Mini Marts

Mini Marts
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why Breastfeed Your Baby?*

I am PRO breastfeeding! I believe it's the natural process God designed our bodies to feed our children. I know it takes A LOT of work in the beginning to get the milk flowing, get the baby to latch, find a routine that works for you and baby as well as the family that existed before the baby was born. It takes patience. All that being said, your baby is worth it!!

Sitting with Jeremy on my chest significantly increased my milk on the spot.
Often times I would need a new gown because I was leaking! 

I can speak of the patience, diligence, and determination it takes, from experience.  Early on in my pregnancy when people would ask I am going to breastfeed I would respond with,
"I am going to do my best." 
As I researched it more and heard more people's perspective my answer changed to,
"Why wouldn't I want to provide my absolute best for my baby?" 
I was determined that there was no other option.

At this point, I didn't know breastfeeding would be one of the many challenges I faced much sooner then my due date. I started having contraction during my 31st week of pregnancy. Jeremy was born on April 23, (my due date was June 2) at 34 weeks and in the NICU for 14 days. I had many lactation nurses come visit me. He was less then 2 hours old and I was pumping for 20 minutes every 3 hours. It took about 12 hours to pump 1 drop of colostrum from each side! What a discouragement! By now, I am exhausted from 21 hours of labor and 1.5 hours of pushing and dealing with the emotions of my baby being in the NICU for 6 weeks (that's what they were telling us)! My patience was very thin and pumping was making me feel useless as a mommy!
Then a wonderful lactation nurse came in and said, "The ONE thing you can do to keep your baby healthy is pump! Even one drop will help tremendously. Don't give up!" My body knew what Jeremy needed to get better and was producing everything he needed! God's perfect food for my baby. That lactation nurse must have been an angel! My milk increased in volume within the next 5 hours and I felt so much better! That was when my mind was set back, there was NO other option! I would breastfeed Jeremy no matter what it took.
For the first 12 days Jeremy had a feeding tube.
We tried to get him to latch but he wasn't strong enough to eat, he would rather sleep.
The vile that Bobby is holding has BM in it and it goes down the tube through his nose into his tummy. 
I pumped religiously every 3 hours for 20 minutes for all 14 of those days. There were days I wouldn't even have 1oz with both sides combined but the benefits of breastmilk over formula are so monumental in a baby's development, I keep persevering. When Jeremy came home (Mother's day weekend!) we were so elated! Now I was even more confident in my milk supply. Since he was with me, he was able to drain my ducts more effectively then the pump. Don't get me wrong there were still days I felt like I wasn't supplying enough and he was always hungry. My little picture of feeding every three hours was fading because I thought he wasn't getting enough.  I read and heard from so many people that feeding on demand tells my body to produce more because the baby needs it. Plus, now the "milk hormones" (prolactin) were flowing since he was at my breast with each feeding. I would call the lactation nurses to get advice quite often. They would say, "Jeremy was a 34-weeker, right?" "And how much are you supplementing?" I'd say, "None." To which they responded." Really?? That is so unheard of. So many moms give up while their babies are in the NICU because it too hard." This, of course, made me feel so good. I wish I could say he had NO formula his entire life but there were days in the NICU I didn't pump enough. We were able to get a prescription for donated breastmilk the first few days! SO incredibly thankful for those women that donate!

6 days old and he took a bottle of pumped milk!
But it he exerted too much energy and didn't eat on his own the rest of the day.
Still it was a step!
I am so happy to say I successfully breastfeed Jeremy for 14 months. I stopped at this point because we wanted to get pregnant again. I wish I had continued longer. I will with the baby that's on the way!

All this to give you encouragement that YOU CAN DO IT! And it is SO worth it! I honestly believe the Lord gave me this experience to help lift other Mommy's spirits. There was so much peace in my heart once I spoke with that lactation nurse that told me the best thing I could do was pump. pump, pump for my little guy fighting for his life!
It's so convenient to feed the baby when you are out and about. Here we were hiking while camping.
No bottles, water temperature, making sure there is enough powder to last.
Jeremy is 10 weeks old here.

Here are my reasons why "The Breast is Best":
  1. Your milk is specifically designed by God for your baby! It's packed with living cells hat protect against illness, especially respiratory. My milk had exactly the nutrients and antibodies that Jeremy needed (born at 34 weeks) to grow into the healthy little 2 year old he is today!
  2. The bonding time you get with your child during this time can never be replaced!
  3. It's a reason to get some time with your baby during family gatherings! Haha!
  4. You are providing everything that little baby needs to survive.
  5. It's biblical: 1 Kings 3:21, Genesis 21:7, Job 3:12, Song of Solomon 8:1, Luke 11:27
  6. Less spit up and constipation because it digests easier them formula.
  7. Reduces risk of allergies, type 1 diabetes, asthma, leukemia, SIDS and obesity. 
  8. BFing supports better teeth and jaw development therefore children have fewer problems with snoring, sleep apnea, and need less orthodontic work in the future. 
  9. Helps cut the baby weight! BF burns 500 calories a day!
  10. Baby's poop and spit up smells better then formula.
  11. Peace of mind if there is an emergency. Just hook baby up! 
One day, I would love to take the classes necessary to become a lactation consultant! This is not the season of life I can swing it! In the meantime, I research and help as many mommy friends I can! If you need help or a dice, I'd love to help! Email me:

Here are a few sites that have some great advice:
Human Milk for Human Babies

Here is a post of mine with nursing helpmates!

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