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New Study Shows Benefits of Breastfeeding

Tell Mommy: Nursing Facts, Influential or Just Information?

Everyone focuses on the benefits of breastfeeding for baby and usually include the benefits for mommies as an afterthought. Gunning to get back into their skinny jeans, mamas chat up the calorie burning benefits more than the others. Studies have found that women who nurse tend to have a lower risk of developing certain cancers. To further the pro-breastfeeding efforts, another study released says:

Among postmenopausal women, increased duration of lactation was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.

While all of this is good news for moms who nurse, does it put pressure on those who choose not to or are physically unable to breastfeed? Did studies like this influence you to feed your child with the boob versus bottle?

Join The Conversation
Akpril Akpril 8 years
I have been in the same position as macgirl- wanting to breastfeed, and trying everything to do so, but not being able to. It is a horrible feeling to have the desire, to know the information, and to still not be able to. I sat crying in my doctor's office after weeks and weeks of visits to figure out how I could breastfeed my baby. So yes, adding to this stress by hearing over and over about the benefits of breastfeed is heartbreaking. It took me weeks so finally stop being so horribly guilty- that I wasn't able to do the best for my child. I realize that you try your best and that's all you can do, but it takes a long time for your heart to understand that. I felt a great deal of pressure to breastfeed even though it was incredibly painful, and now I have the little glances to deal with every time I pull out a bottle of formula. There is a stigma to mothers who use formula. The anonymous post above is spot on- pressure is not the answer. It makes us feel even worse. If you want to educate women on the matter make sure they want to hear about it. And if you have a friend who thinks it's gross- that's her opinion, and you should respect it even if you don't agree.
katedavis katedavis 8 years
Macgirl- you say the "word is out on breastfeeding" but if you look at the demographics of womes who nurse, it is not a crossection of the population as a whole. I have friends (with kids) who have said to me, "uch, I don't know why anyone would breastfeed, it's so gross." There's still a ton of educating to do. It sounds like your nursing experiences were horrible and that is truly unfortunate that you were made to feel so badly, but I think these studies are still important. It's amazing that we live in a time where if a mother is unable to nurse there are nutritious and healthy ways for her to feed her baby, but historically formula was touted as the "most sanitary" and "best" way to feed your baby. Proponents of nursing have had the steepest of uphill battles to get this far, and their methods have been sucessful. I don't think people advocating nursing put so much stress on new moms that it results in new moms not being able to nurse because of the stress. New moms have stress coming at them from all sides and sometimes women can't nurse, but that's no reason to stop educating women on all the benefits if it works for you.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
Actually I don't think I need other moms to tell me anything. That's the point. Breast feeding worked out for you and that is fantastic. I've been a young mom (26) and now an older mom at 36. Breast feeding didn't work out with the first child so I was geared up, educated and had rallied the education and support system (not to mention better resources) to make it work the second time. When it went even worse than the first time I nearly died. Until you've gone through something like that you just don't know how it feels. So when people that it worked out for start spewing how guilt is a good motivator it annoys me a bit. I'm fairly sure the "word" is out on breast feeding. If people choose to not do it they have the facts. And for the record it isn't this post that is the problem, it's the odd competitiveness between moms that is the problem. Some moms (seriously, not pointing at you Chouette4u as what you have said hasn't been anything bad compared to what I have seen and been said to) have this need to feel superior and point out what you have done wrong. I think there might always be a small amount of people that choose to not BF. Putting down formula doesn't sway them, it just hurts the people that had no choice.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Macgirl, what do you want people to tell you? "Oh, formula is just as good as breastfeeding so it doesn't matter"? Obviously, many many studies have otherwise, and you seem to be familiar with that. Parenting is stressful no matter how you feed your baby, but it's important for all of these facts to be out there so everyone is educated about breastfeeding. And in my opinion, educating people and increasing the BF rate is more important than any "stress" or "pressure" it might cause some moms.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
See Chouette4u that is EXACTLY the kind of pressure I'm talking about. All this "friendly" pressure made it all that much more stressful. And as we all know stress and successful breast feeding don't mix.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 8 years
Just because you can't or won't breastfeed doesn't change these facts about breastmilk and nursing. If you exhausted every option and still couldn't nurse, you shouldn't feel guilty about not being able to do it. If you chose not to or didn't give it your all, then you should feel guilty. Don't let that guilt ruin your life, but guilt is a good motivator to change and work harder on the next baby.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
I think all the facts did make me want to nurse even more. I really wanted to do the right thing. Unfortunately when it didn't work out and I was pumping and bottle feeding my milk those same facts hurt me even more. With BF'ing books yelling at me that if I didn't BF I wouldn't be as bonded to my baby. That formula wasn't a good second choice or alternative to BF'ing. This stressed me out so much and probably helped me dry up faster than if I was able to just relax and enjoy what we were doing. I think that some of this Breast is Best pushing puts unnecessary pressure on new moms. And before anyone rebuts with a "we are just trying to combat the formula companies" I didn't have any pressure to formula feed. Not from my OB or the hospital where I gave birth. Not a single ad or free can of formula.
techkim techkim 8 years
I love that picture.
iieee_grrl iieee_grrl 8 years
Those things helped a bit - but what helped the most was reading every can of formula that claimed to be "closest to breastmilk" and I decided, if everyone is trying so hard to make it like breastmilk, why not go with what everyone is trying to be? Obviously it's got to be the best for my baby or all these companies wouldn't be trying to copy it! :)
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