Nearly eleven years ago I gave birth to my first born and within the next ten years I birthed three more. Of four children I have breastfed ONE of them. That’s it, one.
The reasons to choose to breastfeed or not to breastfeed are personal and different for everyone. As a mom of four, I can give you the reasons why I chose to breastfeed one and why I didn’t breastfeed the others but what I really want to share with you is what I wish I’d known about breastfeeding before I had my first baby. What I wish I’d known would have changed my decision in many cases.
*this is sponsored post on behalf of Thebreastfeedingshop.com. All opinions expressed are my own*
I am happy and confident that I did right by each of my children in my choice to breastfeed or not, and each of them are happy, healthy, intelligent tiny humans regardless of what I chose. However, had I known these things before I had my first child, I may have made a different choice.
It’s not always as hard as it seems
Now, I KNOW there are tons of women and infants out there that struggle with breastfeeding (one of my own children was tongue tied which causes latch problems). There are a millions things that can go wrong with latch and supply and just plain old anatomy. But what I didn’t know, because the struggles are the ones that you most often read about, is that it can also be very easy – some women keep a good supply and their infants have no problems latching! As a young working mom with my first born I had no idea. No one told me that I might be a “natural”, that my infant might have no problems feeding and that we would be a perfect fit.
Breastfeeding in Public is totally do-able
This is another area that I was very discouraged before I tried it. I heard countless stories of women being shamed for feeding their babies in public – asking to cover up or go to the bathroom. Well, that was not the case for me. Honestly, I never once had anyone even look at me wrong while breastfeeding in public! I wish I had know before hand that it isn’t always shamed and can actually be quite easy to do.
Breastmilk may protect against ear infections
Yes, you read that right. There are countless studies and articles that you can read. They will explain how breastmilk may protect against ear infections. Three of my children had chronic ear infections as infants and toddlers. Two of them had T-Tubes placed in their ears. I am talking more than six months straight of ear infections and fluid built up in the ears. They now have scar tissue on the ear drums because of it. Do you know which child has NEVER had an ear infection? The one that was breastfed. Now, this might be total coincidence but it might also be because she was the one that was breastfed.
You can control food allergies without spending a fortune
All four of my children have had milk and soy protein allergies as infants. Their bodies were not able to break down the protein enough to digest the milk. This causes intestinal inflammation and often results in bloody stool and miserable babies. There is hypoallergenic formulas available but they cost a fortune, double the price of a regular infant formula. What I didn’t know before I had my first child is that if you are breastfeeding you can control your babies food allergies by eliminating the foods from your own diet. By eliminating the trigger foods completely from my diet I was able to feed my baby breastmilk that was specifically designed for her, that wouldn’t upset her stomach, without costing me an arm and a leg.
Tricare provides breast pumps at no cost to you
We are a military family and that means Tricare insurance. The cost of breast pumps, an essential piece of equipment if you are planning to breastfeed, can be very pricey. What I didn’t know, and you might not either, is that Tricare offers breast pumps to expecting mothers at NO COST to you! Now military moms and military spouses can receive a free breast pump at no cost from TheBreastfeedingShop.com by submitting their prescription.