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Mama’s milk – an introduction

March 21, 2009


This post is an introduction to ‘conversations’ I would like to have around ‘natural parenting’, I intend to go into more depth on the issue of breast feeding which will include resources and helpful information, as well as my personal feelings and experience.

My intention of this post to not to appear as the ‘breast feeding mafia’ (as one of my friends puts it!) but as it is a issue that I’m passionate about I want to encourage and empower women in this beautiful and wonderful job of feeding and nurturing our own babies.

I’m forever in awe of God’s amazing design; that he made me perfectly capable to conceive, carry, give birth to and feed a child…He didn’t say it would be easy or require no effort on our part but we’re perfectly equipped to do the job well. As soon as I know that I’m pregnant I begin to pray specifically about certain issues, one of which is that I would be able to successfully breastfeed my child.

The UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe – almost a third of women in England and Wales never try to breastfeed, compared with just 2% in Sweden yet there has been significant reliable evidence produced over recent years to show that breastfeeding has important advantages for both mama and baby; it’s amazing how many myths and wrong information there is out there.

So why is ‘breast best’?

Breastfeeding is a normal, natural activity but it is an art that may take both you and your baby time and practice to learn.

Breastfeeding allows you and your baby to get closer – physically and emotionally. So while your child is feeding, the bond between you can grow stronger.

Bottle feeding does not give your baby the same ingredients as breast milk, which is designed to be easy for your baby to absorb and is perfect to help him grow and develop. Also, bottle feeding doesn’t provide protection against infection and diseases.

Breastfeeding helps protect your baby against:
• ear infections
• gastro-intestinal infections
• chest infections
• urine infections
• childhood diabetes
• eczema
• obesity
• asthma.

Breastfeeding helps protect mothers against:
• ovarian cancer
• breast cancer
• weak bones later in life.

Every day you breast feed makes a difference to your baby’s health now and in the future.

One of the best leaflets I’ve come across for new Mums starting up with breastfeeding is this one but I’ll be back to expand on this great subject!

Until then enjoy the liberating joy of nurturing your baby.

Blessings
Leah

“God’s plan for women is to be nurturers in the home and nurturers in society. When do we start nurturing? At the moment of conception. As soon as we know there is life within our womb, we should begin nurturing and loving the developing baby.
Once the baby is born, we begin nurturing the babe at the breast.
God created us with breasts to nourish babies. This is His divine plan.”

Nancy Campbell – Above Rubies
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9 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2009 4:29 pm

    Well said Leah! It’s such a shame that some people don’t even consider breast feeding just because they don’t like the thought of it – it just seems so much easier! Even with normal clothing it can be totally discrete and a male visitor thought Samuel was sleeping in my arms when I was feeding him at 1 week old! Anything to promote it is a great idea.

  2. March 22, 2009 6:09 pm

    Hello Leah!I wanted to share with you, a learning experience I had, whilst training to be a bf helper with the BFN.I had always considered that 'breast is best' but I now consider this statement to be wrong. Breast is *not* best. Breast is *normal* Baseline. Formula feeding is sub standard. So, for example, breastfeeding does not protect the baby from gastroentiritis, it is in fact Formula feeding that *increases* the risk of GE. Breastfeeding does not reduce the risk of osteoperosis, it is formula feeding that increases the risk. Does this make sense??? I often find as a society we sugar coat our response to mothers who choose to Formula feed for risk of offending. We wouldnt have the same concern if we spoke to pregnant mothers who choose to smoke cigarettes. In our country we sadly lack the breastfeeeding support for new mums, which is a huge factor as to why mothers 'fail' to nurse their children. Their are so many myths as to 'low millk supply' etc that many 'give up' before they have really started, which is very sad, as so many of these women are left devastated by the way things turn out.I appreciate your post…the more breastfeeding is brought out into the 'open' the more women can support & encourage each other.LX

  3. March 22, 2009 7:57 pm

    Hey Lynn – thanks for this; my sister is trained as a breast feeding counsellor so I pick her brain all the time; I love learning more about this amazing God given responsibiity. You’re right when you say we ‘don’t want to offend’ and I as I’m not trained in this area (just breast fed three babies!) I’m treading carefully. I do have friends who have struggled and given up which could be due to lack of support or knowledge. I LOVE breast feeding, feel passionate about promoting and supporting people in it…

  4. March 22, 2009 8:12 pm

    Your passion for BF comes across in a very positive way Leah. Good on you 🙂

  5. March 23, 2009 8:47 am

    Thanks Lynn 🙂

  6. March 23, 2009 2:55 pm

    Well interesting post. especially given current circumstances in our household!!! For me, I’m surprised at the lack of promotion by hospitals and Health Care Professionals in leicester. Yes, they may have posters up etc, but we’ve had many a hospital / doctor / midwife / health visitor appointment in recent months and the majority have assumed that we would be formula feeding. When we had our hospital stay they didn’t even ask, just assumed i was formula feeding and as such didn’t put me on the list for meals and all the entitlements that breast feeding mums get. For me, feeding the 3 of mine have been v. different experiences. Feeding a healthy thriving child for me was a positive fantastic experience. I loved feeding Beth. However, with Noah it was a struggle, and i thought it was just because he was the first, but Caleb, my third, has been v. similar to Noah. I have just stopped feeding him at 4 months. I think my boys just don’t do breast milk as well! Not that they do formula well – they need special stuff!!!!!!! It saddens me that people don’t even consider breastfeeding – I have a great deal of sympathy for those who try and feel like they fail and have to give up. well written post as usual Leah, sensitively put!!

  7. March 23, 2009 7:58 pm

    Well done for going 4 months Rachel – I know it’s been tough for you and your little man. The first few weeks with M were the hardest I’ve experienced with breast feeding but we got there…although he still only feeds from one side ( now the that’s a whole post in itself!!)Thanks for your comments 🙂

  8. May 14, 2009 4:18 am

    What are your thought about breastfeeding an adopted child. I was searching the web the other day and came across this. Definatly a new concept to me…. not quite sure of my opinions on it …what do you think? you can write me back on my blog or email shopnsavy@homail.com I would love to hear from you!!

  9. May 14, 2009 7:52 am

    Hi GritsGirl! Thanks for your comment :)I have no experience of breastfeeding and adoption but hope to some day! I think if I had the opportunity to adopt a baby and I was still lactating then to breasfeed them would not only be great nutrition for them but also a great bonding experience. I have read about people who have done it and think it is a precious gift – I think we have to realise that God gave us breasts to feed and nurture our babies (as well as for our hubbys!!)and I would hope that any baby that became part of my family would be blessed with this gift!

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