The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am

Before I had my daughter, I wasn't particularly interested in mother's milk. Now I'm literally awake at night thinking about it.

Comments

2
Vaginal birth rocks too! All the bacteria coating the baby upon birth is a kick start to a healthy life...yay biology!!!
4
"We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat"

Sir Mix-a-Lot would not be okay with this.
5
Great post and very interesting. As a soon to be mom, I HOPE I can breast feed too. I have friends who have chosen not to breast feed and I have friends who physically can't. The annoying people in this world are the people who constantly bash formula and consistently say Breast is Best (this article doesn't do this.) Science has been pretty amazing in aiding people to create healthy formula that has amazing benefits too little ones too. I don't think the writer's intentions were to add guilt to mother's who weren't able to breast feed, but to point out some of the crazy scientific aspects of how the body works. Thanks for the article.
7
I found this article to be quite funny and very, VERY sweet.
Bravo!
8
I have done a lot of research on breastmilk and breastfeeding and I learned some new things here! Thank you for sharing!!! I had to fight hard for my breastfeeding relationship as I had low supply in the beginning. I understand the conflict and disappointment (sometimes shame) women feel when they want to breastfeed and are struggling. I've been there. I had to supplement when baby lost too much weight. In my case, it was lack of knowledge and support at the onset of nursing that caused low supply. If I hadn't been stubborn-minded, I could have given up, at the advice of my uninformed doctor no less. But through educating myself, seeking expert advice, and putting in hours of time and many tears, my body did what it was designed to do. I understand when a woman can't do it; I don't want to add any further guilt or pressure. But I think it's important we learn what you've shared here and we tell our stories -- the good, bad and the ugly -- about breastfeeding so women and children after us have a bigger chance at success. Saying we shouldn't talk about the benefits of breastfeeding to protect ourselves from guilt is shortsighted... And even irresponsible and selfish. I get it from both sides but the evidence is clear.... We need to support successful breastfeeding in every way possible and thank our lucky stars that most babies will still have the opportunity to survive and thrive when formula is the only option.
9
I have an almost exact, exhausting nursing and pumping schedule as you wih my almost 1 year old (who also is nursing less and eating more) and I did the same with my now 3yo! So glad to have read this as additional fuel to keep me going in these last days of BFing I will have! Those 3am pumps suck royally for me, but at least I got to catch up on my So You Think You Can Dance episodes!!
10
Anyone who is saying that scientific facts and information like this is making them feel guilty or ashamed needs to see that this isn't about you as an individual and that it is part of a bigger picture. Be angry at the lack of breastfeeding support, at doctors, at the system that kept you from getting the proper help. Don't get angry at those who support breastfeeding and inform the public about it. This is not a personal attack on you. Breast milk is better nutrition than formula, period. It doesn't mean that mothers who breast feed are better mothers than formula feeding mothers, it means that some babies get more optimum nutrition. That is scientifically proven fact. I am not sorry that I breastfeed and you couldn't. Some people also can't have children or have suffered the loss of a child, am I supposed to never speak of my own child to avoid hurting their feelings? Your rage is absolutely misplaced in getting angry at those who would support new mothers in their breastfeeding journey.
11
Let's remember that correlation is not causation. If you adjust for socioeconomic status, the benefits of breastfeeding are not quite as exaggerated. It turns out that many of the same privileges which allow mothers to breastfeed in the first place (time and money) are also beneficial to babies. While it seems likely that breastfeeding is at least marginally better than formula, the most important factor is not being poor. As usual.
12
My son, now 21, was a breastfed baby. I was very fortunate to be home with him for the first few years, so not only breastfed him until he was 15 months old, but I rarely had to pump - so wonderful to have a "full-time" nursing bond with him! I now too can smile even broader and be in awe at more scientific discoveries about amazing breastmilk. Thanks for an insightful uplifting piece!
16
Great piece. Brava! And we should ALL care. This is a public health issue. New mothers ( and fathers) need all the correc info they can find to help them be successful at breast feeding. I am a certified postpartum doula with 15 years of experience and am appalled at the quality of breastfeeding support and the misinformation offered at some of the hospitals near where I live in the NYC METRO AREA. Doctors, Nurses, Hospital staff and Pediatricians all need to all learn how to TEACH this art and know the CORRECT information about breastfeeding to pass on to new parents to they CAN be successful. Tender Times Doula
18
@3

1) If reading about the benefits of breastfeeding will ruin your day, a title like "The More I Learn about Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am" should be a pretty sufficient trigger warning.

2) Information about the interesting scientific facts of breastfeeding is not an attack on people who cannot or choose not to breastfeed. It is understandable to be sad about not breastfeeding if that was what you really wanted to do, and couldn't, but that is your personal feeling. Everyone who says breastfeeding is good is not saying ANYTHING about you, or others like you.

Take comment #1 here. Vaginal birth IS an awesome start to life, for many reasons. There are clear benefits to that sort of birth. I was unable to have a vaginal birth. I am sad about that. But i am thankful for the technology, medical knowledge and skill that allowed for me to have a safe, successful cesarean birth. People who say vaginal birth is good are not saying I am bad. Reading about the benefits of something we weren't able to have shouldn't ruin our days.

3) We are lucky enough to have the technology and medical knowledge to create specially formulated replacement milk for babies who will not receive breastmilk for whatever reason. And we live in a place and time, as the article points out, where the difference between breastfed and formula fed babies is negligible. That is amazing! Breast milk is amazing! Both our bodies and our brains do amazing things.

21
My breastfeeding days have passed and I am glad I had the support I needed to breast feed all three of my boys. My eldest who in just under 6 feet 8 inches ate every hour on the hour. He still does for that matter. Breast feeding three boys was challenging but so so worth it as I see these three young lads thrive and have healthy relationships with food. That being said however I am a bit of a fanatic when it comes to healthy living. I can imagine it being any other way. Thanks for the insight.
23
It's the best thing for your baby, unless it's not. My second baby was allergic to the protein in my milk and was losing weight and "failing to thrive." It was a scary time. Lots of tests were done to figure out it was her reaction to my milk. I think it's awesome if women breastfeed and I think it's awesome if women use formula for whatever reason (even if they just don't like breastfeeding!) Is your baby loved and cared for? Then you are a great mom!
24
Breastfeeding is amazing. Have empathy for mothers who want this for their children, but can't do it. Have empathy, that's all. It's like having a limb cut off.
25
This is possibly the best breastfeeding article I've ever read. Not because of the wealth of information (though it truly is fascinating to know how exactly my body knows to make the right antibodies to provide the best medicine) but because of the pure excitement, pride, and love that emanates from this piece. I teared up a couple of times through reading this, and will hold my babies a bit tighter tonight as I put them to bed, remembering how truly remarkable our bond is.
27
I breastfed my kids, and I really regret it. It was a horrible experience. I was bullied into it. And all the evidence from studies of siblings with one breastfed and one formula fed baby to control for family differences indicate the benefits of breastfeeding are somewhere between unimportant and nonexistent. The amazing immune boost? It's about one less cold in the first year, not guaranteed prevention of cancer or other terrifying illness. I felt much more bonded to my baby gazing into it's eyes feeding it a bottle than staring at the top of its breastfeeding head in a sleep deprived, depressed, zombie stupor.
28
@ 10
I think you are overstating the scientific evidence (and consensus) for the superiority of breast milk. As @11 points out, some recent studies suggest that the purported benefits are insignificant when controlling for socioeconomic factors. I know it is not your intention, but so emphatically stating that "Breast milk is better nutrition than formula, period" is going to make those mothers who did not choose to breast feed feel guilty. Whether or not a mother breastfeeds seems to be of minimal importance, but I think the unscientific, anti-feminist, and judgmental imposition of a maternal ideal on mothers (of which breastfeeding is just one component) has a negative societal impact .
29
Very nice article. Regarding the topic of ingesting everything you were exposed to over your lifetime, it should be of interest that this includes fat-soluble toxins, like pesticides, PCBs, dioxin, mercury, lead, and halogenated flame retardants like PBDE.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/09/magazi…

With that in mind, I would like to thank my older sister for taking one for the team on that front (we were all breastfed in the '60s and I was #3 in line).
31
@ 28

That study has been criticized for only looking at outcomes that already had little evidence of benefit- Intelligence,bmi, asthma. Other outcomes- for mum and babe- have strong evidence for, and were not investigated in this ONE study.
33
@31

I am not saying that breastfeeding has zero impact, I just think we should be careful not to over exaggerate the benefits. I think our society has a tendency to shame woman in ways which further burden the already difficult task of being a mother. With regards to breastfeeding, I think the observed benefits to the child are sufficiently inconsequential to allow the women's preferences to enter into the determination of the "best choice." (This is in contrast to a decision on vaccinations for example, where I think a certain degree of societal shaming is justified.)

The world health organization's systemat… provides a good overview and meta analysis of the literature pertaining to breastfeeding's effects a child's obesity, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and IQ. The only category in which they found "strong evidence of a causal effect" was IQ, and the magnitude of this effect was modest (2.2 - 3.5 point).
34
I enjoyed this article very much. As a new mom we made financial choices that allowed me to stay home (poor but happy) and give our son the attached, child led experience that I felt was optimal. I took a lot of flack for being a stay at home mom (people assumed I was stupid and had nothing of interest to share), for breast feeding until he was 3 ("is that legal?"), for co sleeping when he was an infant (you will crush him!) etc, etc. I think rather than attack each other for making choices different from each other (regardless of the motivator of that choice), we should celebrate and support each other as women. I am saddened by how snarky we have become...as if tearing each other down is the only way to feel good about our selves. The author shared a beautiful event in her life, hoping to communicate the joy and wonder she has experienced and many of you are incapable of even receiving it. That is what is really "gross" and "overstated" and "horrible"...all adjectives used in previous comments to diminish this piece. Shameful.
35
@ 34

I thought it was a great article, very sincere and moving, and felt it did a good job of avoiding both explicit and implicit moralizing. My comments where not intended as a response to the article.
36
As the only kid in my family to have been breastfed, I think my siblings turned out pretty great. No major differences in health or intelligence that I can identify, though we all have our own strengths and weaknesses, of course. My younger sister has also always been much closer to our mom than I have, if that counts for anything.

"Breast is best" is used to shame and bully lots of women, like @10 seems to want to do. It's just unbelievable how politicized every aspect of women's bodies are, how everyone feels entitled to give their opinions and advice, to "educate", as if the benefits of something like breast milk weren't well-documented and readily available.
37
Angela, this is a terrific bit of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned!
39
As a mom of 5 breastfed babies and a combined 10 years of lactating experience, I love this article. The only beef I have is that the statistics are a bit skewed. Breast babies don't have less of a chance of developing certain diseases and cancers, formula-fed infants have a higher incidence. Breastfeeding is the norm. It's how our bodies were designed to function. Anything that's not breast milk is artificial and carries a greater risk of the aforementioned problems. If you can't feed your baby your own milk, (for whatever reason: mom's medications, choice, low supply, early trauma that leads to a deep aversion to breastfeeding, etc.) the next best thing is to use donated breast milk. The last choice should be formula.

Breast isn't best, it's just normal.
40
You had me at "melt fat off my butt."
41
I felt this was a good, informative piece that was well-written. Yes, the human body is amazing. I'm grateful for modern technology to help those of us whose bodies don't work 100% perfectly like they are supposed to. I tried my best to breastfeed my six children and was unsuccessful and felt a lot of guilt through the years over it. Now they are healthy, happy kids who eat well, don't get sick often and have no chronic issues. They are all highly successful in school. I feel much of this is more due to me being there and helping them in their lives than to what I fed them as infants. I think there is definitely valuable information in here about how breastfeeding works and I support those who breastfeed. But not breastfeeding does not make you a bad mom.
42
I wish this were more common knowledge! Breastfeeding FTW! At my business www.mindfulbirth.com we love to link articles like this. Would you mind if I did so?
43
this was a wonderful and inspiring read to this breastfeeder and writer. thank you!
45
This article is great. When I was studying to become an IBCLC I felt similarly amazed. I was amazed with breastfeeding while I nursed my three sons but once I started diving into the wealth of literature about breast milk as a loving substance perfectly suited for humans I was in awe! I've never before been so excited while reading a medical text!

Facts do make people feel guilty sometimes. The presentation of the facts about smoking or processed sugar (I'm not saying formula feeding is as harmful as those two habits) can make you feel guilty about your choices if you are addicted to those things. But people deserve the dignity of informed choices. I would rather feel guilty than be lied to.

I agree whole heartedly with the poster above who mentioned our language surrounding the studies and comparison is all wrong. Human food for human babies is normal... it's been normal for all of human history. Formula is the experiment not the control. So we should not be saying "breastfeeding results in a thymus (a central immune system organ) that is twice the size of formula fed infants." The correct way to say it is "formula feeding results in a stunted thymus that is less than half of its intended size." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/88889…
There are and have always been rare and exceptional times when some altered form of animal or plant milk has been needed. Formula is getting better and safer all the time. Thank God for that. But we should consider it medicine. Something unmarked and u marketed that if you really need it you can get it from a doctor and it will have warnings. I know that sounds extreme but that is only because of our formula feeding culture. We should help families find ways to give their children their normal biologically programmed food. And we should stop formula from being marketed so unethically. The U.S. lags way behind in this area. Helping mothers breastfeed takes a lot of encouragement, empathy, education, and understanding. But it never involves lying to mothers.
46
Couple of typo corrections: I meant "living substance," though it is also "loving." :-) Also I meant to say formula should be unmarked and "un-marketed."

Also should mention that an IBCLC is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

This article only lacks one thing in my mind and that is citations. Because the ARE studies to back up the things she is writing about. If I have time I will go through and post links here in the comments section.
47
As a woman of a certain age, I remember the culture around breastfeeding pre-"feminism". Loads of women were told by their doctors to not breast feed. It wasn't considered "modern." It was actually the hippies of the 60's and the 70's, and the natural childbirth movement that pushed back on that message.
48
I just loved this piece! mind blowing with so much info about breastfeeding! usually, people only talk about one aspect of bf. it is also filled with emotions, not only facts.
I am a French bfeeding mum, and as a matter of fact my daughter is also 10 months old! i just wanted so much to share this article with other bfeeding mums or bfeeding mums to be that I translated it to French (I'm an English teacher) and here's the link to my translation. please do inform me of any problem, and anyway would very much appreciate having any contact with you. You're amazing!
https://medium.com/@SarahHAQUE/plus-j-ap…
49
This is one reason why breastfeeding is more important than vaccination, and why stay at home moms should receive minimum wage from the government instead of feeling forced to work and pay someone else to raise and feed and teach her kid.
50
Beautiful and informative article, thank you for presenting this information in such an eloquent manner. As a mother of two, one still breastfeeding, I'd always wondered how our bodies knew what antibodies to produce for our child in the absence of illness in ourselves. Truly amazing!
51
NICE ARTICLE. Everything said here about breast milk and the benefits of breastfeeding is true; but breastfeeding does NOT equate to being a "Good Mom". Women who are not able to or don't breastfeed are also being Good Moms. I breastfed my baby and never developed a superiority judgmental complex. Although breast Milk is Superior to Baby Formula (very Close to Breast Milk), it is a Myth that children who are breastfed are healthier than Children who are not. There are breastfed kids hospitalized just as much as non-breastfed kids. Some of the healthiest kids today with the highest IQ scores were never breastfed. Thanks for sharing.
54
Wow! Biology for mom's and the masses. I love it. What I find particularly fascinating is that babies cannot digest mom's milk. They don't have the right genes to make the enzymes that break down the plethora of sugars in mom's milk (as Garbes points out, over 150 types of sugars). But their first-ever batch of gut microbes does. It's an ingenious arrangement. Why have a bunch of genes that you'll only use for the first few years of life? Besides, the baby has better things to do, like nurse and bond to mom. It's a lot better to delegate the heavy-lifting of deconstructing complex sugars to the micro-experts. And the more milk sugar-digesters there are in a babe's gut, the less elbow room there is for pathogens to set up shop. Brilliant!

Uh, need to say this too. Mom's don't be grossed out but Junior is eating shit. All those trillions of milk sugar-busting bacteria have to, yes, poop. And that poop delivers some good shit to your baby. Really good. Scientists are still learning about the medicinal effects of microbe shit in babies (and grown-ups). Among the beneficial compounds in microbe shit are short chain fatty acids. One of which is butyrate ("bew-tee-rate", say it fast now, "beauty-rate!; do not say "booty-rate", no matter the temptation). Butyrate, rather than diet-derived nutrients in the blood, nourish Junior's growing colon cells and keep them snugged up to one another so nothing leaks out of the gut. Butyrate also talks to the baby's new immune cells, coaching them on who to leave alone and who to blast away. And a bunch of other cool things scientists don't know much about, or at all.

I hope you are still with me...let's dispel the tired myth that nursing moms are like cows. The fact is, babies are more like cows. Like Junior's gut microbes, the bacterial communities in a cow also break down sugars, the ones found in grasses. But sugar-busting microbes don't live forever in a cow or baby. They keel over. Microbes are made of protein and all those microbial burgers are food. In fact, the primary protein source for cows is microbe burgers. Same thing happens in Junior's gut to supplement the milk proteins. So moms, next time the rude jokes come up about you being a cow, whip out your mom-splaining hat.

Sorry for this long post, but I love all this stuff we are learning about microbes and ourselves. I ended up writing a book about it--"The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health". If you are even still reading at this point mark your calendars for Town Hall on November 18th. Me and my co-author will be doing a talk. Bonus for mom's--you'll be able to do more 'splaining when you learn about the parallel worlds of the vagina and a plant root...

p.s. Against my better judgment I made a F'book page for the book. It has only 3 likes! The co-author says hand over my address book to the F-bot. I say never! I post cool stuff about the microbiomes of plants and people if you want to check it out. www.facebook.com/thehiddenhalfofnature
55
This is a opinion piece. It's lacking in scientific evidence or citations for the very few things mentioned that have studies to offer evidence. That whole baby backwash thing sounded like a very illogical theory based more on wanting breast milk to be the end-all, be-all than on any actual science. This quote is telling:

"It sounds like science fiction, but these are things that are now on the table as plausible," Hinde says.

Plausible. Not proven. No evidence. The piece mentions nothing of any tests that have been done on this backwash theory. It's only mentioned as the thought of this one scientist. Hardly worth getting all amazing over, it even sounds like a stretch. If that were true, why are some babies allergic to breast milk?
57
Mother Vel-DuRay nursed us, as did all of my aunts with their children (who were born from the 40's-60's) and I never thought anything of seeing a baby being nursed until I went to college and found out that it apparently was a big deal to nurse your baby, and other people made a big deal if it happened in public (one of my first experiences with crazy people was a woman who made a big stink about another woman nursing in public and wanted me to call the cops).

As I got older and friends started to have kids, I found out that some women had problems lactating, and that some were repulsed by the idea of nursing a baby, which I never understood. You're willing to have sex and give birth, with all that entails, but you get skeeved out by a baby on your breast?

I remember a friend of mine who was rather militant about her breast feeding nursing a baby in front of my mother, hoping (I think) for some sort of negative reaction. Instead, they hit it off. I don't know if it was an Irish thing, or a farm thing, or just being cheap (breast milk costs a lot less than formula) but there was no stigma against nursing where I came from, and I think it has served all of us well.

58
Why does this one keep getting popped back to the top of SLOG? It is 5 days old. Read it the first time.
59
Why can't women who breastfeed shut the hell up about breastfeeding? Just feed your kid however you want and stop talking about it.
60
agree with signed up...so we breast fed...I did my 4 but soon realized that sleep I needed was more important to bond with my kids and the formula was probably more nutritional. It's all chemistry, still cuddled them with the bottle....Sorry militant la leche types. My mother used formula for all 8, all college educated and no allergies if you can believe that. The emotion over it all makes me wonder really why one enjoys it so much; more cuddle/bonding time for couples makes for a healthy family. Take a weekend away with your spouse! Oh and it was our choice to have children, I don't expect the government to pay to nurse them nor pay for their diapers.
61
Angela Garbes, this was such a beautifully written piece. I am still nursing my 18 month old - just once a day now, during that last few minutes before bed, for the cuddle. I'm avoiding weaning because I know having gone through it with my older child, once you're done you're done! I heartily agree that it's crazy to tell women to breast feed for six months but at the same time to have a corporate culture that's so unfriendly; with no paid leave or government help, how are women supposed to manage to provide the care that is touted as optimal? The key benefit of breastfeeding is the issue of feeding the microbes in the gut, as mentioned in some of the comments. Keeping a robust and balanced gut biome is critical for many health systems in the body, research which is finally trickling down to the lay literature. Perhaps formula offers probiotic and prebiotic powders in those cans; I prefer the "live" version in breastmilk. To each her own, however.
62
The fact that as many women struggle to breastfeed at the birth of their child as they do I think has a lot to do with the fact that we've medicalized healthcare to such an extent that the knowledge that used to be passed down from generation to generation has been lost. Used to be when you gave birth there would be lots of more experienced mothers around to give you support- now we're often left alone to figure this and everything else out shortly after birth. I agree with others that guilt- which many of us feel if we aren't able for any reason to breastfeed- is totally misplaced. Instead, we should be designing a society that helps women to do this and being anywhere from dissatisfied to outraged until we create it!
63
"If we're telling women that they should breast-feed exclusively for six months, then we should give them—at minimum—the same amount, six months, of paid family leave." THIS! Thanks for such an interesting article! Makes me feel like all the pain, inconvenience, and lonely pumping sessions are really worth it.

On another note, I do have to say I'm tired of hearing about breastfeeding vs formula feeding. It seems like the only thing I see in my newsfeed anymore, and it's always causing fights between moms who ultimately want what's best for their kids. We don't know what struggles others are facing with this so we should proceed with a degree of empathy for those who want to nurse and for whatever reason are unable to. Similarly I'm sure those who choose not to are sick to death of seeing the breast is best argument. Formula-fed kids have grown up to be healthy healthy geniuses so I don't think anyone has anything to worry about. As they say, fed is best. I feel privileged to have been able to nurse for six months so far, and it really, truly is a privilege.
64
The #3 comment said said "Way to add to the guilt and freakish feelings involved with not being able to feed your child. Thanks for the great motivation to start my day."

Describing the amazing benefits of breastmilk should NOT induce guilt. No one can "make" you feel guilty. You may feel sad, upset, frustrated if (for some medical reason) milk does not come in. But if it wasn't your fault, and there isn't anything you could have done differently (after exhausting all of the help of the hospital's lactation consultants or LLL counselors) then why would you say you feel "guilty"? You didn't do anything wrong, by your own admission. Let's please leave guilt-tripping out of the conversation. Something can be called "best" without being offensive. Someone can be inconsiderate in their comment to me, but they can't make me feel guilty.

For example, it's probably "best" to feed my kids all organic, whole raw food all day, with plenty of fruits and vegetables. But, I don't. In some ways I can't. Financially and time-constraint wise. Part of that is my "fault"(aka choice) and part of it isn't. I don't want to spend my life feeling guilt over it. It's not a moral issue.

I also don't want to use the "fed is best" argument, because no one is saying you shouldn't feed your kid! Of course kids should be fed! But, there is no question that mother's milk (pumped, or from the breast, or from a donor) is the appropriate food for a baby through the first year. Formula will keep them fed and alive, but it's not the same as breastmilk. That isn't simply an opinion.

Thankfully, our hospital had a very helpful team of lactation nurses. I called frequently with questions the first few months. If I had serious problems, I would have DEFINITELY took my baby back there, and asked them to help me in person. Latch, positioning, etc. You would have had to drag me away from breastfeeding kicking & screaming, because it was that important to me. If for some medical reason my next child needs formula (say, I fell ill and could not feed... like I did for 2 weeks when I had West Nile Virus and couldn't see my baby) then that is an emergency situation where my child needs to eat whatever is available, and I would feel sad.... but would not feel "guilt".

I was told by my nurse matter-of-factly when I had my baby that formula should be reserved for medical problems/emergencies, and that it is quite rare that a woman cannot produce enough milk for her baby. That should be empowering!! There is a ton of help out there, .. from books, to La Leche League consultants and groups, and the hospital lactation nurses. Many women say "well, I guess I just can't produce." or "my supply is low / dried up" and they did not seek help. I'm glad I reached out during the tough beginning months. I have sympathy for those with true medical conditions (insufficient glandular tissue, cancer, etc) but many breastfeeding problems can be fixed or worked around, with help and encouragement from a professional.
65
Excellent! 11 mos BF and going strong, in my case I always knew I was going to BF... so all the "difficulties" and "inconveniences" some moms experience were just not good enough to quit breastfeeding my baby girl. BF is not easy, but who said parenting would be?

Being born is one of the hardest things a human being has to endure.

Lack of sleep, painful breast and bloody nipples, are often what I hear as "reasons" for not BF. As if 39-42wks of gestation and passing through the birth canal (or c-section) was a walk in the park for the newborn. 😏
66
Hi Angela Garbes, my name is Simone and I live in Brazil. Your article is amazing! Please, I follow the work of Katie Hindle for some time and I wonder if you can provide me the link of this research. Thank you so much, (simone_cordeiro@hotmail.com)

67
Back to mother nature : the best medecine of all ! we got so brainwashed by the industry, it's refreshing to see an article like yours, thank you !!!
68
This is a fascinating and thought-provoking article- with the exception of the feminism and Affordable Care Act plugs. This is coming from a mother of a 5 month old that is married with a full-time career, and the bread winner for her family. I often wonder what my life would be like if I were afforded the PRIVILEGE to be a stay at home mom. Just the first year is not enough. Her entire childhood would be the ideal. Raising taxes (and health care costs) is not enough and will not perpetuate the breast feeding movement. The only thing that can is the push to have children with a supportive spouse and for men to be raised and taught to carry more responsibility in rearing their families. Women with one foot in the home and the other in the workplace, are not quite as happy as the media and society tries to paint them to be. I have high hopes of becoming a stay at home mom in the future. Breastfeeding has been an incredible sacrifice while balancing my career. A career that I look forward to giving up when I can financially do so. What if instead of focusing on women's rights in the workplace we focused on living providently and avoiding debt so that more women can stay at home with their children? Not everyone would want to but there are many women in the workplace that would love the opportunity to. Let's value the family unit and motherhood a little more instead of focusing on 'rights' in the workplace. Perpetuate the beauty of breastfeeding but more importantly, perpetuate the beauty of hands on, full time parenting and the work that only you can do as a mother or father. This goes beyond the first year and even the first 18.
69
Thank you so much for an eye-opening, beautiful article. The last paragraph made me well up! I'll be printing this and keeping it. Thanks again.
70
Beautiful article, thank you. I love learning about how much mothers kick-ass. Things that I had once taken for granted are have changed from common to spectacular, astonishing, wisdom from a insightful, loving Creator.

71
Wonderful article. I can't remember where I read that a mothers natural urge to kiss her baby's face, picks up the little germs and helps the baby to develope antibodies the overcome the germs she was exposed to- makes sense after reading all of this too
72
I nursed all of my kids exclusively, including a set of twins who didn't wean until they were 3. While I'm a huge fan of breast milk and all of it's awesomeness, I had to laugh at the thought that breast milk makes kids more adventurous eaters. One of my twins is the world's pickiest, and I can assure you he was exposed to pretty much every spice and exotic dish out there while nursing (mama loves to eat!) While your daughter seems to love everything now, report back when she's 2-3 years old and starts refusing everything but bread and cheese :) Otherwise pat yourself on the back for all that pumping and enjoy nursing your sweet girl! Nice article.