Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Good and Bad of Breastfeeding

Every day when I shuffle off to the bathroom at work to pump, I seem to do it begrudgingly. I know it's a good thing to do, and I should be happy to have the break from work, but there are some days that I just don't like doing it. However, I know that ultimately it is a good thing, and making it almost five months is pretty impressive. Now that I've had so much time to adjust and I'm not the sole feeder (one of the bright sides of daycare, I guess), I can have some objectivity on this issue and say that breastfeeding isn't too bad. I know why it's not for everyone, but as I've said before, I still think most people should give it a shot. There are good and bad things about it, and here's my rundown.

The Bad:
1) I miss certain things - Drinking among them, but only rarely. I miss milk, thanks to what appears to be a cow's milk protein sensitivity. I also miss peanuts (or at least peanut butter with chocolate), which I'm trying to avoid since the jury's out on whether or not peanut allergens in breast milk create an allergy.
2) Being the #1 feeder - It's hard sometimes to be stuck on the couch for a half hour or more, or worse, up in the middle of the night at least once for a half hour or more. Luckily those days are (hopefully) done. It's a privilege, but it's tiring at times.
3) Engorgement - This was obviously worse in the beginning, but there are times when I wake up in the morning and notice that "things" don't quite feel like themselves. I described it before as what I think bad implants feel like. It's a weird feeling and not very comfortable. Fortunately I don't have to deal with it too much...just when nursing or pumping isn't convenient over the course of 4 or more hours, or a bit in the morning...but that's short lived because I have a hungry baby who wakes up about an hour after I do.
4) Clothing - As I've complained about before, the larger chest means my clothes don't fit right. Someday, maybe. In the meantime, nursing bras are not my favorite thing in the world.
5) They're functional, not sexy - Nothing wrecks the moment like leakage...or so I hear. Haven't really wanted to find out so I've taken precautions.
6) Pumping's a pain - Self-explanatory

The Good:
1) It's good for Jacob - Antibodies, allergy protection, etc.
2) It's convenient, as long as I can find a semi-private place
3) It's cheap - Formula is so crazy expensive...just five bottles a week and I still cringe every time I have to buy it.
4) I can eat more - 500 more calories a day...woohoo! And my instructor at the gym told me that it burns fat from the rear end area. Nice. Maybe that's why I'm now below my pre-pregnancy weight...even if I don't look the same.
5) Bonding time with Jacob - Now that he's a little squirmier, it's one of the few times I can just get him to sit and hang out with me.
6) Jacob's funny faces - I can't help but laugh when Jacob stops eating long enough to smile at me...cracks me up.
7) Breastmilk isn't stinky - Spitup isn't too smelly when it's coming from breastmilk...formula is gross.

Ok, as much as I'd like to sit and write more, my bed is calling. Have a good night :)

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