To Breastfeed, Or Not To Breastfeed

The shirt tug

“I don’t care if a million people are in this room, I want that milk!” – Baby

Breastfeeding like pregnancy involves sacrifices. We are urged to avoid alcohol and most medications, as they may be passed to baby through the breast milk. And many of us go as far as to avoid caffeine or beauty products which contain various chemicals. To some women, this may all be easy, no big deal. But there is ALWAYS a moment where we wish we didn’t have these restrictions. Let’s break down the pro’s and con’s about breastfeeding, shall we?

Pro – The bonding. Don’t get me wrong, there are several other ways we bond with baby, but the suckling baby on your breast is one of the most loving and tranquil moments in time.

Con – No medication. That’s right, those cold meds, decongestants and allergy meds are off limits. Being a sick mommy is a tough gig in itself, but take away most medicines and that makes the job so much tougher. But we tough it out for the greatest cause.

Pro – It truly is “liquid gold”. Breast milk as we all are aware of, offers an amazing start for our babies. And it’s particularly wonderful for their immune systems.

Con – Impromptu cocktails are a distant memory. Every drop of alcohol consumed is carefully calculated and scheduled around feeding and pumping. Guess I’ll settle for the designated driver position, as usual.

Pro – I’m full of milk which equals big, full boobies! A night on the town in a low-cut top just got a lot hotter.

Con – Ouch! From bites to scratches to kicks in the face, over time the abuse grows.  As baby grows, the limbs flail and biting gets harder.  Most of the time it is accidental, but it hurts nonetheless.

Pro – Studies show that breastfeeding can lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer.  Amazing, right?

Con – Ooh, how hot is that new Victoria Secret pushup bra? Oh wait, these milk jugs still require the boring nursing bras I’ve been wearing forever.

Pro – Convenience factor. It’s so nice not having to pack up those bottles and worry about where to warm them. My little one has been fed in so many random places and at warped speed which makes on-the-go feeding so awesome.

Con – The shirt tug. As baby grew older, she began pulling down my shirt to get to the goods. I’m talking in the store, at restaurants, those tiny hands were quick!

Pro – Saving money, lots of money! Formula is expensive, so it has been so nice to save on that monthly expense. That money saved went straight into my coffee fund which is essential these days.

ConMastitis and clogged ducts. Most breastfeeding women will encounter at least one of these two issues and they are both awful.

Those are just 12 reasons that came to mind.  But I will say that no matter how many con’s I come up with, The pro’s always win out.  And hey, breastfeeding isn’t for everyone.  This post should in no way insult those of you who have opted out of breastfeeding or weaned early.  It is merely to point out some of the up’s and down’s we women go through when breastfeeding.  And after almost 2 years of nursing my daughter, I have weighed all of these out in my head.  At times I wanted to throw in the towel, but making this list made it easier for me to see light around the corner.  Knowing that the mastitis would clear and I’d be peacefully nursing my girl to sleep, or that cocktails will always be there awhile my baby would soon grow up…small sacrifices in my book.

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