So, I've been thinking a lot about writing this post, and I've hesitated. First, because everyone has an opinion on the topic, and everyone has a different experience with it. Second, I know that this is going to be a long post (here's your warning....)
My first opinion is this- Just do it. If you are physically able, at least attempt to breastfeed. It is the best thing for you and the baby. I mean, God knows what He is doing. I've definitely learned this after growing a little bean in my belly that sprouted into a full grown healthy little person. And now I can feed this little thing! Wow! He has a plan for everything.
Breastfeeding will be both beneficial for you and the baby:
-get your figure back (promise!) These 30 and + pounds have flown away just because of breastfeeding (I'm yet to get back to the gym...whoops!)
- I truly believe it has helped me bond with baby, and I've heard some of my other friends say the same thing.
- I've read that it can help lessen post partum depression.
-EVERYONE says breastmilk is best (unless your child is allergic to your breastmilk, which can happen).
- Healthy immunities for baby means less doctors visits! yay!
So, you can read on and on about why you should breastfeed, the info is out there everywhere. Mainly I like it because of the convenience. At night I never had to tromp downstairs and make a bottle. IJJ and I lay next to each other while she feeds so I can still do a little snoozin'. Also, when headed out the door, as long as I have diapers and wipes, I'm ready to go, I never have to worry about packing a bottle. So, for me, I found breastfeeding to be super convenient. I don't think I would have even known how to make a bottle in the beginning...(I probably would have learned).
I know that it can seem frustrating to still have to think about what you eat and drink, pumping can really stink, and latch issues can be painful. In my opinion, one of the best ways to birth a successful breastfeeder is to have an all natural delivery. I know a lot of people are not going to agree with that, but from my personal experience, family experience and friends experience, some of the best breastfeeding babies were from the all natural deliveries. I think when they come out and are drug free, the natural inclination to feed can take over-they aren't groggy, disoriented, tired- so they can get it right from the start. And if they can do it right the first time, it should only get easier. But, if all natural is not your thing (trust me, I understand), then I would recommend breastfeeding immediately after birth. Don't wait until they give baby a bath, check weight, give shots-just FEED! It's that important. Do it right from the start, have a lactation consultant or experienced person on hand to assist. It doesn't always come as "naturally" as you would think or like.
Lastly, if you're having problems, consult a lactation specialist. A friend of mine was having trouble with baby feeding for hours at a time, loosing birth weight etc. She went to a specialist to discover that her let down was too fast so baby was using his tongue to block the milk (how ingenious!) FYI- my let down was too fast as well which caused Isla June to gulp, which caused gas. We used different feeding positions to have gravity assist, after discussing with a lactation consultant. See how important a good consultant is! Find one and use it! If you live in High Point, there's one at the HPRMC for FREE!
So, as you can see, I am a little passionate about this topic. Just try it, see what you think, give it time, don't over think it, and have a good consultant on hand...