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Prior to Baby’s birth, we knew we would be breastfeeding exclusively. We were entirely committed to breastfeeding. Believing that it to be the most nutritious, natural, and most life enhancing way to feed our child. We are also adamantly opposed to pharmaceutically created baby formula for our family. Others do what others do and there are reasons that people choose or even need to feed their child(ren) formula. Fortunately, we have been blessed to not have the necessity of looking to feed our child something other than breast milk. Nonetheless, we knew we would breastfeed and believed in my body’s ability to produce exactly what our child needed to grow.
Breastfeeding is recommended by the ‘top’ health organizations. The World Health Organization states that:
“Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed1 for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health2. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.”
Even the American Academy of Pediatrics, suggests:
“Breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition. Given the documented short- and long-term medical and neurodevelopmental advantages of breastfeeding, infant nutrition should be considered a public health issue and not only a lifestyle choice. The American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirms its recommendation of exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant. Medical contraindications to breastfeeding are rare. “
Though it may seem quite obvious to me, I realize it doesn’t to others, I researched breastfeeding. I learned about latch. I learned about complications and issues that may arise regarding breastfeeding. I (sort of) learned the basics of how breast milk is produced in my body. I learned that my production of breast milk is contingent on feeding him, since it is a supply-demand cycle. I learned things that would be necessary or essential in maintaining my overall health, as well as breast health, and nutritional needs. I learned various breastfeeding holds/positions. I learned about possible breastfeeding issues. I learned about the natural/normal process of breastfeeding and the different aspects of breast milk. I also learned about hand expression. In this research, I learned the importance of the initial nursing session following birth and how to ensure success. I read books and perused websites on the topic. I read blog posts about breastfeeding. I learned how others’ experienced breastfeeding and their successes. I learned about the laws surrounding breastfeeding, in public, at work, and particularly in my state. I knew there would be support and assistance if I needed it. Overall though, I gained even more trust and confidence in my body’s ability to produce the milk that would be needed to sustain our child’s life.
Hun, though not completely on the research to success journey with me, was right alongside me all. We would have conversations about breastfeeding and he would encourage me to continue learning all that I felt I needed to and could learn. We discussed issues surrounding breastfeeding in public, around family/friends. We discussed how breastfeeding could impact our relationship. It was great and I had fun learning. I felt empowered to breastfeed and knew that I had support at home, as well as in the community. I may not be the best at reciting statistics verbatim, but I know the information and I can provide it, along with support, to other women. I encourage women to research information, or at the very least, ask others who have been successful in breastfeeding how it goes. Women who have even tried and couldn’t for some of those very real reasons likely learned something along the way that just might be what another needs to know. Don’t just read the hype or go with it because it seems best, learn about it. Learn about it to know if it’s right for you or not. Learn about it to know what to do or where to go for help if you encounter any problems. I urge you, Learn!
A few good websites regarding breastfeeding, to get you started: