Before I even became pregnant, my thoughts on breastfeeding were pretty concrete. I was going to do it, and that was that. In my mind of black and white it was a pretty simple solution for me to solve. There are numerous benefits to it, and really nothing bad about it so why not do it?
Now that I am expecting, I am reading everything I can get my eyes on about pregnancy, labor and delivery, postpartum care, and early child rearing. Among these pieces of information, I have often read about how breastfeeding lowers the risk of colds, SIDS, ear and respiratory infections as well as diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding is also free and provides one of many special ways for mothers and babies to bond.
Harvard Medical School just released a study stating that “$13 billion in health-care costs would be saved if 80 percent to 90 percent of women nursed for at least 6 months.” That’s a huge chunk of cash!
Among my research, I’ve also encountered some information that I would have never thought of prior to being pregnant. What if I can’t breastfeed? There are many women who cannot produce enough milk for their babies, and there are some babies who just won’t breastfeed. These are issues that are still present even after talking with a lactation consultant, midwives, doctors, and anyone else who may be able to help. However, most women can successfully breastfeed after seeking guidance from one these assistants.
I’m glad that I stumbled upon this nugget of information several weeks ago so that I can plan what to do if I am unable to produce enough milk for the baby. Fortunately I will be giving birth in a baby friendly hospital where there are many resources to help me begin this journey. (For a list of baby friendly hospitals click here).
So mamas, did you have issues with breastfeeding? Do you have any tips or advice on getting started? What are your thoughts?