Often coined as ‘breast is best’, we feel fed is best! However, for those that proudly feed their boobie babes the liquid gold, whether from the source or pumping.. This is for you. Cows have nothing on ya!
Florence Williams once said “Breastmilk is like ice cream, penicillin, and the drug ecstasy all wrapped up in two pretty packages”, and I’d have to agree with her.
As a mother, breastfeeding awareness is something that I’m very passionate about. We all know the saying “breast is best”, and I’d like to say this is true, to an extent. As sometimes, this philosophy is used to segregate and judge harshly mothers who can not, do not, or choose not to breastfeed.
I breastfed my son from the hour that he was born until he was 13 months old. The only reason we weaned was because I was in the hospital for two weeks and couldn’t breastfeed him due to the huge amounts of medication I was on. This is actually a very common scenario that I hope the medical field will soon address and later give alternative options of treatment for those who are or wish to continue breastfeeding following a medical procedure or treatment that may cause interference or severance.
Regardless, I am just thankful that we made it past his 1st birthday! I am now breastfeeding my daughter and loving every minute of it! And guess what? Who knows when we will stop? There doesn’t have to be a time clock or stop watch for the boob.
Here are a few reasons why I personally think breast milk is best for my babies:
- Did you know that breast milk raises the IQ of babies? Scientist believe that the healthy fats that are in breast milk help brain development and mental skills. I’m not gonna lie, my kids are pretty dang smart.
- Breastfed babies are known to be more resistant to illness. This is because antibodies from the mother are passed through the breastmilk to the infant! Which in turn, builds their little immune systems.
- Breast milk can be used to treat a multitude of bacterial and viral nasties. It’s even been proven to treat pink eye. Like Hello – its amazing!
- One more, breastfeeding has been proven to help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer later in life; in both mother and child.
Here are some aw-inspiring statistics to consider:
- 57% of mothers in the United States start breastfeeding at birth, by 6 months of age, only 20% are still breastfeeding. Why is this? Many deduce it is due to our westernized culture and societal norms that are all too often not supportive of breastfeeding.
- In Sweden, 98% of mothers start out breastfeeding, and by 6 months 53% of those women were still breastfeeding.
- Nearly half of the women, in a study done of women in the United States, reported breastfeeding their babies on demand.
- In a study that asked the question “Do women in the US that practice attachment-style parenting have weaning ages similar to women in more traditional cultures, or would they succumb to societal pressure to wean at earlier ages?”
- 83% of women were breastfeeding still at one year, 66% at two years, and 44% at three years. These are shocking numbers to many people in the US, but are completely normal for other parts of the world. Why? That’s a simple question. Societal pressure.
Overcoming societal pressure can be extremely difficult, especially for a first time mom. Even for one who was as passionate about breastfeeding as I was when my son was a newborn, I struggled with it.
Now, let me tell you something, you are not alone. Many mothers have the same thoughts and fears, “oh they’re going to look at me” or “someone is sure to say something.”
For these times and situations, remember your Why. You are giving such an amazing gift and sacrifice for your child, that no one else can take away from you or undermine.
Breastfeeding, in all forms, should not go unnoticed. They should be encouraged and mothers empowered. Movements such as #normalizebreastfeeding and La Leche Leagues are such communities of fellow breastfeeders (past and present) that do just that. A community and social revolution dedicated to the support and education of women who choose or wish to breastfeed. We applaud you – after all, you’re sharing liquid gold and everyone should applaud you too!
Kelly Mom – http://kellymom.com/fun/trivia/bf-numbers/
Research Studies – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7857467?dopt=Abstract
World Health Organization – http://www.who.int/
La Leche League – http://www.llli.org
Exclusive Pumping Mothers Support – http://www.exclusivepumpers.com
Meet the Author:
This article was written by Abbey! Abbey is a mom of two who spends her days watching Scooby Doo with her toddler and breastfeeding her two month old. She writes on nutrition, fitness, and her crunchy life.