First let me preface this by saying that this list doesn't take into account the moms who exclusively pump. Seriously you ladies are my heroes. And secondly, that I know breastfeeding isn't easy... I've been lucky enough to do it for last 5 months and it is definitely a sacrifice. I mean you usually aren't able to have that yummy glass of wine whenever you would like. When you exclusively breastfeed, you usually take on most of the nightly duties. At some point you may have experienced a clogged milk duct, mastitis, or thrush. And who knows, you may also have a baby who is sensitive to what you eat leaving you with a diet that is even more restrictive than when you were pregnant. It is totally not an easy commitment, but whenever I feel like I want to give up I use the following facts to remind me that the grass isn't always greener.
1. Formula costs. Think of how many extra hours you would have to work to pay for formula. When they say breast milk is liquid gold, they aren't kidding!
2. The side laying feeding position. Enough said!
3. You can't forget to pack your boobs. :) You have so many other things to pack and prepare when you are trying to get out of the house, but formula won't be one of them.
4. You burn up to 500 calories and you don't even have to workout!
5. You don't need any hands to feed the baby. Ok so this takes some practice but I can put Boston in my Ergo Baby Carrier and nurse him while I do my hair, makeup or get things done around the house!
6. You never have to come up with a reason for a few minutes of privacy. Anytime the baby may be hungry, just excuse yourself and you've got at least 15 minutes of private bonding time.
And my favorite....
7. Research shows parents of a breastfed baby get 40 more minutes of sleep each night compared to parents of a formula fed baby. My best friend who is a lactation consultant (I know I am so lucky, right!! ) told me this and if you think about it, it totally makes sense. Parents of a breastfed baby don't have to get up in the middle of the night to warm water and mix up a bottle. Better yet, if the baby is sleeping in your room, you may not have to get up at all!
These are some of my favorite ways breastfeeding makes my life easier. What are yours?
(Photo by Jackie Spivey Photography)