The benefits of breastfeeding

To breast feed or not to breast feed? That is the question that every mother has to face with their new baby. Making sure your baby gets the right nutrition is an issue that TalkMum blogger Jax takes a look at this week.

 

I have breastfed all four of my children so far. Big for a year, Small and Smallest for nearly 2 1/2 each, and Tigerboy all his life (granted he's only 7 weeks old, but it's still an achievement). Throughout that time I've been a vegetarian - and not a very organised one at that - which probably has its own issues (- I'm not very organised in that I'm the only vegetarian in the family, so I've a habit of just eating what the rest of family eat but without the meat).

Breastfeeding has not always been easy. With Big I didn't know any other breastfeeders, and I got very little support. My other half (who was supportive) was out of the house from just after 6 am til 9pm each working day, so basically I was on my own with this small person who screamed at me a lot. It was not a good time. But I made it through, day by day, through sheer stubbornness - and I always thought it was the best thing for her.

That faith has been rocked this time around, when Tigerboy was referred to the hospital for investigations due to prolonged jaundice and low weight gain. You doubt everything about yourself and what you are doing at that point, and when a doctor started talking about formula it was nearly the last straw. But like I said, I'm stubborn, and I dug my heels in and we made it through. He's now putting on weight at the rate of an oz a day, which is great.

All this, though, has made me think more carefully about what I'm eating. I've started taking supplements again. I don't drink anything with caffeine, and barely any alcohol (- a wineglass of beer a couple of times a week). I've cut my chocolate back because it's empty calories and I'm trying to vary my protein sources, as well as getting plenty of fruit and veg as well as carbs for energy. Because the bottom line when you're breastfeeding is if you don't get it, they don't get it.

So, do you know what you're giving your little one to eat?

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benjy davila

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