I was fed formula when I was a baby, and I turned out just fine, if I do say so myself. My brothers and sisters were all formula fed, too, and nothing went wrong with them either.
I planned to carry on the tradition of formula feeding when I was pregnant with my first child. I figured nine months of carrying around my baby was enough of a sacrifice—I wanted my body back, and I was intimidated by the rules and horror stories I heard about breastfeeding.
My friends would tell me they couldn’t eat certain things before they breastfed their babies, and they complained about their cracked, painful nipples. I was sure breastfeeding wasn’t for me. I didn’t want to be stared at by people when I attempted to breastfeed my baby in public.
My mind was made up, until one day when I was surfing the internet, and I found the website www.notmilk.com. That’s when it hit me—my feelings didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was giving my baby the best, healthiest start I could. If you’re on the fence about breastfeeding or you’ve decided not to do it, let me share with you some of the things I learned that changed my mind.
Part 3: Allergic Conditions and Development Issues
- Breastfeeding may cut down on overall allergies in babies. Childhood should be a fun, magical time—not a time spent suffering from multiple allergies. Give your baby a fighting chance by breastfeeding her.
- Imagine having itchy areas and not having the motor skills to scratch them. Allergic rhinitis is an allergic condition that can cause a number of problems, like an itchy nose or mouth, stuffiness, coughing and sore throat. That’s only a few symptoms of the many a person can experience with this condition. Breastfeeding can reduce your baby’s chances of developing it, according to this study.
- Seeing asthma flares gives quite a scare. Asthma attacks are scary for both the person witnessing them and the person experiencing them. I never want to see my child struggle to breath, and breastfeeding may help me with that goal.
- Baby’s soft skin should never be inflamed and red. Eczema is unpleasant to look at and even worse to suffer from. With eczema, skin can be itchy and cracked, and a baby deserves better than that.
- I’d feel like a real ass for giving my baby unnecessary gas. Cow’s milk allergies are recognized as one of the most common among infants, with up to 15 percent being affected. These milk protein allergies are often responsible for delayed gastric emptying, colitis (gassy babies) and constipation.
- Breastfeeding can help flush bedwetting down the toilet. I can’t imagine how embarrassing it must be for children who have problems with wetting their beds, especially in their early teenage years. Although I know I can’t wrap my baby in a bubble and stop every bad thing that can happen, I’d really like to prevent any unnecessary embarrassment that I can.
- I don’t want my baby’s motor skills to run out of gas. Breast milk seems to help the motor skills of premature infants. In my mind, if breast milk is good for a preemie, it’s good for a full-term baby, too.
- This momma would feel like a dummy if she lowered her baby’s IQ. Every child has talent, and if my child’s talent is that he’s going to be the next Albert Einstein, I’d hate to get in the way of that by choosing formula instead of breast milk.
- I don’t have the guts to alter the bacteria in their intestines. Gut bacteria is a vital part of health. Bacteria can be both good and bad, and according to this study, breastfed babies have less bad bacteria.
- Breastfeeding sends a message—a biochemical one. My hormones can do my baby a world of good, helping with her biochemical and immunological growth.
- Breastfeeding will help my baby reach gross motor skill milestones faster. Formula babies can be delayed on how quickly they reach their milestones.
- Breastfeeding can help my baby express himself. Breastfeeding might help your child’s language development. Learning how to communicate and express yourself effectively is one of the most important skills you learn in childhood.
- A thymus is there for a reason, and breastfeeding appears to help it with its mission. Breastfeeding might help your child’s language development. Learning how to effectively communicate and express yourself is one of most important skills you learn in childhood.
- See, breastfeeding is good for babies. It helps their eyes. Despite all its problems, this world is an awesome and beautiful place to live. I want to help my baby see it clearly.
- If breastfeeding during immunizations can spare my baby one ounce of pain, I’ll take a stab at it. Babies who are breastfed during immunizations cried for a shorter amount of time than non-breastfed babies in this study.