I didn't know too much about the topic before getting pregnant, but now that I've done the research, it's overwhelmingly clear that the catchphrase "breast is best" has a lot of truth to it.
There are so many pros:
- You can't beat free (vs. $100 a month or more for formula).
- It's always readily available (vs. measuring, mixing and heating).
- No cleanup and no need to pack when you travel (vs. bottles, nipples and liners).
- Breast milk passes immunities to your baby and gives them antibodies, often preventing them from getting sick.
- It fosters brain development.
- Colostrum, or premilk, encourages a baby's porous digestive tract to close, guarding against infection.
- It has the perfect mix of properties your baby needs, leading to more tolerable diapers.
- It burns up to 2,000 calories a day for mom, helps prevent breast cancer and discourages the return of your menstrual cycle.
But as natural as it is, I know many women have difficulty breastfeeding. First of all, it hurts. And it continues to hurt if you don't do it right, leading to a tired and frustrated mom and a hungry baby. Then formula often isn't far behind.
So in effort to prepare myself a little, I signed up for a one-night breastfeeding class. It came highly recommended from the woman who ran our childbirth class and also from a friend who has breastfed both of her girls.
Unfortunately, Jerry got a paid radio broadcast at the last minute and couldn't attend, and I stand by my opinion that he missed out. In fact, I wrote him a note for when he got up this morning saying that he could've seen the instructor feeling herself up for three hours and pointing to her nipples.
But the freedom in which she grabbed her breasts is what immediately endeared her to me. By the end, everyone in the class -- including the men -- found themselves squeezing their own chest and practicing positions with matching giant fake plastic babies.
And it didn't seem weird at all.
She provided a ton of information and made it easy to understand. Like comparing our breasts to a giant sub sandwich loaded with piles of trimmings. You kind of have to squish down on it and hold it at the right angle to get it in your mouth. Well, the same goes for boobs apparently.
And being a huge fan of gigantic sandwiches, that's an analogy I can understand.
I know holding an immobile plastic doll up to my boob for a few minutes is a lot different than a flailing hungry baby every two to three hours, but I definitely feel a little more prepared and loads more knowledgeable about how to even attempt to do it.
And if all else fails, I'll just think back to the sandwich.
Aaaaaand ... THE NURSERY IS DONE! I finished the last thing today. Had to hang a shelf. Expect a nauseating amount of photos tomorrow.