Thursday, January 20, 2011

Feeding Baby

Happy Thursday!  I hope this day finds you all warm & safe.  We just had a snow storm blow in, so its all white & wintry outside.  Glad I got all my grocery shopping & errands done this past afternoon! 

I want to get right into my next topic involving the choices I've made with becoming a new mommy.  I have decided to breastfeed until my baby naturally weans, which could be somewhere around 1-2 years of age.  Some of you may think I'm crazy, but...I just looked at all the benefits of doing this until he's ready to be done that will last him his lifetime & the benefits I get from this too.  First, of course, baby get's immunities & vitamins plus its easier to digest (which means I will have to feed him more, but its worth it).  Second, compared to formula, the extra food I will have to eat is waaaay cheaper as a monthly expense.  Third, even with the extra calories, I WILL still lose weight & it helps me recover faster from birthing (more on that tomorrow), it helps regulate my wild hormones that will occur after birth & will release prolactin--a hormone that helps with milk production but also in relaxing you & will help me rest when I need to--oxytocin will make me feel content.  Fourth, it will lessen the need for some immunizations in the first year because I will give him my immunities & then he might only need boosters, if any.  (Will still need some shots, but it lowers it to only 4-5 in the first year). The benefits keep coming & coming. 

Yes, it is work & can be difficult to "teach" baby to latch on properly & to learn when to feed & how.  I'm finding in life that things that are worth doing are hard work if done properly & lead to satisfaction along with a better sense of fulfillment.  Sure, things may not go smoothly with the process, but I have people to help me out & the support of a great hubby.  Something like this I feel is important both for baby (& not to mention our budget)! 

I read alot on this from other mom's blogs, from "The Breastfeeding Book" by Martha & William Sears, and from talking to my midwife & the doula running my birthing classes.  So far, I'm glad to say I'm going to feed not so much on a super tight schedule, but a balance between a schedule & demand feeding.  I am going to feed every 2-3 hours the first month to establish my milk supply (this is important to do if you want to do long term breastfeeding), then mostly be on a 3 hour schedule that only changes when baby obviously seems to need more (they go through growth spurts too)...by 6 months I will probably feed only once or twice in the night with more feedings during the day & begin to see how much he wants "real food" and when he wants to breastfeed.  Sounds like it might be alot then, but most babies once they start on food will taper off some on their own because it won't be his only food source.  Then I will work with baby to let him wean off when he's ready.  This will assure (most of the time) a gradual wean, unless there are complications & it helps it not be painful for me to transition to no longer making milk.

As you can see, its not this wham, bam simple process...it must be tailored to you baby.  I have no idea how he will nurse & to what extent, so one thing I remind myself is that I have to be flexible.  Its not bad to listen to your babies cues & if I sleep when baby sleeps, it won't overtax me--especially with help from family, friends & hubby in the first month.

I don't know if any of this interests my domestic divas who read this, but  I thought this would be interesting to share, as its nice to know you are not alone in your decisions as a mom (or soon-to-be mom)!

I hope you all have a wonderful night...if you have winter weather: stay safe!  I will write about another topic tomorrow...until then, be the best domestic diva you can be ladies!