Breastfeeding, Parenting, and The Relationship It Brings
Breastfeeding is Empowering
I’ve never had a positive relationship with my breasts until I began nursing my son. Now I have two superheros attached to me. From the beginning stages of providing nourishment and comfort, to now stopping tantrums and soothing booboos.
The typical American family stops breastfeeding within the first year and transitions their infant to a cow milk based formula and then to cow milk. That’s just what society does and what the dairy industry banks on us to do.
The CDC released the statistics for breastfeeding in 2016, only 30.7% of mothers are still nursing at the 1 year mark. Cows milk is not recommended for infants under 1 year of age because of digestion issues.
When we found out Benjamin had a dairy allergy, and I cut it out of my diet. They recommended a formula that was dairy based. With the protein “broken down” so his system wouldn’t process it as dairy. Even our babies who can’t digest cow milk because of an allergy are still being fed their milk. This isn’t a negative slight on formula. I find formula the most wonderful invention we have for being a parent. It saves countless lives, and eases the minds of millions of parents every day.
When you think about what breast milk is and what it provides to a newborn infant. You realize how bizarre it is to be drinking another species breast milk. A baby cow does not have the same needs as a human baby and vice versa. Yet don’t make the connection people are drinking breast milk designed to bring a baby calf from 63lbs (at birth!) to about 1,500lb.
We are not cows, our bodies are not intended to reach the weight of a cow, why are we drinking their breast milk?
This is why I am nursing my son until I see he doesn’t have the need for it, nutritionally and neurologically. The hormones, chemistry, and caloric value of breast milk doesn’t magically go away at 12 months postpartum.
Most children are picky eaters, luckily with our diet Benjamin loves everything he eats… no hiding meat by breading and frying or in a sauce. But there are gaps in nutrition regardless of omnivore or vegan diet, which is why people take multivitamins. Breast-milk is like my son’s multivitamin it covers the gaps, I know he’s developing perfectly even if he throws his bowl of pasta on the floor after only eating half. The link from americanpregnancy.org also gives the breakdown of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates breaks milk provides-
My kid is incredible! This is not to say someone’s child who isn’t breastfeeding isn’t incredible, they are amazing! This is just to give you the benefit of being a little less anal of your child’s diet. And calming a tantrum a bit quicker. Just remember, what works for me, might not work for you. I just want to share my knowledge to help another mom like myself, when I was looking for support.