Friday, September 24, 2010

What's best for baby (and your wallet)

What's more of a money saver than opting for breastfeeding over formula? According to La Leche League International, formula costs can range from $134 to $491 per month, totaling $1608 to $5892 per year!

Other than the obvious perk of being completely free (minus the cost of breastfeeding accessories such as a pump (I use a manual one--a good manual pump is the Lansinoh pump,) milk storage bags, bottles (for pumped milk for that occasional outing), lanolin, and nursing pads (to save money I use reusable ones--I use Fuzzibunz), breastfeeding is so much better for my baby. By breastfeeding, I am protecting my baby from many illnesses including ear infections, lower respiratory infections, and meningitis. Breastfeeding also offers protection against food allergies, obesity, and type 1 and 2 diabetes. Breast milk is tailored to each individual baby (breast feeding benefits). I love knowing that I am giving the best possible start to my baby's life.

As well as being a major benefit to my baby, breastfeeding is also benefitting me. I am able to loose the weight that I gained during pregnancy faster, I am reducing my risk of certain cancers, and lessening my chances of post-pardum psychological effects (benefits for mommy).

With as natural as breastfeeding is, it doesn't always come as naturally as one might think it would. Breastfeeding has a learning curve not only for mommy, but for baby as well. I found it helpful to throughly research nursing and all of the techniques before I had my baby. I read a ton of articles, and watched many videos on youtube so I was well prepared. Being so prepared helped me to be more calm when the time came (which was within 10 minutes of giving birth) to feed my baby. Your emotions translate over to the baby, and if you are not frustrated and clam, your baby will be calmer as well. Also I really took advantage of what was offered to me by letting the nurses in the hospital give their advice to me, and seeing the lactation consultant on staff.

Breastfeeding is a huge commitment, that is something that anyone who plans on nursing needs to know going in. Even I, who read and watched countless articles on breastfeeding, was somewhat shocked at just how much time I spend on the couch with my baby nursing. But the lost time is a sacrifice that I am more than willing to make for the health and well-being of my baby.