Saturday, January 2, 2010

Risks of Not Breastfeeding

I recently found this article in another mother's blog. We've all heard about the benefits of breastfeeding, for both mother and baby, but I've never heard about the risks of not breastfeeding. Of course there is the hassle of having to deal with bottles, having to spend money on formula, as well as the fact that formula-fed babies have slightly lower IQ's, are at more risk of developing certain diseases later in life, as well as being overweight later. They're also smaller in their first few months than breastfed babies. You also run out of formula eventually. You can never run out of breastmilk. As long as the baby wants to eat, the body will produce more milk over and over, forever if it needs to. Plus, why do formula companies spend millions trying so hard to make it more like breastmilk? It's obviously superior, and they will never be able to come even close to the ever-changing breastmilk that God Himself made. (It contains stimulants in the morning and tryptophan at night, plus the fat and nutrient content changes depending on how old the baby is-God is amazing, huh?) It also makes babies sleep normally and lighter, not deep like formula does. Formula has been known to cause babies to sleep deeper which in turn slows down brain development. Yikes! A baby can never be allergic to their own mother's milk, either (only something the mother eats, such as cow's milk protein-even that is rare-here's a good article on that). Breastfed babies also rarely get sick and rarely have diaper rash.

But what about the effect on a mother's body if she doesn't breastfeed at all? (Breastfeeding/pumping a little at the beginning is much better than nothing!) Obviously God created women's bodies to grow and nurture a baby, and that includes breastfeeding. Yes, God intended for women to breastfeed. It is the most natural, God-made thing, not formula which is merely man-made powder mixed with water, not nearly as good for a baby. I'm not saying mothers who give their babies formula instead of breastmilk don't love their babies, but it's not in the baby's best interest. Or their own. (It's a win-win situation if you breastfeed.) As pregnancy goes on, your body is preparing to breastfeed-storing up nutrients and calories for the baby before and after birth. That is the completion of the natural cycle, and if not, a woman puts her body at risk and it pays the price. It's a short article so take a minute to read it. Definitely a different perspective!

As for me, breastfeeding has been a joy. Madison got a bottle of pumped milk at the beginning (what they call nipple confusion), but I decided to train her to nurse instead of using a bottle. She went from bottle to shield to the real thing. It was super easy and nursed like a champ in one day. I'm proud to say that God has given me the ability to give Madison the best she can possibly have. It's so convenient and so easy, and free! I'm thankful for all the women in my family (who all breastfed) who supported me and I'm happy to see most people I know still breastfeeding their babies.

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