Friday, 1 June 2012

Hold me close

I am taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. The Goal of the hunt is to add a little bit go fun and to raise awareness of breastfeeding

For me, Breastfeeding was the first and only choice once I found out that I was pregnant. Although formula feeding is not for me I fully believe in parents choosing what is best them and their child,  whether that be breast or bottle. I must admit though; since I have started breastfeeding I have become more pro breastfeeding than ever and like to think that I can offer support to those who are considering breastfeeding. I have a very large family and lots of friends who have had or are expecting children but those who have chosen to breastfeed are few and far between, which does pose the question as to why so many favour formula feeding. I understand the various reasons why so many people feel that formula feeding is best for them but I often wonder if all are aware of the all benefits breastfeeding has to offer.

In my experience, through midwives, breastfeeding support workers, magazines etc I was aware of various research based benefits such less infections for baby, reduced risk of SIDS, financial benefits and less chance of constipation but I think that there are far more benefits that we don't necessarily shout about. There obviously is a very fine line that professionals have to take in not preaching that we all must breastfeed and that all decisions must be supported but I wonder if this holds people back when talking about the emotional and bonding elements that breastfeeding can enhance; as they do not want to risk the implication that if you will bond less if you bottle feed. I have heard a lot of people brush off some of the health and financial benefits as for them formula feeding is a suitable alternative and it does not harm the baby in any way but maybe if we enhanced the emotional benefits some mums to be would choose differently. I am certainly not saying that breastfeeding mothers have a better bond those who don't but I personally I can't help but think that are relationship would be slightly different if I chose to bottle feed. Along with the freedom of not having to make up bottles and worry about sterilising/prepping/running downstairs at night etc, the amazing bonding is without doubt the ultimate benefit for me.

The first skin to skin contact I had with Sofia was probably the most wonderful experience of my life and through breastfeeding I  get a little bit of that feeling every day. There is a lot of inconclusive research into the long term effects that breastfeeding has on a child emotional and behavioural development and I cannot help but feel that breastfeeding is giving Sofia a special bond of love, trust and confidence. The fact that at any time I can just lift up my top and instantly feed Sofia when she is hungry means that there is less crying and a definite sense of calm for all three of us.  At the moment we are co-sleeping; not necessarily to of choice at first but we are loving it now. For me this enhances the whole breastfeeding experience and only the other morning I we both had a lazy lie in with the sun shining through the window, both relaxed, content and in tune with each other; bliss.

To read more about the Breastfeeding scavenger hunt, check out he main site and help Keep Britain Breastfeeding.  There are lots of great articles from some great bloggers, here are just a few to get you started.

Thank you for reading.  Please comment and  complete the following Rafflecopter to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize, including a great prize from big book little book cardboard

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  1. My favourite benefit has got to be how easy it is!

    No preparation, no fuss, just whip out a boob and you're good to go. It solves problems instantly and is always ready when you need it. What could be easier? :)

  2. I love that fact I have time to play with and have fun with my toddler whilst nurturing and sustaining her baby brother, it gives me time I would never have if formula feeding

  3. I like the health benefits for me AND baby... But I also love the fact that I don't have to sterilise :)

  4. Its brilliant because you are not only doing the best for your child and yourself, you are also always prepared, you cant forget anything, you cant get the temperature or mixture wrong and you dont have to walk around the house when you are half-asleep to get a night feed set up. @bcd2009

  5. No sterilising bottles or having to get up in middle of night half asleep trying to make 1 and the fact i can still concentrate on doing things with my other kids as well!

  6. A great benefit of breastfeeding for me was joining my local breastfeeding group - I met lots of lovely mummies and made some real friends there.

  7. The nutrition you provde for your little one and the health benefits for you both are so priceless! But i also love the special time you get together and cant wait to have it all over again when bump decides to arrive : )

  8. So many great benefits, but I think my favourite is the bond it develops between mum and baby, can't wait to breast feed my baby boy, 3 weeks to go :-)

  9. Ah good luck with everything Robyn. Enjoy!