Family Magazine

Attachment Parenting: Breastfeeding and Attentive Bottle Feeding

By Craftycrunchymama
Before I start, I would like to reference you to my first post that explains Attachment Parenting as well as the fact that I certainly do not judge others who don't parent this way. Please keep this in mind while reading. Take what you can use use to help your attachment with your little one to grow daily. Thanks for reading!
Attachment Parenting: Breastfeeding and Attentive Bottle Feeding 
So far in my Attachment Parenting series based on Dr. William Sears, M.D. and Martha Sears, R.N.'s book: "The Baby Book", we have talked about Birth Bonding and Belief in Your Baby's Cries. The next "B" in the "Seven Baby B's of Attachment Parenting" is breastfeeding. I have added "attentive bottle feeding" because I think it is just as important!
If you go to any sort of healthcare facility at all during your pregnancy, you are likely to hear many recommendations and good reasons for breastfeeding. It is, after all, the food that is designed for your baby. I am so glad that the medical field has finally changed it's mind as to what is best. Long gone are the times when shots are given to dry up mother's milk supply so that the "more nutritious" formula could be given.
Yes this actually happened - my grandmother was telling me about it.
There are many benefits to breastfeeding, but I'm not going to go into that here. I'm proud to be directing you to The American Academy of Pediatrics' article "Breastfeeding and the use of Human Milk" to read about the benefits as well as the minimum of twelve months of breastfeeding recommendation. There are many other great tips in there too, such as mothers should sleep in close proximity to their babies. Yay!
So what happens if you can't breastfeed?
I know so many people that couldn't breastfeed - and all for different reasons. Attachment is just as achievable for these mothers, just in a different way. I would like to offer a quote from Dr. Sears on this subject that I think sums it up really well. He says:
"The term 'nursing' means comforting and nourishing, weather by breast or bottle. Feeding time is more than just a time for nutrition. It is also a time for special closeness. The mutual giving that is a part of breastfeeding should also be enjoyed during bottlefeeding. Besides giving your infant a bottle, give him your eyes, your skin, your voice, and your caresses. Baby will return more to you than just an empty bottle." (Sears, 216)
I think this is something to keep in mind for breastfeeding and bottlefeeding mothers alike. It is so easy to sit down, give your baby the boob or bottle and look at your phone, watch TV, read a book, etc. Although I think this is OK sometimes, I think it is an even better opportunity to tune out the world and engage in some loving contact with your baby. I know this is an area that I personally need to work on!
To see how breastfeeding worked for us, please read "A Letter to My Breastfeeding Baby". It talks about some of the struggles and triumphs we have had in our breastfeeding journey thus far.

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