Why Do You Breastfeed?

by sarah on March 22, 2010

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3054278216_ef309bba04When I was pregnant with our first baby and I announced my intention to breastfeed, my husband had no opinion of his own about it, but supported me. “Whatever you want to do is fine!”

When that baby was born several months later, he had multiple problems nursing in the beginning, and was a trial to nurse throughout. However, my husband never wavered in his support and help, and avidly listened to every new wondrous thing I learned about breastfeeding.

“Did you know it helps his eyesight?”
“He has less chance of becoming obese because he breastfed!”
“I’m reducing my risk of getting breast cancer!”

He soon became an active supporter of breastfeeding, and offered advice to his friends becoming new dads.

So early in my second pregnancy, I decided to play a joke.

He was chopping vegetables in the kitchen when I came up to him.

“You know, I’ve been thinking. With all the problems I had breastfeeding our son, gosh, I just really don’t think I’m up to doing all that again. Seriously. It was just so hard and I just can’t do that again!”

I fully expected him to give me a weird look as he knows my devotion to breastfeeding, but still give me the line about how it’s my decision and he’ll support whatever I decide.

Instead, he put down the knife, turned and looked at my face-to-face and said, “No. I want you to breastfeed this baby! I don’t want one smart kid and one dumb kid!”

I immediately started cracking up: my attempt at a joke gone awry, my utter shock and glee at his response, and the simply the humor of his takeaway message about the difference in IQ point potential.

The second baby was indeed breastfeed for two-and-a-half years. I never considered not doing that.

In talking to new moms over the years, there seems to be multiple reasons why people choose to breastfeed:

  • Most moms I’ve talked to say their main reason was that it’s healthier for the baby.
  • Some are drawn to the financial; breastmilk is cheaper than formula.
  • Some women are drawn to the natural-ness of it. Nothing artificial.
  • Others love the convenience.
  • One woman I spoke to said she didn’t enjoy it at all, but kept doing it because she knew it was better for the baby.

A lot of moms don’t realize the hundreds of benefits of breastfeeding until they research it. I myself learned so much more from one La Leche League meeting than I ever learned from the three books I read before going to my first LLL meeting.

My opinion about that is that it doesn’t matter what your reason is for breastfeeding; if it convinces you to breastfeed, it’s a good reason!

Why do or did you breastfeed?

photo credit: Benklocek

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sarah (35 Posts)

Sarah has been involved with API since 2002. She is the mother of two school-aged kids.

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