Why I Chose to Breastfeed
Posted By: Lisa Steinke
Lisa had her first child at the age of 37. A self-proclaimed 'late bloomer,' Lisa now finds it hard to remember what life was like before her daughter was born.
I never thought I'd breastfeed my baby.
I wasn't breastfed.
No one told me I should breastfeed.
And, honestly, the idea of it put me off a bit.
The thought of “whipping it out” in public definitely didn't appeal to me.
Just imagining my future baby trying to latch on, sucking for dear life and potentially chafing, cracking and gawd knows what else to that area, scared the H-E-double hockey sticks out of me. I'd heard so many horror stories...
And there's also the part about how I'm not a big fan of my breasts. I could barely get through a self breast exam, let alone spend that kind of intimate time with them day in and day out.
But then I got pregnant. And my belly started expanding. And it got bigger and bigger... and bigger. And I started to wonder if, after I gave birth, it would all go back into place.
And here's the part that might be controversial.
I read that breastfeeding helps the uterus contract faster. Helps you burn calories faster. Helps you get your pre-baby body back faster. And I was sold.
And that's why I decided to breastfeed my baby. For my uterus. For my body. For me.
So, no, I didn't decide to nurse for the reasons that might be more acceptable to other moms, to the pediatricians, to society. The bonding, the potentially higher IQ (for baby, not me- although after suffering from preggo brain for so long, I could use a boost in that area), the strengthening of the baby's immune system. Those were all secondary – things I learned about after I'd made my decision. Side effects I'd gladly take, but weren't my reasons why.
And I don't care what any mother says her reason for breastfeeding is. Whether she admits it or not, the part about the uterus contracting is a factor in her decision to put baby to boob. It just is.
But maybe I'm the only one willing to write about it.
Not only did breastfeeding shrink my uterus back to size tout suite, I lost all of the weight I had put on in pregnancy and then another 20 pounds with my first child. With my son, I gained more but it all came off and I was down to my pre-pregnancy weight by a year. I would have lost weight quicker but I took advantage of the calorie burning by indulging in a few too many desserts!
Definitely helped me get my post-baby body back - and self-esteem and confidence - all good things both for me and for baby. And what I found when breastfeeding was a pleasant surprise - I did bond and enjoy it and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Beautiful picture!
Love this post! Can't wait to read the next one. xo
I breastfed my son four weeks, I did it cause his dad went about his ex doing it. I would have done it longer but I could not express milk. I lost twenty pounds in those four weeks.