It’s just days till my due date, the bags are packed, the nursery is complete, the pram is ready – all we need now is our baby girl.
As we play the waiting game, many questions arise… What will our daughter be like, will she cry a lot? Will she have her dad’s lovely smile? What kind of mother will I make? How painful is this birth really going to be? With so many questions and uncertainties around having our baby, one thing I’m sure of is that I’d really like to breastfeed.
I have been struck by the occasional question from friends asking whether I will choose to breastfeed my baby. To me, breastfeeding is just a natural extension of the conception, pregnancy and birth cycle so my response is: “well, I will at the very least give it my best shot”.
While I understand breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally and is something new mums and babies need to learn together, I sincerely hope I can establish a happy and easy breastfeeding relationship with my daughter as it seems to be the simplest way to assure her the best possible start in life.
We all hear that breast is best, but how important is breast milk really?
Well, from what I’ve gathered in the plethora of books, websites and brochures consumed throughout my pregnancy, breastmilk really is the best for baby as it contains the perfect blend of calories, vitamins and minerals which provide the all important protection at birth and prevent a number of diseases such as gastrointestinal and ear infections, asthma, allergies, diabetes and obesity.
Breastfeeding has also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS and not only does it benefit the health of the child, but the mother’s health benefits via a lowered risk of breast and ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and postnatal depression.
On top of this, breastfeeding is known to boost the feel good hormone of oxytocin which can calm the mother and child and make them feel great. The precious nature of breast milk is enhanced by the fact that it is an asset given by nature and has no price. There is no need to worry about infection or temperature or freshness.
When you factor all of these amazing benefits in, I wonder why wouldn’t you want to breastfeed?!
Although breastfeeding to me seems like the most natural thing in the world, I do recognise a little preparation wouldn’t go astray, so I have enrolled into a breastfeeding course to arm myself with as much information as possible before the birth.
Fingers crossed it all works out for us and we can reap the amazing rewards of breastfeeding.
In the meantime, back to putting up my feet and enjoying these final days of calm before the storm is upon us!
– by Sally Wood
Sally’s Diary of a New Breastfeeding Mum is sponsored by Medela.
Image credit: yarruta/123RF Stock Photo