I just want to start by saying that breastfeeding is amazing. I never really knew how amazing it was until I did it myself. My oldest was only breastfed for six weeks and then formula fed the rest of his infancy. However, our most recent addition, who is now five months old on the 15th, is still breastfed. With my oldest I didn't wait long enough and I never realized how much I could enjoy it. With this baby, I absolutely love it more than anything in the world. Not only is it such a beautiful and bonding thing for us, but it's incredibly beneficial to his health in ways I never knew possible and it is a piece of cake to do.
Let me also say, that I realize parents always have the best intentions at heart for their children, and that parents who choose to use formula absolutely have their reasons for doing so. There is nothing wrong with formula fed babies, nor are they any less cared for than breastfed babies. They will grow up to be just as great either way, that I am certain of. Like I said, my oldest was mainly formula fed, and I had my reasons for doing that, and he turned out just fine.
My oldest was
sick quite often, though. Since he was very small he was off and on with colds and stomach viruses, and I always hated it. It is just the worst to have a sick baby. Now, I am happy to say that my youngest has never been sick! Not even once! I get nervous each time my Four-Year-Old brings something home from preschool (which is often) and it cycles through all of us, but each time it just passes right over him like he's invincible or something. Nothing can touch this kid. That's because breast milk has an insane amount of antibodies in it. Every drop is loaded with immunities that your body works to produce for them every day to keep them safe. These antibodies are always changing as well, for instance if I catch a cold, my body will automatically create antibodies against it for the baby. So even though I am all over him 24/7, he still doesn't catch what I have.
Breast milk also has amazing healing powers! They even recently found that there are stem cells in breast milk! Isn't that amazing? Common recommendations for eye infections, ear infections, baby acne, and cradle cap are to put breast milk on it. It really can heal those things, sometimes better than the medicine. I even know people that have used it on their own acne and it actually worked.
Another thing, my oldest had a lot of tummy problems. This included colic, gas, constipation, and several formula changes. This is because of all the iron, and the larger milk protein in formula. My youngest rarely ever gets gassy or fussy due to a tummy ache, and he has never yet had a firm bowel movement. Breast milk is made specifically for human babies, it is perfect for them in every way. The protein is small and easily digestible, just right for sensitive baby tummies. Everything about it is made to agree with a human baby's digestive system. At worst I have seen some moms that have to avoid dairy and caffeine, maybe spicy or greasy foods. Most of those things aren't that good for us to have in the first place though.
It is so easy! Once you get past the initial two week pain and discomfort from just starting off, unless you have complications with latching or something else, the pain is gone and you know exactly what you're doing. You never have to prepare a bottle, which is especially obnoxious in the middle of the night. You never have to pay for formula, breast milk is free! You don't even have to get it at the store and you can't forget it at home, because it's always with you. You don't need bottles, they're built in, and they even get washed while you're in the shower. Middle of the night feedings are much less stressful; all you have to do is pick up baby and latch on! Never do you find yourself standing in the kitchen shaking or warming up a bottle while you listen to screaming on the baby monitor. One of the main reasons I wouldn't quit breastfeeding is that I am too lazy for formula.
The bond is especially beautiful. I have never felt such a special connection that compares to breastfeeding my kids. It is so wonderful to be so close and to nourish a baby using only your body. I love to cuddle and nurse. I love it when the baby curls his legs up to me and hugs me, holding tightly to one of my fingers. It is just so special! I would highly recommend breastfeeding to anyone, and I talk it up all the time. I wish someone had told me all of these things when I was raising my oldest son, so I always try to spread the word. Breastfeeding is great, and every mother should give it a try if they think it could work out for them.