Dec 11, 2012

The Ins and Outs of Breastfeeding

Did you know in Kansas and 11 other states if you are breastfeeding then you can be excused from jury duty?

Did you know that in Kansas and 44 other states there are laws that allow women to breastfeed in public?

Did you know that 28 states exempt breastfeeding from indecency laws?

Did you know that 24 states there are laws about breastfeeding in the workplace?

Did you know that in 5 states there are breastfeeding awareness programs?

As a woman breastfeeding you have rights. In some states, there are even laws that would fine people if they were to say anything to you about breastfeeding in public. So it's important to know your rights. (Check out breastfeeding state laws here.)

But knowing your rights is only a small part and comes second to actually making the decision to breastfeed in the first place. A decision only the mother can make and a pretty major one at that.

There are a lot of advantages to breastfeeding and of course some disadvantages and challenges. And what's important is knowing both in order to make that decision.

Better for the Baby

  • Less likely to get diseases
  • Less likely to get allergies
  • Less trips to the doctor
  • Increased IQ
  • Decreased chance of SIDs
  • Decreased chance of obesity
Benefits for the Mother
  • Weight loss
  • Decrease chance of getting female cancers
  • Better healing
  • Hormones provide tranquility
  • Free -- formula can get expensive
Plus, for both of you is major bonding. Breastfeeding provides a lot of alone time with just you and your baby. Especially those middle of the nights when it is just you and the baby, and the rest of the world is sleeping around you.

But that doesn't mean breastfeeding doesn't come with its own set of disadvantages and challenges.

A major disadvantage (that no one told me about) is that you will spend all day feeding some days. Therefore leaving you with less flexibility when you and you alone are the sole source of food for you baby. You can't go far, and you never get to completely hand off night duty to your partner. Even if you pump and use bottles, if you don't pump in the middle of the night it can get pretty uncomfortable and unpleasant. Resulting in your needing to get up anyway. It definitely can get frustrating and at times it is just plain stressful, not to mention exhausting.

Your body also goes through quite the ringer when breastfeeding. Yes, there is a weight loss advantage, but there's also engorgement, sore nipples and clogged ducts. These are all problems that can easily be fixed, but at one point you will probably face one if not all of them. Even if you don't face these problems, you will definitely leak. That's not really a disadvantage, but you might want to make sure you always wear pads otherwise that could potentially get embarrassing. 

I don't say any of this to scare you off from breastfeeding. I say this to give you just a sample of information regarding breastfeeding and making the decision to do it or not. I took a class, Breastfeeding Successfully, through Healthy Arrivals which provided tons of information. I highly recommend taking a breastfeeding class if you are considering breastfeeding at all. 

Come back tomorrow for 'The Ups and Downs of Breastfeeding.' All my thoughts and feelings about my experience breastfeeding - the good and the bad. 


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