Latch on babies!

When I first became a mom, I didn't know about how important breastfeeding is to both the baby and mother. I only lasted exclusively breastfeeding Miss Artsy until she was 4 months old. First, I was discouraged about the amount of milk I was producing and had doubts that it was sufficient, and then she bit me real hard one time which hurt pretty bad. Those and my little knowledge about the wonders of breast milk pushed me to switch to baby formula instead. 

There was no one I could talk to about breastfeeding, everyone around me (my mom, grandmom, aunts weren't really helpful either) all suggested baby formula. If only I knew then what I knew about it after I gave birth to the Little Hulk then our first-born would now still be reaping the rewards of being exclusively breastfed until she was two years old like her siblings. Both my son and youngest daughter were exclusively breastfed and they're both as fit as a fiddle. My son is three years old and has only contracted flu symptoms twice his whole life, he only gets fevers when he has a molar sprouting out of his gums. Our Little Miss Banshee has never been sick since birth, same as her Kuya, she'd only have a temperature when a molar is growing out. On the other hand our eldest catches the flu at least three times a year which says a lot.

When I gave birth to our second child, there were a couple of ladies (wearing pink shirts and green aprons) who went room to room in each of the private maternity units in St. Luke's, which wasn't the case the first time with Miss Artsy. I was happily surprised to learn that they were there to promote and encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies up to toddler years. They didn't stay that long in my room after Mr. D and I let them know that we've done our research about it for the past few months and are dead set on exclusively breastfeeding the new baby. I don't about other hospitals around the metro but in St. Luke's it's now a common thing to see these breastfeeding advocate roaming around the maternity building halls. Whoever made this happen, kudos to you!

As a breastfeeding advocate myself, I would like to share with you the benefits that both moms and babies and even the environment receives from breastfeeding. Being that August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, so here we go:

  • Breast milk changes as the child ages
    This addresses the child's increased need for more fat and energy. It adapts to a toddler's developing system and provides the right nutrition at the proper time.
  • Breastfed infants are healthier
    Exclusively breastfed children are known to get sick less often and heal quicker than formula fed ones. If the child gets sick, he\she receives antibodies from the milk to fight off a disease even before us moms find out that our baby is sick. Studies show that breastfed babies have lower risks of contracting asthma, allergies, ear infections, respiratory illnesses and bouts of diarrhea.
  • Breast milk is made for human babies
    Unlike cow's milk, which can cause certain digestive challenges or even allergies to some kids, breast milk is custom-made for our child's needs.
  • Breastfeeding is a source of comfort, security and support
    A strong bond between mother and baby is formed. This results in having children that are more independent, compassionate, empathetic, easier to discipline and who can relate better to other people.
  • Higher IQ
    Breastfeeding has been linked to higher IQ scores in later childhood in some studies.
  • Lower risk of Obesity as the child grows
    Breastfed infants studies show, are more likely to gain the right amount of weight as they grow older instead of becoming overweight children.
  • Recover from childbirth more quickly and easily. Breastfeeding releases the hormone called oxytocin, which helps return the uterus to its pre-pregnancy size and lowers the risk of uterine bleeding after birth.
  • Emotional well-being due to milk-making hormones
  • Less stress
  • Less incidence of postpartum depression
  • Lower risks of osteoporosis, ovarian and breast cancer later in life
  • Natural birth control
  • Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  • Lose pregnancy weight faster and easier
Added Bonus
  • Saves money, breast milk is less expensive than formula.
  • Night feedings are easier and the baby doesn't have to cry or wait to long to be fed. No need to prepare a fresh bottle of warm up a ready one when baby gets hungry.
  • Environment-friendly since there are no bottles to wash/sterilize or milk cans to throw away.
I hope you keep these in mind when you decide on breastfeeding or formula feeding your own child.

Remember that breast milk is best for babies up to 2 years and beyond.


Article published on August 28, 2015