To breastfeed your baby or not? Of course, each woman chooses and does what she can, so it is never about judging. If you want to breastfeed your baby, I want to reinforce your choice because breastfeeding is crucial for your baby, for you, and for society at large.
I came across the French edition of the booklet Breastfeeding by Elisabeth Alcaraz-Leroux. A few passages really jumped out at me as they are so important my friend my sister.
First, that booklet stresses the importance of putting your baby to the breast right after birth. Did you know that this is a beauty secret? I’ve experienced it twice: breastfeeding allows the uterus to move back into place inside our belly my friend my sister, so the belly can return to its pre-baby shape quickly: this is the involution of the uterus. This reduces the risk of hemorrhage for the mother. Of course, the baby also benefits from this!
Then, a baby breastfed on demand is not spoiled. Both of my children were breastfed on demand and they are not spoiled. Sometimes, on the contrary, I wonder if all these babies locked in a room all by themselves and set on a rigid breastfeeding or bottle feeding every 3 hours don’t become more easily narcissistic or worse. The booklet reminds us that providing love and security to a newborn child confirms to her that she did well to be born, that life is beautiful and that she is safe. She will have plenty of time to learn the difficulties of life afterwards. Starting out reassured makes it easier to face future obstacles.
Finally, a little point about premature babies since one of my children was born prematurely. It is possible to breastfeed a preemie. I had to fight to do it but it is worth it. They tried to force me to give him an absolutely disgusting bottle with fish protein, soy protein and other horrors by scaring me, trying to make me feel guilty by saying that if I didn’t give him this bottle he would have brain problems. My baby refused this filthy stuff and managed to learn to breastfeed in one night during which I didn’t sleep but I held on so he would learn. Of course I had to wait for him to come out of the incubator (during the incubator period I was pumping my milk), and even go on a mini hunger strike by not moving from the unit until they let me have him in the hospital room with me. Indeed, he was no longer intubated so he could come back with me. Finally they gave in to my determination. The book about breastfeeding teaches us that the body is so well made that the milk of the mother who gives birth to a premature baby is perfectly adapted to him by containing “6 times more proteins in the milk of a mother with a premature baby, as well as other elements”.To go further, there are many fantastic books to read when you are pregnant or a new mother, such as The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding from a charity you need to know, La Leche League. And then this book which I put into practice by breastfeeding my 3-year-old and newborn baby at the same time Adventures in Tandem Nursing: Breastfeeding During Pregnancy and Beyond.