The Not-So-Terrible Two’s!

two years old

Does every age become your favorite age as your child grows? It seems like your child can’t be any greater, you finally are in a groove with how to meet their needs at one age range, this age is your absolute favorite, then boom, you are two months into their next stage of development. New challenges arise with each stage and those challenges can be completely overwhelming but also bring new levels of joy.

My son, Archer, is now 2. This is the age I have been dreading. The “terrible two’s” were something I fully believed in and had experience with. Through my years working with children, it was the age I despised being in charge of. They were always so fast, agile, and curious but their communication skills were never to the standards we both needed. That lack of communication always made emotions high, because they truly wanted you to be able to understand their wants and needs. It seemed like every two year old I knew had tantrums, hit, and bit multiple times a day. So, you can see why I was dreading this stage as a stay at home mom.

Today, as I was nursing my little boy for his nap and he kept smiling at me, hugging me, and gently rubbing my face in the same way I was rubbing his, I was struck by how much I love him being 2. Yes, he does have extreme emotions, but I have been fortunate his sign language and oral communication have been a little advanced for his age; however, that also means when he doesn’t understand why we are preventing him from doing something or we can’t figure out which new word he is saying, he can have a total meltdown.  Along with these extreme levels of anger and sadness comes so much love and happiness. I have never seen a child who is so affectionate. He gives hugs and kisses like he needs them to stay alive. He also loves to be “funny,” as he calls it. He is constantly wrestling, tickling, and licking those he loves just to make us smile and laugh.

Another wonderful part of the not-so-terrible two’s, are how interests and desires to learn about the world really starts to develop. My son is now obsessed with tractors, trucks, cars, trains, and airplanes. He can now identify them in person, from images, and from their sounds (he even learned how to start the truck and tractor and operate most of the controls). He also has a fascination with cleaning and using tools. He wants to know just how they work and where to put everything away when tidying.

With each age there are obstacles, 100% dependence during infancy, high emotions due to communication issues during the toddler years, confusion while trying to understand the world and find independence during childhood, and dealing with extreme hormonal shifts and learning to become an adult during the teenage years; however, with each age blossoms a variety of  beautiful and amazing personality traits. We all need to take time each day to see the good in our child, focusing on how they bring joy and light into our lives. Parenting is hard enough; don’t make it harder by dwelling on the negative. I don’t believe the terrible two’s are so terrible.

The not so terrible two's.

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Tree of Life Breastfeeding Photos

I am obsessed with the “Tree of Life Breastfeeding” photos. They are all absolutely beautiful and unique. They are such personal and exquisite images, many moms are having them printed on canvas. (You can order your customized canvas print here.)

Based on my Facebook newsfeed, the Tree of Life pictures are causing more tension in the mommy world. Some feel it is a way to shame mothers who exclusively formula-feed and others are in an uproar about the tree of life being used on bottles, feeling it is a breast exclusive image.

First, the concept has nothing to do with shaming mothers who only  formula-feed. It is to help show the beauty in breastfeeding and a representation of the anatomy of the breast and lactation process. The roots of the tree are the glands and milk ducts of the breast, the trunk is the nipple, and the leaves represent the milk flowing into our baby’s mouth. (Please continue reading and look at my images to see my complete view on the use of the tree of life image.)

tree-of-life-breast

Second, when the tree of life is placed over a bottle, how do you know formula was in that bottle? It could be the mother’s own pumped milk or donor milk. More importantly, how do you know that the mother did not try everything in her ability to exclusively breastfeed?

Trust me, I know the science, breastmilk is far superior to formula. However, having a fed and nourished baby is the most important part of the feeding process. So many mothers struggle with breastfeeding. For generations breastfeeding was seen as taboo and formula was pushed. Women lost the knowledge and support they need to succeed. Many women that start breastfeeding don’t even know what a Lactation Consultant does, what a proper latch should feel and look like, or how to look for lip and tongue ties (many LCs and pediatricians don’t even know how to properly diagnose ties). If you are new to breastfeeding, please find your support system, “IGT and Low Milk Supply Support Group” and a few other breastfeeding Facebook groups were a godsend for me; I also highly recommend you read “Making More Milk.” Instead of judging another mother for how she feeds her child, take the time to ask her questions and maybe provide her information about what the “Tree of Life” image represents, and if she is receptive, how she can gain the knowledge and support for her next baby.

tree-of-life-1

My breastfeeding journey has been complicated. As I have learned over the past 24 months, breastfeeding doesn’t always look the same for everyone. My son was born with severe lip and tongue ties, which resulted in him becoming failure to thrive and loosing weight from month 1 to month 2. The doctors never diagnosed him and were oblivious even after his first revision. I did my own research, diagnosed him myself, and took him to a dental specialist for revisions.

tree-of-life-2

The first time we tried giving him a bottle of the little milk I could pump, my husband had to physically flair our son’s lips out but he still couldn’t take a bottle. We ended up giving his supplement with an eyedropper.  It took a lot of training to get him to ever use a bottle. During our 10 months of supplementation we used the little I could pump, donor breastmilk, and by recommendation of his pediatrician, a homemade goat’s milk formula.

tree-of-life-4

 

tree-of-life-3

I also worked with him on using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). I had to make sure to keep it lower than him or he didn’t have to work for the milk. I wanted to make sure he was nursing from me and use the system to help increase my milk production after it dropped to 4 ounces per day. Part of my challenge was keeping the system hidden until he was latched, then inserting the tube into the corner of his mouth without him knowing, otherwise he pulled off. (You can buy your SNS here.)

tree-of-life-5

My breastfeeding journey hasn’t ended. It was very bumpy at times but the entire process was worth it. At two years old he is still nursing on demand about 3 or 4 times a day (he self-weaned from the bottle at 11 months).  The pictures of our journey stir so many emotions in me. The Tree of Life pictures are a perfect way of turning that journey into beautiful art, even if part of that journey involved a bottle and formula.

I have seen so many unique Tree of Life pictures. Each picture means something special to the family involved. I have seen some with pregnant mothers, g-tubes, and even one used with placenta during a delayed cord clamping ceremony.

Let’s take the time to honor how beautiful each of these pictures are and let families create the art they feel comfortable with. You haven’t participated in their journey, so you don’t know what that photo edit means to them.

How to create your own Tree of Life Breastfeeding Photo

(I did not create my Tree of Life images, Facebook friends did it for me, but I have read the instructions posted multiple times. Also, there is a Facebook group called, “Milky Art – Tree of Life,” where you can share your creations and get help editing your images.

  • Download the PicsArt app onto your phone.
  • Download a free tree with roots image.
  • Upload the image you want to edit.
  • Click “Add Photo” and add your tree image.
  • Click “Blend” then press “Multiply.” (The white background should disappear.)
  • Rotate your tree to fit across your breast and your babies head. You can bring the  leaves up into your babies head or keep it on their cheek.
  • Use the eraser, located on the top left-hand of the screen, to edit and crop tree to make it fit better.
  • Click the “Magic” button and choose the effect you want to use. My pictures all have the “Midnight” effect. There are multiple options such as “Rainbow.”
  • Save your completed image.
  • Enjoy sharing and printing your Tree of Life Breastfeeding Image.

What does your “Tree of Life” image mean to you? Feel free to share any of your creations.

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Cilantro Mushroom Salad and Avocado Cilantro Dip

I’m in love with both this Cilantro Mushroom Salad and the Avocado Cilantro Dip, so is my 21 month old son!

Our family’s Holistic Dentist requested we follow the Weston A. Price diet. After her request and researching how to cure tooth decay naturally (read “Cure Tooth Decay” and “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”) my family is taking Fermented Cod Liver Oil and Butter Oil Blend (you can find the number one recommended brand in gel form here and encapsulated form here) and learning to eat with the nutritional guidelines established by Dr. Weston A. Price. You can learn about him and his research  at WestonAPrice.org.

Salad and Dip

While browsing through Nourishing Traditions (the cookbook that follows the Dr. Weston A. Price diet), I found a recipe for Mushroom Salad. I rarely follow a recipe exactly and I didn’t need to make enough for 4 people, just enough for 1, plus what little my toddler would eat. I added cilantro, used spinach instead of lettuce, and  drizzled a little mango vinaigrette on top. I decided to combine my Cilantro Mushroom Salad with a Cilantro Avocado Dip, to make sure I had my healthy fats for the day. Can you tell I love cilantro?

(* are organic and found at my local Wal-Mart.)

Cilantro Mushroom Salad

  • 2 Cups Spinach, chopped*
  • 1 White Button Mushroom (about 1/2 cup), chopped*
  • 1 Carrot Stick (about 5 1/2 inches long), finely chopped*
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Green Onion, chopped (about 1 tsp)*
  • Mango Vinaigrette Dressing

Combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Nutrition Information (without the Mango Vinaigrette Dressing)

Serving Size 1
Amount per Serving                    DV%
Calories                      28.5     1%
Carbohydrates                10.9g     2%
Protein                      13.4g     7%
Dietary Fiber                 3.2g    13%
Total Fat                      .4g     0%
Saturated Fat                   0g     0%
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids   43.8mg 
Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids  121.8mg
Cholesterol                     0g     0%
Vitamin A             14,056.25 IU 280.6%
Vitamin C                  21.24mg 35.25%
Vitamin E                    1.5mg     8%
Vitamin K                298.88mcg   375%      
Riboflavin                    .3mg     9%   
Niacin                       2.2mg    10%
Vitamin B6                    .3mg     9%
Folate                     73.6mcg  18.1%
Calcium                       77mg     8%
Iron                         1.9mg    12%
Magnesium                   56.5mg     9%
Phosphorus                 262.3mg     6%
Potassium                  607.6mg  18.1%
Sodium                        60mg     2%
Zinc                          .7mg     4%
Copper                        .1mg     6%
Manganese                     .7mg    30%

 

Avocado Cilantro Dip

  • 1 Avocado*
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • Carrot Sticks*, Bell Pepper Slices*, or Chia Seed Chips*

Combine the avocado, cilantro, and lemon juice, mashing and mixing with a fork. Eat with carrot sticks, bell pepper slices, or Chia Seed Chips.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1
Amount per Serving             DV%
Calories              322      16%
Carbohydrates       17.6g       6%
Protein              4.3g      23%
Dietary Fiber       13.9g    55.5%
Total Fat             30g      45%
Saturated Fat        4.3g      21%
Monounsaturated Fat 19.8g
Polyunsaturated Fat  3.7g
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids 222.2mg
Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids 3,404.6mg
Cholesterol         0.0mg       0%
Vitamin A       1,237.5IU      25%
Vitamin C          25.1mg    41.5%
Vitamin E          4.55mg      22%
Vitamin K         85.6mcg   107.5%
Thiamin              .1mg       9%
Riboflavin           .3mg      15%
Niacin              3.5mg      17%
Vitamin B6           .5mg      26%
Folate           171.7mcg      43%
Calcium            33.5mg       3%
Iron                1.4mg     7.5%
Magnesium         61.95mg      16%
Phosphorus        111.7mg    10.5%
Potassium         1,048mg      30%
Sodium            20.55mg     1.5%
Zinc               1.35mg     9.5%
Copper              .45mg    20.5%
Manganese           .35mg      17%
Selenium            .8mcg       1%

Let me know what your family thinks of the Avocado Cilantro Dip and Cilantro Mushroom Salad. Also, what type of salad dressing do you think enhances the flavor best and what is your favorite food to eat the dip with?

(Nutrition Calculations made using NutritionData.com.)

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Dear Stranger, MY BREASTS ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

Dear Stranger, My breasts are none of your business. Dear Stranger,

MY BREASTS ARE NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

I’m so tired of myself and other breastfeeding mothers getting bullied by strangers, like you, over the internet, or even in public. Seriously, how is the fact I am using my breasts for the purpose they are designed for, nourishing and comforting my child, any of your business?

You claim it is “indecent exposure.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary has two definitions for “indecent exposure.” First, “indecent exposure” is defined as, “Intentional exposure of part of one’s body (as the genitals) in a place where such exposure is likely to be an offense against the generally accepted standards of decency.” This definition refers to social norms and morals. However, I am not sitting in a restaurant or walking around the park butt naked.  I am fully clothed. Men go without shirts all the time, yet, you don’t say they are being indecent. The difference between male and female breasts are well developed mammary glands and fat. Is it the soft fat you are against, because both males and females have nipples and areolas?

The second definition of indecent exposure is a legal one, “The crime of showing your sexual organs to other people in public.” Legally, many states allow women to be topless in public. An article in The New York Times discusses the legality of women going topless and how the police force was instructed not to arrest topless women. You can also find a list of states that women being topless is legal, such as New York, Texas, Louisiana, California, and Oregon. For a complete list go here. Also, like hands and mouths, breasts can be used for sexual purposes, but that is not their only use, or even their primary use. You don’t ask people to wear gloves or a mask when in public. You don’t look at hands and mouths and automatically think of sex; so why pervert breasts?

In my home state of Texas, it is legal for me to be topless in public, but I personally don’t feel comfortable with that type of freedom outside of my home (probably because breasts have been over sexualized and I was ridiculed for their small size and not really developing until I was 18). To any woman that has that type of physical confidence, I salute you. So, I do wear a shirt in public, usually spaghetti straps that are loose and low enough for my son to nurse easily; because of the need for it to stretch I do have cleavage showing. My cleavage never seems to turn heads; however, when I latch my son on to my breast I have gotten negative stares and comments. My question for you is, how is my cleavage socially excepted, but when my son’s large head covers more of my breast than the spaghetti strap shirt I am wearing does, or what you would see if you were at the pool with me, how do my breasts magically become obscene?

Another complaint I have seen stated on social media is that breastfeeding in public, specifically in a restaurant, is unsanitary for everyone eating. Really!? My breasts and the nourishing milk being consumed by my child is contaminating your food? This is a preposterous idea. The only way it would be unsanitary is if I went around squirting my breastmilk in your face and on your food. However, knowing all of the amazing benefits and how I have used my milk for wound care and infection, not just on my child, but also on myself and my husband, you would most likely be reaping the benefit from my liquid gold. Trust me, my breast milk is going into my child’s mouth. It isn’t like a faucet. I’m not turning my breasts on and letting milk spew everywhere. Most nursing mothers only leak during the first few months, while she is establishing supply. During this time, we wear nursing pads in our bras, not to keep things sanitary, but to keep our shirts dry.

Also, Stranger, don’t tell me to cover with a blanket. Would you like to eat with your head under a blanket? I live in Texas and my son is a little heater, neither one of us would enjoy sweating while our skin is pressed together. Not to mention, my son hates blankets and was scared of the dark the first year of his life. He refuses to even sleep with a blanket on his legs. By the way, I’m also going to say a big fat, “NO” to nursing in the bathroom. Now that would truly be disgusting and unsanitary (poop and pee particles flying in the air when a toilet without a lid is flushed). My child has the right to eat when he is hungry, in a clean environment, just like everyone else. Just because he is a child doesn’t make him less important than you.  Breastfeeding is a God-given right and protected by law. I am not going to shame my child to make you feel secure. I am not responsible for your comfort or happiness. I can only be responsible for myself and my family.

I have also seen the word “PUMP” too many times to count from anti-breastfeeding supporters like you. WE AREN’T DAIRY COWS! Pumping isn’t easy. So, I’m going to do my thing and give you a little education on breastfeeding and pumping:

  • A healthy baby is always more sufficient at removing milk from the breast than a pump can ever be. The average most women can pump per SESSION, not per breast, is 1-3 ounces. Kellymom.com shows the average exclusively breastfed baby takes in 25 ozs per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months; while the typical range of breastmilk intake is 19-30 ozs per day. It takes 15-30 minutes to accomplish one pump session. If you are Power Pumping to increase supply, it takes 1 hour. That is a lot of time attached to a pump.
  • Babies nurse when they are hungry. Nursing on demand helps establish supply. Milk has to be removed for the breasts to create more and know how much and how often to produce milk. For this to work when pumping, a mother needs to pump every time her child takes a bottle. This is difficult to do, especially if the mother isn’t in a location pumping is possible.
  • maymom flange sizeNot all women respond to a pump. Lack of response can be due to stress, comfort, or physicality, such as nipple size. To find the perfect fitting flange measure the diameter of your nipple and use a flange size 2-3 mm larger. This is an issue for me. I have a 10 mm nipple diameter. The smallest flange currently made is a 15mm flange, found here. It is still too large for me. It takes me pumping for 4 hours just to produce 1 oz. That is a waste of my time, that I could otherwise use to spend time with my baby.
  • Pumping is expensive. I was gifted a $200 pump, from the demand of my son’s pediatrician I purchased a medical grade pump that was another $200 at the time (the price has gone down since then and it is the number one recommended pump in my low supply group of nearly 7,000 women), plus a $70 pump that I used to be hands-free, a bottle and pump parts sterilizer, which can hold multiple size bottles and and Pura Kiki metal baby bottles, a bottle warmer, and purchased bras that allowed me nurse and hold my pump flanges in place for $60 each.

Many anti-breastfeeding supporters don’t even recommend pumping, they automatically push for formula. Let’s be honest, formula can’t come close to touching the benefits of breastmilk.

  • Unlike formula, breastmilk provides natural antibodies that help your baby resist illness (my son didn’t have his first cold until he was 19 months old and it only lasted 2 days).
  • Breastmilk may lower the risk of SIDS.
  • Breastmilk can more easily be digested than formula, resulting in less constipation and gas.
  • People who were breastfed have a reduced risk of being overweight, and of developing asthma, diabetes, high cholesterol, leukemia, and lymphoma.
  • Breastfeeding helps mothers reduce their risk of breast and ovarian cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

Don’t get me wrong. I feel there is a time and place for formula. My son had a genuine medical need for it. He was failure to thrive from month 1 through month 4. He was born with severe lip and tongue ties, so after the 4-week mark, when my hormones were no longer controlling my milk production and he had to nurse efficiently to keep my supply up, unknowingly my supply dwindled and he was starving. Before his ties were revised he couldn’t even take a bottle of my pumped milk, we were having to use a syringe to supplement him. Once formula came into the mix we discovered he could not have dairy or soy based formula. We ended up using a homemade goat’s milk formula that his pediatrician recommended. At one point my supply was down to 4 ozs per day, but through pumping (even just for stimulation), using a SNS for supplementation delivery, and taking various galactagogue I managed to bring my supply up to around 12-15 ounces per day by the time he was 5 months old. In the end he weaned himself off formula by 11 months and besides table food, at 20 months he exclusively breastfeeds on demand.

Stranger, I am not going to become a hermit and stop living in the real world, just because part of my motherly responsibility is to provide nourishment and comfort to the special little human I created. I would never ask you to stay home just because you can only view breasts with a sexual mind.

I hope you have read this with an open mind and heart. If you can’t and haven’t learned anything, then please just turn your head, keep on scrolling, and keep your mouth shut and fingers off the keyboard. I promise, as long as you aren’t looking too long or directly in the nursing zone, you won’t see a nipple.

For more information on the benefits of nursing read my previous article.

References:

Bonita, K., BS, IBCLC. (2016, February 3). How much expressed milk will my baby need? • KellyMom.com. Retrieved August 21, 2016, from http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/

Breastfeeding Longer Seems to Help Protect Against Breast Cancer. (2014, September 4). Retrieved August 21, 2016, from http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/20130904-4

Cerini, C. (2013, August 11). Breast Milk: Proactive Immunomodulation and Mucosal Protection Against Viruses and Other Pathogens. Retrieved August 21, 2016, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814970_2

Goodman, J. D. (2013, May 15). See Topless Woman? Just Move On, Police Are Told. Retrieved August 21, 2016, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/16/nyregion/a-police-roll-call-reminder-women-may-go-topless.html?_r=0

Todd, N., MD (Ed.). (2016, May 11). Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding. Retrieved August 21, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/baby/breastfeeding-vs-formula-feeding#1

Topless Laws – GoTopless. (n.d.). Retrieved August 21, 2016, from http://gotopless.org/topless-laws

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What I Love About Breastfeeding


What I Love About BreastfeedingIt is World Breastfeeding Week!!! During this week women around the world will share brelfies (breastfeeding selfies), stories, and words of encouragement; through BigLatchOn.org, women will also meet on August 5 and August 6, 2016 to have a public group nursing session (or pumped milk), all in an effort to #NormalizeBreastfeeding and provide the education and community support nursing and pumping mothers need. Yes, #FedIsBest, and I will discuss formula use in another post (I have a love-hate relationship with formula and for several months it was needed to keep my son alive), but for now let’s focus on the miracle that is breastmilk.

Here is what I love about breastfeeding:

  • There are a variety of ways to make sure your baby is receiving “liquid gold”: exclusively breastfeeding, tandem nursing, pumping and giving breastmilk in a bottle, syringe, abdominal feeding tube, or SNS, and with donor milk.
  • There really is a bond created from nursing. Yes, you can have a bond while feeding your child from a bottle, I’ve been there and done that. However, there is something deeper and more fulfilling knowing their nourishment is coming from your breast (the reason we have them) and having their soft, warm body and fuzzy hair pressed against your bare skin helps keep you in the moment, staring into their eyes and watching their delicate movements.
  • Community support! There is a large community of breastfeeding mothers and breastfeeding advocates and educators. I have met many wonderful women through online support groups and breastfeeding community events.
  • Nursing Gymnastic!?! Usually after they start crawling, and definitely after they are walking, baby starts moving around the breast more and getting in the weirdest positions. Now at 20 months old, my son likes to nurse with his legs next to my head, while lying on his back, somehow nursing upside down; he also likes to nurse doing Downward-Facing Dog Pose, with his butt in the air, occasionally with one leg in the air. My son’s nursing gymnastics makes me laugh and puts a smile on my face. Sometimes, it makes him laugh too, since he loves being silly.
  • For us, I am his comfort. My son doesn’t have a favorite toy or like pacifiers. When he gets hurt, is upset, or needs reassurance a quick hug or comfort nurse (typically just a few seconds) is all he needs to sooth himself. I don’t have to worry about making sure we have extra pacifiers or that his teddy bear is with us. When my low supply was requiring us to supplement, comfort nursing was a wonderful self-esteem booster, since I was having a lot of body-hate at the time.
  • No waiting! As long as you aren’t pumping, and breast milk comes straight from the source, it is instantaneous, on demand. It was a pain making sure we had homemade goat’s milk formula prepared and waiting when our son had to supplement. When he was hungry and I was hooked to a pump, it made it even more difficult. When that stage of our nursing journey was over I was ecstatic. He now can nurse whenever he desires.
  • It’s free! Well, it’s free as long as you are exclusively breastfeeding, not pumping, or having to take galactagogues (supplements to increase milk supply).
  • Breastmilk provides baby with energy in the morning and helps relax them for sleep at night.
  • Breastmilk has multiple uses. Not only have I and many mothers I know used breastmilk to nourish our children, we have used it to help heal scratches, eye-colds, sinus issues, ear aches, and skin issues.
  • Baby’s source of nutrition and hydration cannot be lost, 100% emptied, or forgotten. If we are outside playing and he gets thirsty, it’s easy enough to nurse him and continue on with our business. I don’t have to worry about packing extras bottles or water for quick trips. My breasts are always with me! I also don’t have to worry about if plastic water bottles have been left in the heat of a car (all plastic leaches) or if we can find clean water to refill our glass/metal bottles.
  • Nursing, typically, makes mom happy and relaxed. Prolactin, the love hormone, and Oxytocin, the hormone that makes you happy, relaxed, and sometimes sleepy, are released with letdown.
  • Antibodies!!! Our breastmilk creates antibodies, helping little ones fight off illness and/or get well quicker. My son didn’t have his first cold until he was 19 months and it only lasted 2 days, despite hubby and I having been ill 2 or 3 other times. Tips: If you exclusively pump, wipe the inside of your baby’s mouth a few times a day and rub their saliva on your nipples before pumping, to help your body develop the antibodies your baby needs. Even when I was only producing 4oz per day, I knew that little bit of milk my son was getting from me was keeping his immune system strong.
  • Breastfeeding decreases Momma’s breast cancer risk! Studies show the longer you nurse, the greater you decrease your chances of developing breast cancer, and if you are genetically predisposed the average age of breast cancer is increased to later in life. Decreased estrogen production and a healthier lifestyle are thought to contribute to breastfeeding’s benefits.
  • Unlike formula, breastmilk is constantly changing for our child’s needs. The nutrition levels for a newborn are different than that of a 20 month old. Even the water content can be different depending on the child’s need. This has been a wonderful comfort while my 20 month old has had a decrease appetite due to teething and Texas’s heat. At least I know he is still getting calories and nutrition from me. (I have seen pictures of breastmilk from mothers who tandem nurse a newborn and a toddler, each having one specific breast, and the pumped milk will look different due to the gold hue of the colostrum created for the newborn.)
  • Nursing can prolong the return of your menstrual cycle. Yes, some women get their’s back within 3 months postpartum; I was lucky to not see mine return until 20 months postpartum; while I have heard of a few women who didn’t get their cycles back until a few months after they stopped breastfeeding. No matter what, time without worrying about cramping or remembering to be prepared for accidents, is a time we can all be grateful for.
  • Finally, I absolutely love when my son looks up at me and smiles while nursing. It melts my heart.

What do you love about breastfeeding?

References:

Bonita, K. (2016, July 20). Increasing Low Milk Supply • KellyMom.com. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

Breastfeeding Longer Seems to Help Protect Against Breast Cancer. (2014, September 4). Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://www.breastcancer.org/research-news/20130904-4

Cerini, C. (2013, August 11). Breast Milk: Proactive Immunomodulation and Mucosal Protection Against Viruses and Other Pathogens. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/814970_2

Lothian, J. A. (2005, Winter). The Birth of a Breastfeeding Baby and Mother. Retrieved August 04, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1595228/

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