Breastfeeding is back. For years, it was not in vogue, as marketing messages were delivered to mothers and doctors minimizing the real benefits of breastmilk in favour of “superior” manmade solutions. Formula with “added” nutrients was suggested as the healthy option for a new born baby. The truth is that these added wonder nutrients have always been in breast milk, along with many other unique ingredients that only human mothers can produce.
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural acts in the world, but it still takes some practice and getting used to. One of the learning experiences for moms and babies is discovering the best breastfeeding positions that work for them both.
Let’s face it, pumping breastmilk takes time and if you are an exclusive pumper, it requires a lot of patience and commitment. Even for moms totally committed to pumping, and who see the value and understand the benefits of breastfeeding, it requires a certain amount of perseverance. While you can hand express or pump one breast at a time (even while the baby is feeding on the other breast) you might want to consider double pumping. Double pumping can be your best friend and the most efficient way to pump milk from both breasts at the same time, with any extra milk produced being frozen and stored for use in the future.
There are many benefits of breastfeeding, for both babies and mothers, but one of the most important is the way it boosts the baby’s immune system and helps protect the infant from infectious microbes like viruses and bacteria. Breastmilk serves as an impressive defensive “army” to protect them from infection and breastmilk contains immune cells that stay in your baby’s body, providing some immunity for the long-term.
Today’s breastfeeding moms really do understand the meaning of the phrase “on the go”. It is how they seem to spend most of their lives! Whether a mom is breastfeeding, exclusively breast pumping, or something in between, she manages a busy and active life! Taking care of a family these days requires the equivalent of a degree in logistics, planning and time management. Having an advanced qualification in “managing the unexpected” is also a useful certification.
The breastfeeding journey is different for every mother. Most moms love the physical and emotional experience of breastfeeding with all their heart and treasure the connection that it gives them to their baby. They want the best for their baby and are happy to do whatever they can to deliver those health benefits for as long as possible. Even if at the beginning, that means 12 feeds a day and endless sleepless nights!
On special days throughout the year, we give presents to those people we love and appreciate in our lives. We wonder what gifts to give and base our choices on how appropriate and precious they are for the individuals we care about. Mothers have an obvious choice for their babies. However, it could be said that breastfeeding is a priceless gift for not only baby, but mother and family as well.