Monday, December 27, 2010


I love nursing my babies! After working in daycare for years before having my own kids, I couldn't wait to breastfeed my own babies. Because I had strong bonds with the children I cared for, I wondered if I would feel like I was just babysitting when I had my own kids. I thought breastfeeding would make me feel more like the mom and less like the babysitter. As it turns out, breastfeeding is not what makes me feel like the mom. The fact that my babies never LEAVE at the end of the day. That makes me feel like the mom. But I still think breastfeeding is awesome, and I'll tell you why.

Convenience. I have nothing to mix in, shake up, or warm up in the middle of the night. When we travel, we don't have to take a million bottles, nipples, and cans of formula. My milk is always ready, always the perfect temperature, and I don't have to try and fit it in my bag.

Cheap. Buying formula makes a big difference in your monthly budget. Breast milk is free. (As long as it's your own. Evidently, breast milk from a donor bank is expensive. Just ask Neil Patrick Harris.) Thanks to nursing and cloth diapers, Violet hasn't really impacted our monthly budget yet at all. So as long as we buy groceries to feed me, we're good.

Bonding. There are so many little things that make up the bond you have with your baby. Nursing can be a big part of that. When you nurse, you are forced to spend feeding time together. Yes, I often surf the internet and watch tv while I nurse. But I can't prop the bottle up for the baby and walk away, or hand Ryan my equipment and have him do it. (Although there are times I wish I could. But never fear, I have some milk in the freezer if I need a break.) And nothing beats the look on your baby's face when they first latch on. This is the best. thing. ever. To top it all off, your body actually releases a happy hormone while you're nursing that makes you feel closer to your baby.

Rest. What?! Yes, nursing can help you rest. Especially in the early weeks, it is so nice to be forced to sit down for about twenty or thirty minutes every two to three hours. I'm not even an over achiever, and I appreciate the forced time-out. And that same happy hormone that helps you bond also relaxes you.

Magic Milk. Did you know breast milk is magic? When I went to my family Christmas this year, I hugged and kissed all my snot nosed, carrier monkey nieces and nephews. My body then fought those nasties off for me, AND somehow knows how to tell my mammary glands what kind of milk to make to fight those specific nasties off for Violet. Seriously. I know it's true because I read it in a book. It's called So That's What They're For! by Janet Tamaro. Great book.

Just like any other parenting decision, you gotta do what works for you and your family. This is something that works for me, and I love every minute of it! So does Ryan, it means he never has to get up in the middle of the night with the baby. Lucky duck.


  1. Charity,
    Did you also know that when a baby is born prematurly, the mothers body produces milk with just the amount of fat content that the baby needs to pack on those pounds the premmies so desperatly need?
    Found that out by having a great nephew born a month early. Plus Audrey learned it in a nutrition class. Tell your friends--another good reason to nurse those little ones. :)

  2. Twenty-eight years later, I still remember those happy hormones and how much I looked forward to the forced quiet time. And look what my milk produced -- a savvy mama and a great writer!

  3. Charity
    Totally awesome. You are becoming an amazing momma and reaching out to so many others well let's say you totally Rock!!! So thankful you are Ryans wife and the beautiful momma of Nola and Violet!!

  4. Great post! The list of breastfeeding benefits to mama and baby is so long - I love yours! :)

    For mamas who are having supply issues or can't produce enough milk of their own for whatever, there's an alternative to pricey banked milk, too. Eats on Feets is a great way to find healthy, willing donors who are willing to offer their milk for free, or simply for the cost of the items needed (storage bags, etc).

  5. I nursed my babies. I agree with everything you said. It can be painful to start out with, and I think that is why so many give up on it. But if you can make it through that, the rewards are plentiful for everyone involved!

  6. I love that book! I recommend it to anyone who has questions or fears about breastfeeding. And I agree with everything else you said too. Just today I saw the concept of breastfeeding being good for the environment -- it makes senses (less waste, less energy to produce formula), but it was the first time I had heard it put that way.

  7. Such great comments! Good to know about the milk banks. And, yowzie it does hurt at first, doesn't it? I have also heard that breastfeeding cuts down on health care costs. It was a crazy huge number I don't remember of dollars saved annually in the US if more women would breastfeed. I'm assuming this is because breastfed babies are generally healthier. Anyway...blah blah. I already wrote my post I'll be quiet now. :)