Monday, March 22, 2010

Obsessed with Breastfeeding.

In my devotions today I was reading in Romans. These verses stuck out to me.

Romans 2:25 "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature."

Ok so I really think of myself now as a bit of a lactivist... someone who advocates for breastfeeding to be normalized and that all babies should be given breastmilk. This is probably because I only nursed my daughter for 6 months and not exclusively. She was supplemented with formula (because I didn't understand growth spurts), given baby cereal from 8 weeks on (to help her sleep through the night) and she grew to prefer the bottle by about 5 months old so by 6 months... I quit. I wanted to do things differently for first born son, so I researched like crazy, found support from those successful at breastfeeding, attended La Leche League meetings and when he came along... I nursed him exclisively till he was 6 mos old and continued to nurse half way through my pregnancy with my second born son! I also believe that God made our bodies to feed our children and I believe that our culture has prevented us from carrying on with our God-given roles as mothers by providing us with 'easier' and 'more conveniant' feeding alternatives. We've also lost the ability to support mothers who do choose to breastfeed with horrible advice that has been passed down through the generations and I think its time we stopped and took a look at how God made our bodies, how God made our babies bodies, how things were done biblically and stop trusting the creature (man... or in this case manufactured formulas!)

Our bodies produce milk when a baby is born. In order to maintain a good milk supply babies must be fed on demand, not be given anything else to eat or drink, and pacifiers should be used minimally (or not used at all). Simple. Somehow the world has complicated this with use of bottles (either for water, juice or formula), teaching mothers to ignore their instincts and only feed babies according to a schedule (using pacifiers to help 'tide them over'), and introducing baby cereals and purees.

Babies bodies are born with teeny tiny stomachs and require frequent feedings. They thrive optimally on human breast milk and require only this milk in order to meet all their needs for thirst, hunger and they also recieve a great deal of comfort from it. (there are plenty of verses throughout the bible that talk of recieving comfort at the breast, or as a suckling babe... etc etc.) The other side of the coin is the increased risk of aquiring a long list of diseases in adulthood from being formula fed or started on solids too early in infancy... obesity, diabetes, crohn's, colitis and MS are just a few! Why no cereals/purees? Baby's are born with no teeth and God didn't invite blenders! I believe in starting solids around the time the first teeth appear, that way you can start with soft finger foods or fork-mashed table foods! This age is different for all babies ranging from 4-14 mos, all babies are different. How long to breastfeed is another burning question. Think about this... babies start losing their baby teeth aka 'milk teeth' around age 5 and our immune systems aren't fully developed until around that age also. (I made it till age 2, so far)

Abraham made a great feast the day Isaac was weaned and Samuel was brought to the priest when he was weaned. I can't imagine that these children would have been younger than 5-7 years old! Yet its rare to find someone still nursing a child at 6 months in our culture! Whats shocking to me is that these babes are given milk substitutes... if these babies are still needing milk, why not their mother's?

So lets stop listening to the lies! You do have enough milk, its plenty rich enough and its completely normal for your baby to want to nurse every hour sometimes! No they don't necessarily sleep through the night and no, you won't spoil them. They're still completely trainable after having been nurtured and loved.. maybe more so!

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