely convenient to be able to just nurse anywhere and not worry about packing and warming bottle and formula.
I would feel annoyed when moms would say that with my first baby, because I had felt like I had tried and failed. I think I had built breastfeeding up in my mind to be hard all of the time, never getting any easier. Kind of like when I was a kid, I thought that periods meant that you were bleeding all the time. How horrible would that be? The worst! Anyways, it does get easier and becomes more convenient.
It lessens postpartum blues.
Breastfeeding helps with the baby blues. Which was probably the biggest benefit that I noticed for me. It probably is the culmination of all the above-mentioned benefits, that help with softening the blow of baby blues.
When you breastfeed, your body produces a hormone called prolactin, which aids in making milk. It also helps you feel calm. I feel God knows us as women, and that we feel like we need to accomplish everything. He gives us this hormone, so we will be able to sit long enough to feed our babies. Between oxytocin, and prolactin, feeling calm and feeling love. What better emotions to experience?
I am so grateful that I have been able to experience breastfeeding. I feel so blessed, and I think once I am done having children a little part of me will miss it. It has been one of the biggest tender mercies I have been able to experience, as a mom.
“The latchstring hangs from the outside.”
What benefits have you seen in your life from breastfeeding? I would love to hear how breastfeeding has made an impact in your life!