30 August 2010

I Breastfeed because I'm lazy

I am a lazy person by nature. Laundry piles up in three or four baskets before I finally decide it's time to do it. And even then, I take it to my parents' where I get dinner made for me (and Maeleigh - woohoo!) and go home with clean folded laundry that my dad did for me. When I was in high school and college, I rarely cleaned my room. It was just too much effort. I never even got a drivers' license because it's just too much trouble to learn how to parelle park, a requirement for the test in this state.

So when I became pregnant, naturally I wanted to find the simplest, laziest ways to do just about everything. Being an enviromentalist, the choice to cloth diaper was an easy one. Of course, that requires doing even more laundry, but thanks to my wonderful mother-in-law, even that is taken care of. (We have a diaper service. I just put the dirty diapers in a bag and every Monday I put the bag outside my door and it magically disappears while a new bag of clean ones appears in its place. Epitome of laziness and environmentalism.) For more proof of my laziness, I chose to wear my baby. This way I have two free hands to do whatever - shop, eat, walk around - and I don't have to deal with a bulky car seat or a bulky stroller. And if you've ever tried walking around a store with one of those, you know. It's annoying and a lot of work.

Raising a child is no easy task. It takes patience - which I have next to none - and a lot of effort - which in and of itself is a lot of effort. But as I said before, I'm a lazy person by nature. And that's how I came about writting this. I breastfeed because I'm lazy. Whenever my baby is hungry, I just lift up my shirt and pop my breast in his mouth. I don't have to deal with hearing him scream while I go through all of the effort of getting a bottle together, measuring the formula, pouring in the formula, adding the water, shaking the bottle, making sure everything is the right consistency. Whew. Just writting all that took way too much effort. Who wants to deal with that? And if you're not home, you have to find water or bring your own. And try doing that in the middle of the night when you're tired and all you want to do is sleep while all baby wants to do is eat. No way. Not for me.

That's also why I choose to bedshare. It makes night time feedings a breeze. If I'm up for it, I'll pick him up at night and feed him while sitting in bed, never even getting out from under the covers. If I'm too tired, I'll just turn on my side and nurse him that way. Thanks to bedsharing, I usually wake up a few seconds before he does, which makes the transition from being dead asleep to having to feed a person much easier. It also makes it easier to fall back asleep. Plus, baby is always more at ease when sleeping right next to his mamma, so he, too, falls asleep faster and stays asleep longer. For someone who likes sleep and doesn't like having to get out of bed in the middle of the night, this is fabulous.

Breastfed babies are healthier babies and healthier children who grow into healthier adults. As a mom with two under two, this makes my life easier. I don't have to schedule doctor appointments for a sick baby. I don't have to worry about my children catching some illness. If their superior immune system didn't kill it right away, the breastmilk in their diet will. This will come in handy as they grow. Being my lazy self, I don't even make doctor appointments for me. If I'm feeling under the weather, I just take one of my herbs for whatever it is I'm feeling, drink one of my teas - with honey, get some rest. Since my children will have a much stronger immune system than myself (thanks to fullterm nursing and being vaccine free) I gather they will fall ill fewer times than I do.

Women who breastfeed have a much lower chance of developing breast cancer, as do their daughters whom they nursed. These women also have fewer problems with their reproductive systems during and after menopause. So thanks to breastfeeding, I have a much greater chance of being able to sustain my laziness by not taking supplements and having to make multiple trips to my midwife, who is an hour away from me.

Due to the body being busy producing liquid gold, the most perfect food for your baby, it doesn't have the energy (see, even my body is lazy!) or the resources to ovulate. While this is not always the case, this generally means that a women will not have a menstrual cycle or be able to conceive for about 14 months after baby is born. Of course this is just an average and every woman is different, plus this also assumes the woman is fully and exclusively nursing on demand. I don't know about you, but I hate dealing with my period. It's annoying, it's messy, it's painful at times. And it adds to the dreaded laundry pile (glad rags - environmentalist, remember?). But again, thanks to breastfeeding, I don't have to worry about that. I can be lazy and not worry about tracking the date and making sure I don't have some awesome pool party planned. (Because we all know how often I plan those, not having a pool and all)

In addition to be lazy, I'm also very forgetful and rather cheap. If I have a dinner planned and go to the store to pick up things for it, I come home with a bunch of stuff I didn't remember I needed and only half of what I need for the dinner. Half the time, I forget to get juice for my daughter. So then I have to go back out and get it, which is very annoying, not only because of the wasted time but also for the wasted gas, which is rather expensive. Honestly, I would never remember to buy formula, nor would I want to. Have you seen how much that stuff costs? And it doesn't even last long, plus it's horribly inferior to breast milk, which, by the way, is FREE! And who doesn't like free stuff? (Even donated breast milk is free)

Breastfeeding is one of the most amazing talents we as women have. It brings us closer to our children and allows us to give them the absolute best start possible. It even has benefits for us - like reduced risk of breast cancer and post partum depression. Breastfeeding allows us to travel with our babies and not worry about having enough formula or finding a place to make a bottle. It allows us to stay in bed at night and still feed our babies. Eventually, we become so intune with our babies, that we can nurse in our sleep, allowing us to have a full night's sleep so we can wake rested and ready to face the day. Without formula and bottles, we have less dishes to do at night, fewer bags to carry around the store or the airport, lower grocery bills.

If we give nothing else to our children, we can at least give them to absolute best start in life. We can give them a bonding experience like no other. That's why breastfeeding is so important, so vital. I breastfeed because my babies deserve the best food possible. I breastfeed because it gives me a type of relationship with my babies that I will never get any other way. I breastfeed because I'm too cheap to buy my babies inferior food. I breastfeed because I love my babies. I breastfeed because I'm lazy.

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