Why do I breastfeed? Shall I count the ways....
1. I am lazy and I forget things. It is best for everybody that I don't have to remember to make bottles, take them with me and dispose of them at a set time.
2. Portability. Basically I don't have to carry stuff. I hate change bags and rarely use one. All I need is the contents of my bra and a handbag and I'm good to go.
3. I'm possessive. OK, I'm going to be honest. Breastfeeding gives me a reason to keep baby to myself at certain times. I do understand the argument against breastfeeding where bottle feeding allows other family members to feed baby. But, as far as I am concerned they can do that when it comes to solids. This bit is mine. I did the pregnancy and I'm having the milk bit as a reward. Fortunately hubby is quite happy with that arrangement. Equally, the fact that I am bound to my baby in this way also means that I can't escape and go and do loads of other stuff, which, knowing me, I probably would.
4. I tend to do the natural thing. I compost, I grow my own veg, I recycle, I make things, I buy from charity shops. Oh, and I use reusable nappies too. Just kinda fits for me to breastfeed too.
5. I am stubborn. This might seem a weird reason. However, breastfeeding didn't come easy, I had to fight for it. As a Taurus I have a typical bullish nature - the harder something is the more I dig my hooves in and refuse to move. I won't give this up for anything, it was too hard won.
6. The health benefits. I have put this low down the list for a reason, which is that I feel it is too often cited to promote breastfeeding. It's important, sure, but so are other more social reasons that deserve an airing. Also, in the Western world the health benefits are less pronounced (but nonetheless evident). However, when I refer to health benefits I don't just mean all the benefits from drinking or lactating the stuff. I also refer to my on hand medicine that can be squirted onto a variety of cuts, burns, or gloopy infected bits as an easy alternative to bought medicine.
7. I kinda like that it grosses people out. It's fun to get the response of people when you have been breastfeeding a while 'your baby is how old???' . But also the disgust when you tell people you use it if you run out milk (I hasten to add I have never actually done this).
8. I want to be an example. I wish I'd had breastfeeding women around me when I had my son. I want to be an example to my sisters, my friends, my daughter and the women that wander past while I am feeding. I hope that I may be the source of handy tips or that I aid the process of normalisation a bit.
9. Biology. I am a biology teacher and have a degree in that field. OK, so marine biology has very little to do with lactation (except whales - I'd love to see a whale breastfeed, what do their nipples look like?). Nonetheless I have a fascination with living things. Breastfeeding is so interesting. The tissue structure, the hormonal regulation, the synthesis of the stuff (there were too many big words for a minute so I felt I needed a 'stuff'). Also, it's quite amazing really that there aren't any visible holes but milk comes out all the same. I had always thought it would be a single jet, but no its more like a shower head. See, biology is cool.
10. Smell. Apparently the baby's poo doesn't smell as bad. My baby stinks enough already. This is a good reason.
These are my top 10 reasons. Nobody else's, just mine. People make their own choices about their own way to feed their baby, be it breast, combined or formula. We each have our own reasons.