Bring out the boobies!

Selfies and donuts have their own national days dedicated to them but when breastfeeding goes from having one day to turning into World Breastfeeding Week; that's kind of a big deal.  At least for us mommies who have decided to give our boobies to our babies.

"Oh, it's such a deep, unique connection between you and baby"  "It will get easier... just don't stress."  During the first month but especially the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding, I wanted to hear none of it.  Breastfeeding was torturous, not only for me, but it seemed like it was for baby Achilles as well.  He was latching on for a whole hour giving me at most an hour break before he was already sobbing for milk again.  I knew I wanted to breastfeed because of all the benefits so I once again put on my big girl panties and powered through the pain, discomfort and tears (both from me and baby).  One day I woke up and every breastfeeding mother's nightmare came true for me.  I suddenly dried up!  More tears from me as I felt like a bad mom for not being able to feed my baby.  When I finally calmed down, I called a lactating consultant who, matter of factly as if she already knew the answer, asked if I was stressed.  Becoming a first time mom, having daddy working extremely long hours due to a new business and having my parents going back home mixed with postpartum baby blues; stressed was an understatement and that was what had ceased my milk production.  The consultant told me the biggest mistake moms make when they suddenly stop producing milk is giving up.  She assured me Achilles would be fine and I just had to continue breastfeeding and pumping in between sessions.  Lots of work?  Yes.  But two days later my milk was coming in faster than before.

4 1/2 months later and still breastfeeding, I'm so happy I decided to stick it out during those extremely difficult first few weeks.  I honestly love breastfeeding my baby boy and now I completely understand the deep connection other moms would talk to me about.  I'm going to talk to you like one of those moms and tell you: "It will get easier.  You will love it."  If you're still debating whether or not to breastfeed, I'm listing a few benefits not just for baby but also for yourself.

1. WEIGHT LOSS: We have to admit that when we think about breastfeeding this is one of the perks that most likely mostly motivates moms to at least give it a try.  Each ounce of breastmilk you produce is 20 calories extracted from your body so 25 ounces a day equals 500 calories you can say goodbye to.

2. HEALTHIER BABY: Breastfed babies have lower incidences of pneumonia, colds and ear infections.  It also lowers your baby's risk of SID's by about half.

3. CUSTOM MADE FOR BABY: Unlike formula, your breastmilk is made specifically to meet baby's needs.  Colostrum (the "premilk" that comes right after delivery) is full of antibodies to protect your newborn.

4. LOWERS RISK OF CANCER: Breastfeeding can decrease baby's risk of some childhood cancers as well as lowering your risk of premenopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer (an often terminal disease that's on the rise).

5. MENSTRUATION VACATION: Just like during pregnancy, breastfeeding will delay ovulation which means no periods from anywhere from 6-12 months.

6. NATURAL BIRTH CONTROL: As long as your period hasn't resumed, you are breastfeeding your baby about every 4 hours and you are 6 months or less postpartum, than you can stash the condoms as breastfeeding is 99% effective as a post-baby birth control option.

7. IT'S CHEAP!: Cost of formula can range anywhere from $1,608. to $5,892. in one year.  That's money you can save and enjoy a family vacation (hint hint).

8. UNMATCHED FEELING OF POWER:  Yes!!  Seeing your baby grow and thrive on your breastmilk alone is empowering.

'Til next time, Mami's!

MamihoodJacqueline Frias