World Breastfeeding Week 2007: Mama Knows Breast: The Pros and Cons of Breastfeeding
excerpted from Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding
, by Andi Silverman
Breasts are everywhere. You just can’t escape them. They’re all over billboards and magazines, movies and television shows. We worship the cleavage. In fact, it seems like everyone is on “boob watch.” Guys are hard-wired to stare, and even women check each other out to see how they “stack up.”
Click Continue Reading for the Top 10 Best Things and Worst Things about breastfeeding and to read/post comments.
Despite all the attention, it’s easy to forget that breasts serve areal purpose. We’re mammals, and mammals breastfeed to keep their kidsalive. Of course, because of science, formula feeding is an option aswell.
As you’re contemplating all this information, remember thatbreastfeeding is a highly personal experience. Some women love it;others hate it. How will you feel? No way to know until you give it atry and consider the pros and cons.
The 10 Best Things About Breastfeeding
1) Breastfeeding is best for your baby’s health. Breast milkis full of antibodies and nutrients. Research shows that breastfeedingprotects a baby from a range of infectious illnesses and diseases.
2) Breastfeeding is good for your health. It helps you lose weight and can reduce the risk of Type II diabetes, ovarian and breast cancers, and possibly osteoporosis.
3) Breastfeeding gives you time to bond with your baby. Isn’t it pretty cool that you can nourish another human being with your own body?
4) You can feed your baby anywhere, anytime. You can go to a restaurant or on a plane without having to remember to pack bottles and formula.
5) You don’t have to prepare a bottle. When the little guy is hungry, all you have to say is, “One boob, coming right up!” and the crying stops.
6) You don’t have to clean or sterilize bottles. Who wants to add to the mess piling up in the kitchen sink?
7) You might not get your period for a while. But be careful—breastfeeding is not perfect birth control.
8) Breastfeeding costs a lot less than formula. By some rough estimates, formula can cost as much as $3,000 per year.
9) Breastfeeding is good for the environment. If you useformula, you’ll be sending bottles, nipples and empty formula cans to alandfill. Plus, manufacturing and transporting formula require fuel.
10) You’ll still have that big-boobed maternal glow.
The 10 Worst Things About Breastfeeding
1) No one else can do your job. If you are exclusivelybreastfeeding—in other words, if you’re not supplementing with bottlesof formula or pumped breast milk—you’re always on call.
2) Sleep deprivation. Newborns eat around the clock, so there is norest for the weary, especially if your baby doesn’t take a bottle.
3) The breast pump. You’ll have to make time to pump if you plan to be away from the baby for more than a few hours.
4) You’ll have to get used to feeding in public. You’ll invariablyfind yourself in the middle of a department store or the supermarketwhen it’s snack time.
5) Alcohol and caffeine in moderation. The occasional drink is fine, but excessive alcohol is not good for your baby.
6) Leakage. Some women leak breast milk. Not everyone faces thisproblem, of course. But if you do, you’ll need to wear pads inside yourbra.
7) Your husband or partner has to share your boobs with someoneelse. Let’s face it—if the baby is hungry and crying, she comes first.
8) Your husband or partner can feel left out of the baby-bondingprocess. If so, he can still take care of the burping, diapering,bathing, clothing, swaddling, cuddling, reading, strolling, andplaying. Guaranteed, he’ll feel better.
9) Discomfort. If your baby is latched on well, breastfeedingshouldn’t hurt. But for some women, there’s no getting around a bit ofdiscomfort. If so, get help from a lactation consultant as soon aspossible.
10) You will need help! Although your friends and family may havegood tips, it’s often better to get advice from a professional—alactation consultant.
You can pre-order Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeedingat Amazon. In the meantime, check out Andi’s blog, MamaKnowsBreast.com.
If you’re a breastfeeding mama, which is your favorite pro and least favorite con?