As my due date creeps every closer I am thinking more and more about life once bump arrives. One of the main things that occupies my thoughts is feeding - Breast vs Bottle
I have been pretty sure since I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to breast feed bump, the health benefits for both you and the baby are astronomical and reason enough to give it a go but it is also free and readily available. I won't lie, I have had some anxieties on the matter - as with many things pregnancy related made worse by "helpful" advice from friends that they had tried and hated it.
Many of my friends bottle fed their babies, when I think about it I can only remember 1 friend who has breast fed both her boys, I remember going to visit once and us just sitting around chatting whilst she breast fed, it seemed so natural. Most of my friends reasons for bottle feeding seemed to be for ease - a common reason seems to be "I tried but the constant feeling of a baby attached to my boob was too much", funnily enough I had expected many to complain about the pain but that seemed low down the list of reasons they did not try or turned to the bottle.
We recently had our breast feeding session during our antenatal classes and once that had finished I felt empowered and informed, ready to tackle any issues that would arise whilst feeding. Everything they were telling us made sense!!!
How many of you go 4 hours without eating or drinking something?!? No-one - why to we expect babies to feed every 4 hours?! If you were hungry or thirsty how would you feel if someone told you you had to wait?! Pretty unhappy I'd guess. Also with bottle feeding there is a huge emphasis on amounts - we go through days where we have loads to eat and drink but others we have little - again why do we expect babies to have Xoz every feed. Even bottle fed babies need feeding in the night, I know you can take a flask of hot water up to bed with you to make the bottle when needed but it still seems like a bit of a faff
Breast feeding allows you to have that skin to skin contact with your baby, what could be more amazing?! It gives your baby all the nutrients they need and it builds their immunity. Yes you will probably have to feed more often but in the grand scheme of things for those precious months isn't it worth it?
Another important tip we took from the antenatal class was that never remove the baby from the breast, they will come off when they are full - the best and fattest part of the breast milk is towards the end of the feed. The woman who took the class stated the best thing you can do after birth is have baby placed on your stomach and they will work their way up to the breast and latch on, at the end of the day we are mammals, the thought of this was amazing to me, I have no idea if it will work but I think I'd like to give it a try. Latching on appears to be all about getting the right angle, making sure the baby tilts their head back and is massaging the underneath part of your breast not the nipple. As long as you get the latch on right there should be no pain
I understand that breast feeding is not for everyone, it might not work for me but I want to try - anything that is good for baby is worth it I think.