I’m nervous even writing this post because so much has already been said about the breast vs. bottle debate. I guess the first thing I want to say is that this post has NOTHING to do with that debate. I’m not trying to be controversial or upset anybody. I am just writing about what I happen to know. I’ve breastfed both my babies – I’ve been lucky that I’ve been able to and have enjoyed it (for the most part). First time around though it was pretty hellishly painful at the start but I persevered not because I’m a martyr but because I felt so pressured to do so and didn’t want to ‘fail’ (not a good thing and I know now, certainly NOT true). It got better and I ended up breastfeeding him until he was 1 and moved on to cow’s milk. Second time around I would have definitely swapped to formula had it been even half as hard but it’s been a smooth ride and i’ve enjoyed it, so 7 months in and I’m still going. And I will keep going for as long as my baby and I are happy to do so. Which is all anybody should be do.
That all said and hopefully understood, here’s my tongue-in-cheek list of why breast is best – 10 reasons I think it’s good to breastfeed – reasons I don’t think “they” tell you about…
1. It’s FREE. Buying formula costs on average £700 a year. So you can use Breastfeeding as a way of justifying the Mulberry handbag purchase or [insert another equally expensive, desirable and completely unnecessary item]
2. It makes your boobs look GREAT. Like you, who never had any boobs, will now have the most amazing full bazookas! So, call it a free boob job, just another perk.
3. Burns LOADS of calories a day! Approximately 500 to be precise. Which means you can lose weight / get back into shape without even leaving your sofa. Orrrr, like me, you can up your sugar intake (cake, chocolate, cola) without gaining any weight! So either way, it’s excellent.
4. It’s so easy to get up and go! Whether that’s to the shops at the end of the road, the cafe in town or a long-haul destination, with milk on tap (literally), the world is your oyster. You can just pick up baby and take off without having to remember (and haul) bottles, teats, powder, cool boiled water and a steriliser device! Call me lazy but the easier option wins my vote.
5. You can totally use Breastfeeding time to stalk your secret mum crushes on social media. You’ve a whole one hand free for phone use! When bottle feeding you don’t. Which could get pretty boring I imagine because these babies, they need a lot of feeding.
6. You can still drink, eat soft cheese and all the rest (in moderation). The stuff is filtered. Having a glass of wine then feeding your baby is not the same as filling their sippy cup with vino.
7. You can always express with a milking machine (put aside the whole feeling like a cow) and leave someone else feed the baby. Breastfeeding isn’t handcuffing yourself to your baby and throwing away the key. You can totally express in the day and let your other half/mum/dad/family member/neighbour/child/random associate feed your baby. And do!! Give yourself a break.
8. No periods when Breastfeeding. I miss having a period said no person ever. Also no ovulation, no contraception needed*.
*not 100% pregnancy proof
9. If you ever run short of milk… Desperate times call for desperate measures and never has one wanted a cup of tea more than postpartum woman.
10. Pride. You know that feeling shortly after you’ve given birth, where you think (say aloud) “I made that”. Well I feel the same amount of pride and all round awesomeness when I look at my baby’s chubby knees and think “I did that”.
So there we have it, 10 *real* reasons to breastfeed that nobody really talks about.
If you chose not to breastfeed, please don’t be offended or upset. I am confident we could easily come up with 10 good reasons to bottle feed too!!