And get this: August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week.
Most people don’t know anything about these dates.
In fact, most people don’t know much about breastfeeding.
It’s one of those topics no one wants to talk about. That means a lot of good but awkward questions are probably going unanswered.
Let’s answer some of those today.
1) Is breastfeeding really important?
You bet. It’s undoubtedly the best way to feed your baby.
- Your colostrum, produced during your baby’s first few days after birth, is an easily digestible, highly concentrated food full of carbs, protein and antibodies to nourish him and keep him healthy.
- Breastfeeding comes with a long list of benefits for your baby. These include lowering his risk of SIDS, obesity, ear infections, and allergies.
Breastfeeding is really good for you, too, Mom.
- The process of breastfeeding promotes bonding between you and your baby.
- It helps you lose your pregnancy weight faster and shrinks your uterus down to size.
- Breastfeeding can also reduce your chance of getting diseases like breast cancer and osteoporosis later in life.
- Click this link for more about what you gain from breastfeeding.
To see all those benefits of breastfeeding (and more) together on one colorful page, check out this guide written by a mom for moms.
If certain conditions make breastfeeding impossible for you, you’re not a failure as a mother. But we strongly recommend it as your first choice for your child and yourself.
2) What about the sexual aspect of my breasts?
Before having children, you probably thought of your breasts only in light of your sexual relationship. But now you’re a mom. This may be the first time you’ve realized your breasts are actually designed for making milk, too.
The fact is that breasts serve both purposes: sexual arousal and feeding children. Does that seem weird? Is it weird that your mouth is used for both kissing and eating? Just as you wouldn’t avoid eating just because you use the same body part for kissing, you shouldn’t avoid feeding your children from your breasts just because those same breasts please your husband.
You are a complex, whole person, designed to give and receive love and nurturing. Don’t let anyone reduce you to an object—whether it’s a sexual plaything or a baby-feeding machine. Enjoy all your superpowers!
3) One friend said breastfeeding made her feel aroused. Another said she didn’t want her husband to touch her afterwards. What’s up with that?
Breasts are erogenous. That means they are capable of being stimulated sexually. You can thank your hormones for that. Some women do experience arousal—sometimes strongly so. That doesn’t mean you are having inappropriate feelings for your baby. It’s just your body noting the stimulation.
Other moms feel “over-touched” after breastfeeding multiple times a day. They may want to avoid being touched any more, even by the man they love.
Either of these experiences can put strain on a relationship.Is #breastfeeding straining your #relationship? Talk over your feelings together. Click To Tweet
You can navigate this awkwardness—just as you would any other transition in your relationship. Set aside time with your husband to honestly share your feelings with one another. Don’t ever assume you already know each other’s thoughts. When hurt feelings surface, take the 5 steps described here and here to get your relationship back on track.
4) I’ve heard some pretty pushy advice and rude comments about breastfeeding. How should I respond?
You’re the parent. So you have the final say in whether or not to breastfeed your child.
You may find it easier to stand up for your choice if you:
- Inform yourself on the pros and cons of breastfeeding.
- Choose the option that you are convinced is wisest for your child and you.
- Follow through on your decision with dignity, decency, and without an “in-your-face” attitude.
If someone gives you a hard time for breastfeeding in public, state your opinion calmly and with conviction. Leave them to deal with their own attitude.
5) Where can I talk privately with someone about my breastfeeding questions?
At Choices Pregnancy Center, you’ll find our caring and knowledgeable staff members easy to talk to. Even about those awkward questions.
We’re moms, too, you know. Between us we have decades of experience we can share.
Call or text us today to set up a meeting. We’re here to help.
We speak not only from personal experience,
but also with the aid of our array of informative video lessons and brochures,
customized to meet your needs.
Bring on your questions!