I Knew Having Grayson on My Nipple was Best

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 08:34
Submitted by Carlin Ross

Grayson is 6 months old and I'm still breastfeeding round the clock. He loves yogurt and bananas in the morning but always finishes up breakfast with a breast nosh.

I do all the things the "experts" frown upon: I nurse on demand and during the night because he sleeps in bed with us. And I've taken alot of heat for not pumping my breast milk. I did it - I had the pump sitting in his room for months but I couldn't bring myself to hook it up and put my milk in a bottle.

I'm not judging...I know I have the ideal work-at-home-care-for-baby situation (and I think we should make some changes so more women can enjoy motherhood without walking away from their careers). But I just instinctively knew that having Grayson on my nipple was the best for his health. And, as it turns out, my instincts were correct.

I was perusing my FB feed when I stumbled upon this article written my a breastfeeding mom. According to the latest research, latching has a profound effect on the antibodies the mother's body releases in her breast milk:

"when a baby suckles at its mother's breast, a vacuum is created. Within that vacuum, the infant's saliva is sucked back into the mother's nipple, where receptors in her mammary gland read its signals. This 'baby spit backwash' contains information about the baby's immune status. Everything scientists know about physiology indicates that baby spit backwash is one of the ways that breast milk adjusts its immunological composition. If the mammary gland receptors detect the presence of pathogens, they compel the mother's body to produce antibodies to fight it, and those antibodies travel through breast milk back into the baby's body, where they target the infection."

Our bodies are perfectly designed to sustain life. And one of the things I'm learning as a new mom is that I know best, no apologies. My child my choice.

Editor in Chief & Keeper of All Things Betty Dodson

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Thu, 09/10/2015 - 11:29
Susan Weschler (not verified)

I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom.  I nursed my kids on demand until one was 16 months and the other was three years old. And they've turned out pretty damn well. I wouldn't trade those times for anything. 


Mon, 09/14/2015 - 14:43

With both of my girls, I went back to work quite quickly (after 3-4 months maternity leave). Once I was back at work, I breast fed when I was home and they were bottle fed when I was at work. It also helped my partner to feel more engaged in their lives.

We never had any problems switching from breast to bottle or from my milk to formula. My girls stopped breastfeeding at around 18 months, essentially as they moved onto cow's milk.

There are no definitive health benefits to breastfeeding children past 12 weeks, which is not to say there are no benefits just that they can't be systematically proven. So like lots of parenting choices, we're all left to make our own decisions for our own circumstances.

Whatever a woman chooses to do should be supported - life is tricky enough as a new parent.