Parenting is filled with choices. Some of these choices are simple, and others we can go back and forth on forever and still feel like we’re not making the right choice. One choice that’s been easy for me from the get-go has been the choice to breastfeed my babies. There wasn’t even really a question for me at the beginning of my pregnancies as to whether I should or shouldn’t. It just seemed like the natural choice.
Now before you start screaming Mommy Wars at me, hear me out. This was a simple and easy choice for me. For others, it can be a choice that has them going back and forth their entire pregnancies. Overall, breastfeeding or formula feeding is a choice, and there is no “wrong” choice. While I have nursed all of my littles, I’ve also had to use formula with A-Man and Mr. C. I don’t judge formula feeders, and I don’t think that the Mommy Wars are even a real thing. With those disclaimers, I figured I would share a bit about why I choose breastfeeding for my kids.
Breastfeeding is Cheaper
Okay, so this probably shouldn’t be the first reason that you make a major choice about your children’s nutrition, but it is a significant benefit! Formula is crazy expensive, and I’m a mama on a budget! Breastmilk is free, no matter how much they eat. Even if you choose to get some of the expensive extras like a fancy breast pump, nursing covers, and all the nipple pads you could ever need, you likely won’t even come close to the cost of the bottles and hundreds of cans of formula you would need.
Breastfeeding is Convenient
Seriously, life is so much simpler when you’re breastfeeding. I can throw a handful of diapers in my purse and head out the door if I have to. I can breastfeed while walking around the grocery store when I left my diaper bag in the car and the baby is fussy. I can roll over in the middle of the night to nurse and not even fully wake up. It’s much more convenient than always packing enough formula and clean bottles to be ready whenever the baby gets hungry. And don’t even get me started on having to walk all the way to the kitchen every time the baby wakes up in the middle of the night. No thank you!
Breastfeeding is Healthy
A-Man and Baby M were both preemies, and their NICU nurses all called breast milk “liquid gold”. While I am not saying that there’s anything wrong with formula (remember, I have formula fed as well!), it just isn’t the same as breast milk. Breastfed babies statistically have less ear infections, they’re less likely to have asthma, and they’re at a lower risk for SIDS. Beyond that, it’s recommended by every major health organization, so there has got to be some merit to all the benefits!
Breastfeeding Helps with Bonding
There have been tons of studies on the benefits of skin to skin contact with babies, often called “kangaroo care”, and the positive effect that it has on bonding. It is totally possible to practice kangaroo care while formula feeding, but when breastfeeding there’s really not much choice but to practice skin to skin care. Also, breastfeeding helps moms release oxytocin, or the love hormone, which helps facilitate bonding between mama and their little one. I love that breastfeeding constantly makes me take a few minutes to slow down and really focus on my baby. Sure, there are times when I nurse while grocery shopping or even while getting some work done on my computer, but most of the time I get to take a few minutes and just snuggle up with my little one. It’s precious time that I wouldn’t trade for anything!
So there are a few of the reasons why I choose breastfeeding for all my babies. In the future I might post a bit about why breastfeeding didn’t last as long as I’d hoped with my first two. For now, though, I hope that this post helped and didn’t offend anyone who makes different choices. Parenting is all about choices, and I support mom’s rights to choose whatever is best for them, their baby, and their families. So let me know in the comments, did you breastfeed or formula feed? How did you make your choice?
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