In Honor of World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

I began drafting this post a couple days ago, long before the sun had risen in the sky.  I was sitting in the baby’s room, gently rocking her in the glider, as I have done daily since our move.  While she is a stellar sleeper, she usually wakes up once a night to eat, before my husband’s first alarm goes off for the day.  So, I get up as I have done for two children now, make my way into their bedroom, and slowly put her back to sleep as she nurses.  This buys me either another 2-4 hours of sleep, or some uninterrupted time.

This week is World Breastfeeding Awareness Week.  I have seen benefits of breastfeeding touted everywhere I have turned – writers discussing how much mothers who breastfeed love their children, since, “breast is best for baby, and the bond they are creating is so strong!”

But, I’ll let you in on a little secret – I don’t nurse my children because I think it’s better for my children, or for the bond that is created.  I actually cringe when people use the bonding argument, since I have seen attached and strongly bonded parents/caregivers and babies that are formula-fed, which rival the bonds of breastfed babies.

Quite honestly, I nurse my children out of convenience.

I don’t want to pay for formula; I don’t want to pay to experiment which kinds of bottles my children will take.  I enjoy not having to remember more than my nursing cover as I leave the house to run errands.  And, frankly, I don’t want to add something else to my ever-growing pile of dishes.

For more information on breastfeeding FAQs by the World Health Organization (WHO), click here.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding to age one, and the WHO recommends breastfeeding to age two.  I allowed my son to take the lead on weaning when he was ready – he weaned at age two and a half; I suspect, given her personality, that Baby Girl will wean earlier than her brother.

Breastfeeding isn’t all sunshine and roses, and there are plenty of glossy-eyed stares – not out of love, but instead, out of exhaustion.

Yet, I know the pros of breastfeeding outweigh the cons for our family.  I love knowing I am contributing to our children’s health while simultaneously maintaining a budget-friendly way to feed our babies.

I will continue to encourage other families to make the best choice for their family, keeping in mind what works for myself and my family, may not work for another mom and her family.

And, I will encourage everyone to feed, hold, play with, talk to, sing to, and overall love the little babies in their lives!

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