To Breast or Not to Breast

BREAST IS BEST…This is the phrase most used when advised by a health professional about feeding. The same is heard when family & friends offer advice. We all know the value of breast milk & the benefits of breastfeeding, & every new mother wants to give her baby the best. There is no more beautiful sight than the vision of a mother suckling her infant successfully.

Here are a few aspects which may not have been considered when making a decision on the feeding method you plan to adopt.

In this day & age a young mother is no longer shielded from the hustle & bustle of daily living. The extended family is frequently not there to give her support. She is expected to run her home, attend to the other children, cook the meals and do the necessary shopping etc. The new father may give a helping hand, but all to frequently his ‘ maternity leave’ is too short & he has to return to work.

With all these duties the new mother’s breast milk supply may be diminished or the time required for breastfeeding may just not be available.

This state of affairs & the possible inability to cope may leave the new mother depressed & weepy.

Breast milk is free! Breast milk is NOT free if it costs the new mother a salary.

In most modern households two salaries are needed to afford the costs of just surviving in this expensive world. The new mother may have to return to work rather soon after the birth of her baby. Of the mothers who have tried to combine breastfeeding & full time work, from my experience, the success ratio has been fairly low. To succeed, the new mother needs plenty of determination, a load of perseverance, sacrifice, and lots of support from her family and work colleagues.

There are also a number of medical reasons which may prohibit breastfeeding. Your health professional will advise you on the mal effects of the medication you are taking on the infant if you breastfeed.

The production of  baby milk has advanced to such an extent that most companies produce very good milk that mimics breast milk.

Ideally, try to breastfeed during your whole maternity leave. To receive some breast milk will be beneficial to baby, even if the length of time is limited. You can start weaning the baby about a week to 10 days before you have to return to work.

When deciding on the feeding method, make a decision and stick to it.

Don’t allow guilt feelings to cloud your enjoyment of your little stranger.

Teresa Denton ©

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