I hit my 3 months of breastfeeding Lily milestone in November in the middle of trying to figure out what on earth has been causing her tummy so much trouble. After lots of trial and error, we have finally figured out that Lily is just as allergic to soy as she is to dairy. Even the hint of it in a spice will cause her to spit up, have reflux, and lose precious sleep. Even soybean oil makes her tummy roll, and so it’s been a challenge finding things that I can eat.
With all of this trouble, formula has looked tempting. I wouldn’t have to worry about what I eat, and I would know for sure that Lily wouldn’t have to deal with her stomach hurting. But, no. I haven’t switched to formula. First of all, there’s the obscene cost of a dairy-free and soy-free formula. And my second reason? There are too many benefits, too many gifts of breastfeeding.
For one, there’s the sweet bonding time between me and my daughter. While you can most certainly bond while formula feeding, I don’t think it’s the same. Yesterday, I read an article that proved cells transfer between mom and baby while in the womb. It’s also possible that cells transfer from mom to baby while breastfeeding. You can’t get that with formula, no matter how hard you try.
I also love that my milk is specifically formulated for my daughter’s growth right now. Today. This very minute. Is she sick? More antibodies. Was she exposed to something while we were out? Immune system builders! Is she going through a growth spurt? More vitamins and minerals. It changes from day to day and even hour by hour. Beautiful.
Another great perk is that it’s easily transferable. I don’t pump much for my daughter because we aren’t separated much. When we go out, I try to grab my nursing cover, but that’s really it. No extra bottles or formula, and no worrying if baby won’t take it because it’s too cold. Seriously, folks, straight from the tap is the way to go.
And finally, one of my favorite things about breastfeeding is that there are times when a woman can make more than enough for her baby and give some to another baby who needs it. Right now, I’m blessed to be one of those women. While I’ve had oversupply issues, sometimes it can be a good thing. And when I’m able to give some of my milk to a sweet baby boy who would otherwise be eating formula all the time and then hear that he gobbled it up, it makes me thankful that I can share my milk.
There are so many more benefits, so many more gifts. These are just a few of the reasons why I think breastfeeding is a blessing, and they are my favorites right now. I’m thankful that I’ve stuck with breastfeeding, through those rough first weeks, through several months of pregnancy, and through this rough time of finding out what I can and can’t eat while feeidng Lily. It really is worth it!
What are your favorite breastfeeding benefits? Share your thoughts and link up!
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