Monday, December 14, 2009

Guest post: To Breastfeed Or Not To Breastfeed?

I’m pleased to present a guest post today by Jenn who blogs about her path to motherhood at Baby Makin’ Machine. The Future Mama, as she’s known on Twitter, is famous for asking tons of questions about being a mom. From cloth diapers to co-sleeping, Jenn wants to learn about it all! Here are her thoughts on breastfeeding, from the perspective of a mom-to-be.

Breastfeeding… If there’s one thing I’ve learned about it in the last year of my life is that it’s a hot topic among mothers. I didn’t understand why at first. Some women do, some don’t… who cares what your neighbor does as long as you do what you feel comfortable with. But I’ve learned that women do hear from their neighbors, on both sides. Some say it’s wrong to breast feed in public, to breastfeed after your baby has teeth. Others say you don’t love your baby if you don’t breastfeed. All of the animosity between mothers first turned me off to learning more about it.

“I wasn’t breastfed, I turned out ok.” That was initially how I thought about breastfeeding. I’d try it, and if it worked out I’d keep doing it as long as it worked out.

Now I’m pregnant. In 8 months or so I’ll have my own little baby in my arms and the decision of whether or not I am going to breastfeed will be staring me in the face. There are lots of things I love about the idea. I love the idea of being able to feed my baby on the go, and not needing to pack bottles. I think this will make traveling while my baby is young nice and easy. Of course, I know it’s healthier for my baby, and it will help my baby to be healthy and strong. The idea that breastfeeding can also help you to lose pregnancy weight doesn’t sound so bad either.

But there are a few concerns or worries I have about it too. I worry about having the time and capability to breastfeed while I’m also working close to 50 hours a week. I know I can do it with time and patience, but I also don’t want to stress myself out about it. I want to be able to breastfeed comfortably. I know some women don’t mind popping their boob out in public and more power to them. But for me to be comfortable, I’d like to find a way to keep my ladies covered, while also keeping my baby comfortable and full.

I know breastfeeding your baby for a year is ideal but I also know it doesn’t work that well for everyone. I’ve seen babies who weren’t breastfed never get sick, and others the same age who were who seem to always be sick.

I have a lot to learn. Not so much in the aspect of “why breastfeed” but HOW I can do it, enjoy it, and keep it up with my crazy life schedule. I know everyone and every situation is different, but my hope is to learn a lot over the next 8 months, try my best, and do my best to respect everyone’s decision, while hoping people will do the same for me.

How about it, readers? Do you have any advice for Jenn on how to make breastfeeding work with a hectic schedule?

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