I'm big on breastfeeding, simply because it is free and because it is what nature created just for your baby. So in my book, it makes it the perfect choice for me.
This is me, breastfeeding for the very first time with our oldest, Little Dude.
But I admit, both of my kids did get the occasional bottle of formula when I didn't have enough pumped for bottles. But that was pretty rare, and I liked it that way. I highly recommend the Medela Pump in Style Breast Pump. It is just amazing, awesome and worth every penny. This is the kind I have, only it is the 2006 model and works SO wonderfully. I was blessed to be given mine from one of the moms at the day care I taught at, but if it ever breaks and I need another, I will be buying the same kind again. I loved pumping because then Bill got to participate and have the same bonding and cuddling time while the kids still got the great milk. Both of our kids had breast and bottle from the very beginning, and we never had any nipple confusion with either one. This is Bill getting to "breastfeed" JR from a pumped bottle
Another reason I loved breastfeeding? The fun moments that it brought. Breastfeeding MAKES you take a moment to sit down, relax, and just enjoy your baby cuddling with you. I loved it. I nursed Little Dude for a year, and quit when I got pregnant with JR (though you don't have to quit, but it was time for us) and I nursed JR up until a few weeks ago. I actually would have really loved to nurse him longer, (and I admit I sometimes miss it) but his biting got out of control.
Yes, that is a fact of breastfeeding; all of you thinking about it might want to just keep in the back of your head-when the teeth come, a bite might occur...
Anyways, even with me yelling and popping his head when he'd chomp down on me, I couldn't get him to quit, and after a really bad bite, I got scared of even trying to nurse. So I stopped, and JR hasn't seemed to notice or care. He still comes crawling over, demanding his cuddle time, but now we just cuddle without nursing, and we are both fine with that.
This week is World Breastfeeding Week, and you can find all kinds of great information about how breastfeeding can protect your children with strong immune systems not only while they are little, but later in life as well, at World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.
But you know what? Breastfeeding is a very personal choice, and though for me it was worth the pain and effort to get it going smoothly (it will be a few weeks before it starts working really well for you new moms), don't feel badly if you chose to formula feed. What is important is that your baby gets the love, support, and nutrition he/she needs.
We are lucky here in the US to have such great formula choices and regulations so that all our children are able to get what they need and grow into strong, healthy adults. Not all countries are as lucky, and many infants and toddlers die simply from lack of food, so donated breast milk can make a huge difference in saving those children. You can find out how to donate here.
It's kinda fun to realize that to a baby in another country, you can be Superwoman.