Saturday, July 30, 2011

Breast is Best

{image: La Lech League}

Eloise is a breastfed baby and has been from day one. She loves the boob and has always been a good eater, gaining an impressive amount of weight in the first few months and making it on the growth charts by three (quite a feat for premature babies, I was told by the pediatrician). I feel responsible for Eloise's good health and it makes me happy to know that she has thrived because of what I feed her.

Breastfeeding is the easiest, most natural way to feed a baby. Sure, it takes some work in the beginning, as both mom and baby have to learn, but it becomes second nature once you get the hang of it. It makes me sad that so many moms turn to formula for non health-related reasons because their children are missing out on the best possible start. Breastfeeding helps defend against infection, prevents allergies, and protects against a number of chronic conditions, like diabetes. What's more, breastfeeding is free, contains all the nutrition an infant needs and doesn't require the preparation that bottle feeding does.

There are many advantages for moms too. I shed all my pregnancy weight quickly and without any effort thanks to the 500+ calories a day burned through breastfeeding and, I finally manage to fill out my bathing suit tops! While no one told me that I would need to stuff my bra with absorbent pads to prevent leakage, that I would have to wear a bra at all times to keep these things in place or that full, engorged breasts kinda hurt, the good of being a breastfeeding mom far outweighs the bad. Most of all, the time I spend feeding Eloise has created a close and special bond that I would not trade for anything in the world.

To learn more about breastfeeding and its many benefits, check out La Leche League International.

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