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The Easy Reasons

Sherry Kenady
Spokane WA USA
From NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 23 No. 5, September-October 2006, p. 204

I cringed and felt sick when I first heard that two of my sisters had been talking negatively about breastfeeding. One had told the other, who was pregnant, that breastfeeding was "too much work" and that she "just couldn’t do it." I trust that some of you have heard comments similar to this, too. I decided to immediately develop a quick, tactful, and simple plan to prove the statement completely false and possibly encourage my pregnant sister to consider breastfeeding more carefully. I wrote an acronym to prove my point (see box). In reading my list, I’m sure you can see that I haven’t thought of breastfeeding as "too much work." During my first pregnancy, La Leche League and some mother friends taught me about breastfeeding. At that time, I didn’t have a clue about being a mother or parent, let alone the immense benefits of breastfeeding! I noticed that those friends had strong beliefs about breastfeeding and were bursting at the seams to teach me. One friend loaned me a copy of THE WOMANLY ART OF BREASTFEEDING. I perused it and became sufficiently convinced that I needed further knowledge, so I went and bought my own copy. Over the next few months, I devoured every word of that book. I became like those friends, having powerful feelings about the value of breastfeeding.

I signed up for a breastfeeding class for expecting mothers at the local hospital. It was given by a nurse who had special training in lactation. That particular nurse stated that her goal was to breastfeed her child up to age two; she said that age two was a milestone for immunity development in toddlers. I decided that would be my goal, too!

I nursed my first two children until they were almost two and my youngest son is almost three and still loving nursing. During that first year, I joined LLL, began receiving New Beginnings, made friends with other like-minded mothers, settled into breastfeeding, and found my way as a mother. I have found that breastfeeding is the easy way to meet many of the needs of babies and toddlers.

The 10 Easy Reasons to Breastfeed

Baby's whole body and brain benefit immensely.
Release for mother hormonally causing calmer feelings.
Easier digestion for baby than formula.
Available fresh instantly for hungry baby.
Soothing for a crying baby.
Treasure of a lifetime bond with your child.
Free (cheaper than formula by a long shot)!
Effortless pregnancy weight loss.
Enhanced poop smells better than formula-fed babies (until solids start!).
Decreased risk of SIDS than formula-fed babies.

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