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Monday, 31 August 2015

The littlefoodie eats local - 4 other reasons to breastfeed



Before the littlefoodie was born I read a bit about breastfeeding and the health benefits and decided to give it a go. I attended a class in the hospital where everything pointed to how good breastfeeding is for both the mother and baby, but the number of second time Moms in attendance definitely pointed to challenges ahead. I decided to give it a go and not beat myself up if it didn't work out. Given that Ireland has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding globally I didn't have that much hope for much support from the health system (Ill post more on resources shortly)

Now that my little fella is 4 months old I look back at the reasons I started feeding and realise that many of the reasons I kept going were ones that Id never seen advertised. Speaking to fellow moms they say the same. If you're thinking of breastfeeding then here are some of the reasons you don't always hear:

  • Support and Networking - Breastfeeding might seem like a lonely task if you're afraid of nursing in public but Ciudiu, La Leche League, Friends of Breastfeeding and your local health centre have regular meetings to help you get answers to questions, eat cake at and get over any fears you have. I have met some lovely people through my local group who I meet with at least twice a week for lunch and classes. Having lived in the same house for ten years without knowing any people locally Im amazed at the number of new friends I have through breastfeeding groups. 
  • Cheap - Breastmilk is free! No purchasing boxes of formula or bottles (although we do have a few bottles for expressed milk). How much can you save? I spoke to one mom this week who was spending €5 a day on premade formula as her baby wouldn't take the powdered formula. Start counting up those 5 euros and you have yourself enough for a pretty nice holiday
  • Makes traveling easy - Talking of holidays, by 4 months the littlefoodie had 2 stamps in his passport and had stayed in hotels in Ireland on 3 occasions. He had been fed on a plane (great for ears on take off and landing), boat, train, bus and in the car. When he was thirsty (especially in hotter climates) there was always enough for him to drink. We didn't have to worry about fridges, sterilisers or clean water which meant that we were able to travel with only hand luggage! As a family that love to travel breastfeeding made travel simple. 
  • Lazy - Ok, so it wasn't as easy for me as it is for others. My little boy had tongue tie which wasn't diagnosed until he was 9 weeks old. This made feeding painful for me and for him until a while after he had the procedure to fix it. Nevertheless I say lazy because breastfeeding meant that we had no making of bottles or sterilising and no boiling of kettles late at night while a hungry baby cried. When hunger struck a snack was always available for him without me having to move from the bed. 
This article also has some great inspiration if you're thinking of breastfeeding and is well worth a read  - it melts your ass fat, passes on flavours of what you eat, produces antibodies to fight infection in your baby and is the perfect food (even if your own diet is not so great)

I know that breastfeeding doesnt work for everyone but its definitely worth considering and reading all you can before your baby is born if you want to give it a go. 

Ive a feeling we will be sticking at it for a while to come.

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