Breastfeeding is always a hot topic. Whether you are discussing why or why you don’t breastfeed. How long you should breastfeed for. If you should or shouldn’t breastfeed in public. Along with the difficulties and necessities of breastfeeding.
In this post, I will be discussing some of my top pros and cons I have encountered in the two years I have been breastfeeding.
Pros to Breastfeeding:
The absolute biggest pro to breastfeeding, for me, is it’s free.
I have to be honest here, anytime I go shopping and I happen to see the price of formula, it seriously makes me cringe a little!! I know that for some, formula feeding is a must, but oh my goodness! The prices are outrageous! Especially if you have to get a special formula for your little one.
I’m so glad I was able to have a great supply with both babies that I haven’t had to supplement with formula. Kudos to mamas who formula feed, because it definitely ain’t cheap!
It contains all the nutrients your baby needs
As your baby grows, so does their needs for different nutrients. The amazing thing about breastmilk is it changes with those needs.
For instance, when your baby is first born your breastmilk is called “colostrum.” Colostrum is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and immunoglobulins. Immunoglobulins are antibodies that pass from the mother to the baby and provide passive immunity for the baby. This milk is usually thick and a yellowish or creamy color.
A few days later your milk is then known as “transitional milk” which includes high levels of fat, lactose, and water-soluble vitamins. Transitional milk also contains more calories than colostrum. This milk helps your baby gain weight after they are born and lasts for a couple weeks before it changes to “mature milk.”
Mature milk contains a lot of water to help keep your baby hydrated, but it also contains all the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that your baby needs for development.
As your baby grows their needs change and so does your breastmilk. It even changes when they’re sick! Sometimes you can even see a color difference in your milk from before they’re sick compared to while they are sick. Breastmilk just amazes me!!… if you couldn’t already tell 😉
I once saw a sign somewhere that read “Breastfeeding: The world’s healthiest fast food” and it’s absolutely true!! Being able to breastfeed while on-the-go is such a time saver. I don’t have to worry about if I will have enough water for formula, or if there’s a way to heat up the bottle.
You literally just whip “it” out when your baby is hungry and you’re good to go!Breastfeeding: The world’s healthiest fast food Click To Tweet
Bonding and Comfort
Breastfeeding is seriously one of my favorite go-to’s when my baby is over-tired or just plain whiny. It calms them almost instantly and it helps me to relax as well. There are days where I’ve literally worn my baby in a wrap and when they got fussy just popped the boob in and they were good to go.
Being able to provide them with that comfort is such a boost to my self-worth. I am able to give them what they need, whenever they need it. It’s especially great on the days where they just don’t feel good and need some extra cuddle time. Not only does it save my sanity, but it gives me a reason to relax and cuddle up with them!
I’m sure you’ve all heard the term “liquid gold” and that is 100% true! It has helped me in so many ways other than nourishing my babies.
Some of the things I have used it for include:
- When my baby has an eye cold
- just squirt some in while they sleep and it helps clear it right up!
- Dry skin/cradle cap
- Cracked nipples
- Hand express a few drops and rub it on your nipples, it helps A LOT
- Milk baths
- If you have milk that may have sat out too long or in the fridge for longer than it should have, DON’T dump it out! Instead, add it to your baby’s bath water. It helps prevent/heal dry skin and helps a ton with sore butts!!
There are so many other uses for breastmilk, but these are the most common uses I have done and it is a lifesaver!
Momma is burning calories!!
Did you know your body burn calories while it creates breast milk?? It’s awesome! Plus it gives you a little leeway with that cookie you’re craving 😉 But seriously, go ahead and eat that cookie, we both know you deserve it!!
Cons of Breastfeeding:
Baby won’t take a bottle…
This is one of the worst parts of breastfeeding in my opinion. Sometimes your baby just will NOT take a bottle, even when you’ve tried ten different types of nipples and flows, it just isn’t working…
Not only does this mean you are the only one who is able to feed your baby, but it makes it A LOT harder to try and go anywhere without your baby for long periods of time…. (Que sad violin music)
It’s just one of those things that you have to keep trying and hoping, that eventually, they will take the dang bottle.
Cracked Nipples, Clogged Ducts, Engorgement, OH MY!
See what I did there?? 😉 Haha! But really, these suck! As much as I love breastfeeding I hate that these come along with the “breastfeeding package.”
Engorgement in itself is bad enough for the first few weeks, but add in the cracked nipples and clogged ducts? I’m gonna be completely honest, these made me want to give up breastfeeding a few times. Not only do they make you want to cry each time your baby latches, but it just makes breastfeeding feel so… Unnatural.
I mean, let’s get real here. They always say breastfeeding is always sooo natural, but seriously?? Who are we kidding?! It’s a lot of hard work! I envy the women who have easy breastfeeding journeys!!
Needing easy access clothing
This really doesn’t need much of an explanation. You wanna go out? Gotta make sure your clothes are easy enough to access the ladies or you’re in for a real treat!
For the past two years, I have seriously had to make sure my shirt was either easy enough to pull up or down to make sure it wouldn’t give me trouble. It gets kind of old!! I can’t ever wear anything super cute because, well, my boob has to be able to get out one way or another!
Oh, and just a tip, never, and I mean never, wear a dress that isn’t stretchy at the top, you will regret it when feeding time comes!!
I know many women deal with low supply, which is a reason they are unable to continue breastfeeding. I know I shouldn’t complain about producing too much milk, but it sucked!
When my daughter was first born I had trouble with oversupply and it was horrible. I was constantly engorged for the first three or four months after she was born. I was constantly leaking through breast pads and couldn’t comfortably fit into my bras.
There were times where I really just needed to feel comfortable so I would pump to get rid of some of the pressure and even though I got rid of a lot it still just didn’t help. I was completely miserable! The only good thing about the overproduction was I was able to donate to other mommas who needed it.
Breastfeeding, Formula Fed, Supplementing
At the end of the day, however your baby is being fed, the only thing that matters is they are healthy and happy. I am so blessed to be able to give my babies the nourishment they need, I do know many moms who struggle with it and others who can’t at all.
There were many times when I wanted to give up. I wanted to throw in the towel and just switch to formula. But each struggle we went through has been worth it. Each con to breastfeeding won’t last forever.
If you are determined enough to make breastfeeding work, I can proudly say that, eventually, it does get easier. You got this momma! If you want to breastfeed, don’t let anything get in your way! You can do it 🙂