Due to the health benefits of breast milk and the catchy rhyming factor the term Breast is Best has been an oft repeated term that any mother of a newborn cannot escape from hearing. It gets repeated ad nauseam until you are tossing and turning in your bed at night mumbling breast is best, breast is best.
There is little doubt that breast milk contains an incredible amount of nutrients and antibodies that help your little ones in the early stages of his or her life but none of these benefits are negated by pumping your milk into a bottle first and then feeding it to your child. In fact you actually gain quite a number of extra benefits by doing this.
Before I continue, I’ll assume that you are not consulting me in place of a real doctor or some other qualified professional, I have no letters after my name and no breasts in front of my body. This is by no means some comprehensive how-to guide for breast pumping or meant to be percieved as actual advice for mothers seeking real help with breastfeeding/pumping. There are plenty of other real resources available for that. If you are looking for an entertaining read full of anectodes based on my life experiences as a male raising 4 kids, please continue.
So lets get on with the reasons why the world over will soon be singing the praises of “Pumping is Perfect.”
- Pumping allows the mother to be able to leave the child for longer than a few hours at a time. If you are breast feeding your baby you must return to your baby every 3-4 hours to feed. This makes it very difficult to do things where it wouldn’t be ideal to have a newborn along. This could include things such as a day out by yourself to regain your sanity, working a job (full or part time), or anything else you might wish to do for longer than 3 hours without having to nurse a child.
- Closely related to the last reason, if you pump you could enjoy longer periods of sleep at night if someone else gets up with the baby and feeds them a bottle. What new mother wouldn’t enjoy 6 to 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a few nights a week?
- Pumping allows other family members such as Dad to also enjoy that special bonding time that can occur during feedings.
- Your breasts don’t have flow meters on them so you don’t ever know how much milk your baby is actually drinking. Women can usually know if it was a “good” feeding but you can’t actually know without any doubt how much your baby is eating. If you pump then you will be able to know exactly how much your baby is eating and you can make sure they are eating the appropriate amount for their age.
- No matter how hungry your baby is s/he will never suck as completely as a pump will. A breast pump will completely drain your breasts of your milk and this will help your milk supply.
- Coat-tailing the last point, a good pump will drain your milk faster than a baby. You could cut a 1 hour feeding session down to a 15 minutes pumping session.
- A pump doesn’t bite. Any mother who has been bitten by a teething baby can say a big hallelujah to this one!
- A pump tends to dry out and crack your nipples a lot less than a sucking baby.
- You can give your baby a bottle in scenarios where it’s impossible to give your child your breast. Such as the car. If you are on a road trip you will have to pull over to breast feed, whereas you could reach you arm over and give your baby a bottle while you are still driving down the road.
- As much as it is changing here in America, there is still a stigma attached to breast feeding in public. Some mothers don’t feel comfortable breast feeding in public for any number of reasons. No one feels uncomfortable giving their baby a bottle in public.
- If you pump, you might just find that your body produces much more milk than your baby can eat. This gives you the opportunity to donate or sell your breast milk to feed another baby whose mother cannot produce breast milk for whatever reason.
- If you pump then you can add green food coloring to your bottle on St. Patrick’s Day. Oh lighten up, I’m just kidding, don’t ever do this.
- If you pump more than your baby can eat you can also store the extra milk by freezing it. This will allow you to continue to feed your baby breast milk for a while after your body has stopped producing milk.
So those are a few of the reasons why I believe pumping can be a great choice for new families. As with anything baby related, no two babies are the same and no two families are the same. What works for one family doesn’t work for another and what worked with one of your kids might not necessarily work with the next.
Thanks for reading, I hope I have given you a few points to ponder, especially the part about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Have a great week. As always, if you wanted to support me, you could click on the Top Daddy Blogger icon below. Every click counts as a vote.