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31
Jul

Breastfeeding Is Green – Tips Too

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby

Breastfeeding MomWorld Breastfeeding Week is coming in August. The goal is too bring awareness to breastfeeding which in actuality seems kinda silly to me. Moms have two feeding implements on their chest at all times and we have to have a national awareness week to make them aware of what they are for?? Hmmm. With the advent of baby bottles and formula feeding it seems breastfeeding has taken a back seat but there are probably hundreds of reasons why it should get the attention it deserves. I truly believe that formula feeding will never – EVER come close to being as good for babies as good old fashioned breast milk. It is nature’s perfect baby food and no BPA in the food like with formula cans. Breastfeeding is the easiest, least expensive, and greenest option for you and your baby.

Think about all the waste generated with the manufacturing and use of millions of baby bottles, millions of cans/bottles of formula, drop in liners, nipples, detergent and water used to wash bottles daily. The practice of bottle/formula feeding is amounting to millions of tons of waste each year.

Beyond all the health benefits…and the green benefits…I found breastfeeding to be the most deliciously wonderful bonding experience imaginable. Breastfeeding didn’t work out so great for my first baby. I let the hospital talk me into supplemental feeding when my milk didn’t let down until 3 days after birth. They sent me home with 3 cases of formula and because I didn’t want them to go to waste….I ended up only breastfeeding 50% of the time and then I quit altogether at 4 months. Coincidence that my first baby was very unhealthy, got Epstein Barr, and had a terrible vaccine reaction…I don’t think so.

My second baby was breastfed until she was two years old with 6 months of that spent nursing her baby brother too and I would have continued nursing both of them in tandem as long as they wanted but cancer kinda ruined it. It wasn’t always easy being the sole feeder of my kids, or nursing while pregnant, or nursing two kids, but it was worth it. Happy times :)

But in acknowledgment of how it not always easy to stick with breastfeeding I have collected some tips:

1) A natural and unmedicated birth is the best start to a breastfeeding relationship. Both mom and baby are more alert and responsive and can start their journey under the best possible circumstances.

2) Alert hospital staff in writing and verbally that you are going to be breastfeeding and that you do not want bottles or pacifiers to be given to your baby…no artificial nipples, as this can create confusion and frustration.

3) Find doctors who support breastfeeding and won’t recommend weaning to formula at the first sign of difficulty. You need doctors who will help you make breastfeeding work for as long as it takes.

4) Babies nurse for a wide variety of reasons, and some of them have little to do with hunger. Nursing frequently ensures you will have a  healthy and steady milk supply to meet your baby’s needs. It is also a source of soothing and comfort for baby.

5) Get comfortable nursing in public. If you start to feel like a caged animal that can never leave the house because breastfeeding needs to stay behind closed doors you might get frustrated fast. The general public needs to learn acceptance of this natural practice anyway. Practice in front of a mirror so you can learn to do so discreetly. Nursing covers are also very helpful.

6) Get the latch right. A proper latch onto the breast is one of the most, if not THE most important thing you can do to avoid pain and ensure adequate draining of the breast (which leads to an abundant milk mama knows breast coversupply). Get help if you and your baby are having trouble or if breastfeeding is causing you pain.

7) Cosleep! Bringing baby into your bed makes breastfeeding so much easier. Everyone generally gets more sleep because 2:00 am and 4:00 am feedings can be handled by just rolling over and making your breast accessible. It just can’t get any easier to handle night time feeding.

Check out my review of a wonderful breastfeeding book called Mama’s Knows Breast.

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

15 Comments

  • http://triflingoccasions.blogspot.com FW

    I wish I had known at the time how having an induced labor and subsequent c-section would make breastfeeding difficult. I did manage it for about 4 months, but wish I’d kept going – now that I’ve done more research I hope to breastfeed longer with my (eventual) 2nd.

  • http://www.maggiesorganics.com Mary

    To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week treat yourself to a fashionable and functional top! At Maggie’s we have a criss-cross top in both 3/4 length and sleeveless that doubles at a convenient breastfeeding shirt. Check it out at http://www.maggiesorganics.com/products_item.php?cat_id=9

    Try it out and email your feedback to maryl@organicclothes.com and we will post your comments on our website!

    Have a great weekend!

  • http://almostfrugal.com Kelly from Almost Frugal

    I totally agree with yiou. I had a ton of problems nursing my first (up to an abcess) and ‘only’ nursed him 7 months. My second was nursed four times longer and I’m still nursing the third at 9 months.

  • http://amarijohnson.blogspot.com/2008/07/friday.html Maria

    Great post! :) I’ve been nursing my son for 19 months, and while it has not always been easy, it is very rewarding. Each stage has had an occurance that I can look back at and smile warmly. I’ve changed my “website” on the comment form to link back to a recent event that warms my heart.

  • http://greenbabyguide.com Rebecca

    Point #3 is especially important. I was frustrated by how often my daughter’s pediatrician recommended formula or Pediasure when she didn’t gain enough weight from breastfeeding.

  • Elena

    Love your post! My son never latched on so I pumped for 13 month nonstop. That pump went every where with me:) it was my BFF ! He did get a bottle but it was filled with the best stuff there is Breast Milk. So for all those moms who think it can’t be done it can. It just takes a lot of commitment and love.

  • Sharon

    Your post was right on, especially point number 4. I am tandem nursing my almost 3 year old and my 14 month old. At times I get frustrated how often my older one nurses but then I remember how much it reconnects us.

  • http://www.KristensRaw.blogpost.com Kristen’s Raw

    I completely agree and look forward to breastfeeding my future babies :) I plan on doing so in public as well, to help increase awareness.

    Cheers!

  • Lisa

    I think this article is great. Just so other mom’s don’t get discouraged, I just wanted to add the following: Even with an emergency c-section, 3 days without being able to Breastfeed my daughter while she was in the NICU and then the NICU Staff thinking it was ok to disregard my instructions regarding formula and bottles, my daughter and I still had a wonderful breastfeeding relationship that lasted almost 18 months (when my supply gave up and she decided to self wean). In addition, it may not be as green, but I also worked full time and pumped for my daughter to be in daycare, so she was bottle fed and still was a great relationship and a cornerstone to her health and well being.

  • Nicole

    I LOVE nursing! I nursed our oldest until he was about a year and I am nursing our twins exclusively. It is amazing!! The girls both latched on great (even after such a long and challenging labor) and we have been doing well ever since!! There is nothing better than nursing twins and watching them watch each other then look at you. It is a slice of heaven!!

  • Cortney

    While I agree that breastfeeding is probably best, I have to say that my son was and is still on formula and he is a happy, healthy 20 lb. young boy. I appreciate the point that breastfeeding is both green and great for baby, but I hate that so many people who are pro-breastfeeding are anti-formula. Not all mothers can breastfeed, and it would be nice to hear some eco-friendly non-breastfeeding options every once in a while.

  • http://www.naturemoms.com Tiffany

    I hope my post didn’t make you feel badly. Perhaps I wasn’t clear about it but I did have to use formula myself after I was diagnosed with cancer. My breastmilk would have had to many nasty chemicals from Chemo in it. Yes, breastfeeding ins’t always possible.

  • http://livingyellow.blogspot.com Amberlynn

    Yes. And, hurray. And, Yes!
    I feel bad for folks who can’t breastfeed and/or give up too early, but can’t judge everyone I see using a bottle, ya know?

    I LOVE breastfeeding my baby. It took TWO months worth of constant battles with my first, but then I had good support and knew breast was best (and least expensive, on top of all the other reasons you gave!). I love living in Oregon, too, where the highest percentage of women in the U.S. breastfeed for the longest amount of time. It’s sooooo acceptable here, it’s great.

  • Mrs. Domino

    Wow, you bf’d while pregnant and then nursed TWO kids at once! That’s amazing! Please continue to share your story with all those nay-sayers out there who don’t ever even try bf’ing!

  • casual friday everyday

    I had problems … lots and lots. I wrote about them here: http://crunchydomesticgoddess.com/2008/08/01/guest-post-from-my-belly-to-my-chest but I am sooooo excited and determined to nurse long term this time…to get it right…to beat the problems I’ve had before. I know I can do it with the help of professionals.