Benefits of Breastfeeding

I’m a proud breastfeeding mom and am always happy to share or assist new mothers who want to nurse their babies. The benefits for mother and baby are amazing. I took four months maternity leave (last month was unpaid leave.) While I was on maternity leave, I contacted Human Resources and asked if there was a spare room I could use to pump. The accommodated me. I also sent a formal letter to HR and my boss letting them know I would need to take pumping breaks a few times throughout the day. When I returned to work, I also brought along my breast pump. I pumped every two hours. In the beginning, it was hard work. I did not pump as much as Aiyana could nurse. It was frustrating. I was fortunate; I read a lot of information, I went online and chatted with La Leche League lactation consultants, I used a variety of herbs to increase my lagging milk supply. It was hard work, but I managed, and Aiyana never had a formula.

Breastfeeding Facts

Studies have demonstrated some important health benefits of breastfeeding. Among them:

  • Breastfed children are more resistant to disease and infection early in life than formula-fed children
  • Breastfed children are less likely to contract some diseases later in life, including juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, and cancer before the age of 15
  • Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to develop osteoporosis later in life, can lose weight gained during pregnancy more easily and have a lower risk of breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.

I have been able to pass the knowledge I have learned from others on. A few years ago a friend’s daughter decided to breastfeed. Since my friend never breastfed her children, she asked if I would talk to her. I called her and told her to call me anytime if she ever had any questions or if she needed to vent. If I could not assist, I would point her in the right direction. She took me up on that offer and called me a few times.

When she returned to work, I loaned her my breast pump and told her to call me at work if she was having problems. In the beginning, she called me often. She was frustrated about pumping, being separated from her baby, working another “job” while at work. I told her about my experiences. I told her she was not alone. I also gave her a link to an online support forum called Pumping Moms. It’s for Pumping (breast pumping) Moms.

I think it is essential that we pass on the experiences we have had with others.