The Well Girl

Tips for a Life Well-Lived

The Worth of Breastfeeding

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Hey, so it’s been a little busy.  I was accepted into a program to be a registered dietitian and have been busy getting that set up.  Although registered dietitians are taught to follow/teach the USDA-sanctioned food pyramid, which is not Paleo, I’m still excited.  Why?  Registered dietitians are the trusted nutrition leaders, and most jobs related to coaching nutrition require the RD credential.  I’ve been inspired by some Paleo RDs.  I’d like to gain the scientific understanding of the human body that comes with RD training, and use the credential to share Paleo in professional settings.  Anyway, more to come on that. 

So, breastfeeding – I chose to breastfeed Evan because of all the health benefits.  The health risks associated with cow’s milk (also the primary ingredient in most infant formula), made breastfeeding especially important to me.  I had my share of problems – supply issues, pain for 9 weeks, plugged ducts, exhausting night feedings to 12 months, and travel apart from Evan of up to 3 weeks.  Have you ever overnighted an ice chest of frozen breast milk?  It’s nice and awkward.  I was working full time until Evan was 12 months, so there’s the every-day pain of figuring out how to pump at work.  Oh, did I mention I was flying with the Air Force during that time?  I’ve pumped on planes, in parking lots, in tents in the middle of no-where, in public restrooms, while driving(!) the list goes on.  If you’ve been a pumping, working mom I’ll bet you hear me on this.

Anyway, breastfeeding brought with it an unexpected benefit – a bond that was incredibly important to me.  It seemed to ease the hurt of working and being separated so much.  I had read about this “bond” before Evan was born but kind of blew it off as something I wouldn’t care about.  Boy was I wrong.  In fact, it’s made weaning really tough.  If you’re thinking about breastfeeding, beware – you struggle to get it going and then you struggle again when it’s time to stop.

I’m down to one feeding per day (morning).  I’ve been dreading skipping it, then having to deal with a crabby 18-month old all morning.  Yesterday I skipped it.  Evan didn’t seem to care.  I was so sad.  Ugh, these kids – you can’t win sometimes. 

Overall, I’m not trying to make breastfeeding sound like a bad idea.  Quite the opposite.  Why do mom’s put up with all this extra work and emotional turmoil?  Because it’s so, so worth it.  To see your child thrive and know you’ve given them your best is just the greatest thing in the world.

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