Breastmilk: Perfect for Lazy Moms like Me

Here’s an article that goes far in the Breast vs Bottle Debate and it comes from Nature.

Time and time again, formula companies tout their milk as “close” to breastmilk. Researchers are discovering more and more reasons why it will only ever be “close” and never be superior to, or even equal to, breastmilk.

The article explains:

Indeed, the fact there are so many bioactive molecules in breast milk means that breastfeeding is an activity that empowers mothers. He adds, “The more we learn about the details of breast milk the more we realize that males have a little chance to influence their offspring by non-genetic pathways. Mothers have a very rich opportunity.”

In non-Geek speak, that means breastmilk does things for mothers and babies on a genetic level that formula cannot compete with without gene modification. Breastmilk changes and modifies genes on a mother-baby specific level. The only way formula can do that is to make formula for each baby based on that baby’s needs. Formula is One Size Fits all. Breastmilk is One Size Fits ONE.

As a mother who has done both breast and bottle feeding, I can honestly say, I’m really too lazy to bottle feed. During the first few sleep deprived weeks of new motherhood where you are questioning your ability (and sometimes sanity) in raising a child, the bottle seems the easier option. There is less perceived pressure. Things are measurable. There are assurances that you recognize from societal norms that you are doing the right thing. When you are breaking ground among your family and friends as a new breastfeeding mother, those cues are often missing. You question yourself and your ability.

But the secret is, breastfeeding gets easier. You and the baby get the hang of it. And, did I mention, it gets easier than bottles in the middle of the night, during the day, during long car rides, hikes in the woods?

Once you gain that self confidence, breastfeeding can be done pretty much anywhere at any time.

It is far more liberating to go out with baby knowing all you need to do is throw a diaper in your purse, grab the keys and GO. The bulky diaper bag full of STUFF is completely optional. I stopped carrying a diaper bag after my third child. There really wasn’t anything I needed in the bag that I couldn’t carry in my purse. No need for snacks, bottles, formula, changes of clothes, etc. Of course my van suffered for that, but it really is a house on wheels and our family could really survive in it for several days (and we’re not just talking eating the smashed up food that makes its ways into the cracks and crevices of the carseats, thank you very much).

By the time baby number six came along and we crammed all the kids in a minivan and drove cross country (because we believe in torturing ourselves for the benefit of the children), it was quite easy to sit in the van next to the carseat and lean a bit to let her nurse instead of stopping. That’s another “perk” to breastfeeding (tho I’m not sure perk is the right word to use when you’re a 38DD Long): You don’t have to get out of the seatbelt or lean too far forward to nurse in a rear facing carseat, or roll over to the side to nurse at night…

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It wasn’t funny at the time

There’s a certain restaurant in Oregon I can’t visit any more, aside from no longer living in Oregon. I’m sure the workers have all since moved on to other better jobs over the 13 years since this happened. I can’t go because my husband launches in to this story and I am all at once mortified and amused.

As a new mother, I wasn’t very adept at breastfeeding my preemie so I nursed him in the car before going in. While waiting for our food, he got fussy, so I fed him again. Our food arrived and he was fussy. So I fed him again. We were eating and I’m still trying to manage to feed both of us. It’s going pretty well. The Boy had always been a very slow eater. Looking back, I realize we had some issues with poor suck and nipple confusion.

I didn’t have a lot of support of information at my disposal for nursing, so my basic strategy was every time the baby fussed, he nursed.

I can’t really say how long he was nursing before I realized he hadn’t burped. It was long enough that I had nearly finished my food. The waitress, bless her heart, had stepped up to the table to ask if we needed anything just as The Boy burped. And refluxed. Projectile. It covered our table, the rest of our food, and the poor waitress.

I was completely mortified. No one said anything. The waitress got some towels. We paid for our food. Never to return again.

Thirteen years later, this story is hilarious.