To Evolution

9 things I learned after breastfeeding for almost 2 years

    Abdulaziz Sobh
    By Abdulaziz Sobh

    Categories: Health

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    August is the National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, with the first week designated as the World Breastfeeding Week.

    The goal is to celebrate breastfeeding and create awareness and support.

    Scientific and health organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the World Health Organization (WHO), recommend breastfeeding only during the first six months of a baby's life.

    As a mother of two children, who breastfed my two children for about a year, I wanted to share what I learned through my experience.

    1) It is not easy.

    It seems simple enough. The baby is hungry, the mother produces milk to feed the baby, everything is fine. It is not so easy. At first, my son struggled to hold on, leaving everyone frustrated. I remember crying sometimes with the two children, thinking that I had failed as a mother because I could not meet their needs.

    We ended up needing to supplement with formula during the first weeks. Eventually, we understood, but it definitely took some work.

    2) It can be painful.

    With the two children, especially in the first days, I was very tender and raw. Newborn babies need to eat approximately every two hours, so there is not much rest for the skin to heal between shots.

    It can also end with a painful breast infection known as Mastitis. (I got one with the two children) And if you wait too long between feeding or pumping, you'll know. Overweight breasts can be very painful!

    3) Take planning.

    If you plan to breastfeed exclusively, a good amount of planning is needed. For example, newborns need to feed often. If you plan to leave your baby for a few hours, you should make sure you have pumped enough milk so you can eat while you are not there, or you will have to take them away.

    You must remember to take your pump. It seems silly, but the pumps have many small parts and it is easy to forget one. My husband was my hero when he was able to leave the pieces that I had forgotten at work, but sometimes I had to spend a whole day doing nothing. That was unpleasant

    4) Public breastfeeding is sometimes necessary.

    There is always a great debate about public breastfeeding, but after breastfeeding two babies, I can tell you that it is necessary. Babies need to eat and eat often. There's no way you can plan to be home every time you need to eat. At some point, it is inevitable that I should feed them in public. It recently became legal to do so in all 50 states.

    5) Pumping is the worst.

    I went back to work after having both children, which of course meant that I had to pump so they could eat while I was not around. I'm lucky to have a cozy workplace, but that does not mean pumping is fun.

    The machine sounds horrible and it looks fun. And then there are all those parts to clean and disinfect. In addition, you must take care of labeling and storage. It is a real pain

    6) It takes a lot of time.

    If you breastfeed, you do not have the high cost of the formula, but what you save in money, you can lose it on time. (Keep in mind that I have never fed artificial milk to babies, so I can not talk about how slow that is).

    If you are breastfeeding exclusively, you should pump as indicated above. When my babies were small, I had to express milk at least twice a day to make sure they ate enough while working. Each session is approximately 20 minutes. Then you are to pack and unpack the pump every day and clean all supplies and bottles. You also have to prepare bottles or freeze any milk that you think might not be used within a day or two.

    7) It's cheaper than the formula, but it's certainly not free.

    Yes, you do not have to buy formula, but you should buy other items. Unless you are with your baby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, you will still need bottles. And if you need bottles you also need bottle brushes, a clothesline and maybe even a bottle warmer. You will need to buy bags to store frozen milk.

    You will need a breast pump. They are supposed to be covered by the Affordable Care Act, but often only low-end models are covered by insurance. Some women do not have insurance.

    8) It can be a choice.

    He had always planned to breastfeed, and before doing so, the children wondered why someone would choose not to.

    Now, I've realized that it's hard work. It is not for everyone. Workplaces are required to be welcoming, but many women have jobs that could make breastfeeding a challenge. (Think of the doctors, nurses or emergency room agents who patrol).

    In addition, some mothers can not (or should not) breastfeed their children, according to Very Well Magazine.

    "It may be that a mother can not produce a healthy supply of breast milk, or she may have to take a medication or undergo unsafe medical treatment during breastfeeding," the magazine says.

    9) It's worth it.

    Of course, you may have read all 9 previous articles and thought why would someone do that? Worth it! It's a great bonding experience with your baby, and it's amazing to think that your body is providing all the nutrition your baby needs.