Littlest is 7 months old now—how time flies! And breastfeeding has become such a joy. Now that he’s eating solids, what I pump at work is more than he needs, so we haven’t even bought a tin of formula for 6+ months (though we’ll have to this weekend as I’m worried I might not have enough frozen milk for his night at Mamie’s).
The benefits of breastfeeding seem to just keep piling up as I read more:
- It creates the “microbiome” (the assortment of good bacteria) in the gut that baby needs.
- It helped him learn to suck harder in order to be readier to eat solids.
- It introduced him to lots of different tastes, also better preparing him to eat solids.
- It gives him my antibodies to keep him from getting sick.
- Also because of my antibodies, when I get sick, it keeps him from getting what I have (or at least, he gets it in extremely mild form) and allows me to not wear a mask around him—and continue giving him all the kisses I want.
- It has saved us so much money.
- It calms him when he’s upset for other reasons, like this weekend when he had some trouble falling asleep at the wedding.
- It’s so freaking practical (this past weekend we nursed on the side of the road and in the church during the wedding).
- It gives him my melatonin in the middle of the night to help him fall back asleep, though he seems to be sleeping through the night again (when he’s at home).
And though it’s not a scientific benefit, the bond we have while nursing is super sweet. Littlest is pretty wiggly but has started looking up at me with his big blue eyes (yes, they’re still blue!) while nursing and it melts my heart.
Unfortunately, breastfeeding a baby at this age in France seems to already make us abnormal. From as early as six months I started getting the question, “T’allaites encore?” at that point without any inherent criticism. But it shocked me that anyone would bother to ask that question for such a little baby, and the questions have only increased over the past few days when we saw so many new people with Littlest at a wedding.
I can tell it’s going to be tiring responding and educating people. I snapped at a colleague today, though I then explained.
Here’s my question though: WHY? WHY would I stop now? It was so hard at the beginning, and it’s such a joy now.
So if any has any quick and ready answers I can whip out without having to think about it, that would helpful!