Saturday, February 13, 2010

Breastfeeding: A gift of love - for mom and baby!

Recently, as I prepare for the birth of my third child, I have been thinking about this thing I do as my career and as my own life. I have always been a strong advocate for breastfeeding, not only as a right of every child - but also as something women should be empowered to do.

We often hear about the physical benefits for baby and mom, but how often do we really talk about the gift that we give ourselves by breastfeeding? Recently I was talking to a colleague, she was talking about how much she loves breastfeeding her daughter. Her initial goal was short term, and since has become much longer because of the bond it has created for her and her daughter. We talked about how difficult it is to convey the absolute "wonderfulness" of nursing - to those who have never done it. It is a feeling impossible to understand unless you have experienced it yourself. I understand that it may not be the perfect choice for every woman. But I do believe that every child has the right to be offered this gift.

For whatever reason, our society has chosen to look at the "choice to breastfeed" as being something that a woman should not be made to feel guilty about. However - if everyone realized the gift that it truly would be something that we would all try to attain.

The bond that is formed between a mother and child by breastfeeding - is not replicable by any other means. Does this mean that you can not bond with a child if you do not breastfeed. No! Don't be ridiculous! But it is not the same. I wish I could give every mother the opportunity to feel it before they decided how they were planning on feeding their child. I don't believe any woman could feel that love and connection - and not desire more of it.

For now - I will continue to support other women in their pursuit of their breastfeeding goals. Educate women and families about how breastfeeding can impact their lives and the lives of their children. And bathe in the rich rewards of breastfeeding my own children.

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