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benefits to mums of breastfeeding

(7 Posts)
chocbutton Mon 14-Jul-08 11:52:48

I am still BF DS (18 mths) and have been suffering quite badly with back pain and other various joint pain. Got some good advice from MN on what drugs are safe to take etc and am using tens machine, acupuncture etc.
However, I have now been told my GP, acupuncture practitioner and physio that perhaps I should stop BF as this may be a reason for my back/joint problems.
Now, I know there are lots of threads on benefits of extended BF for babies, and I have looked at the kelly mom info etc, which I think gives good advice on benefits, but why are health professionals so quick to assume that my son is 'leaching all the goodness from me'? I suppose I just want confirmation that not only is it best for my DS but also not damaging to me. I do know this but it's hard to keep justifying it to people whom I believe should know better hmm And therein lies another problem, that I am having to justify myself - in any other part of life I can be fairly assertive etc when needed, but I seem to have turned into the sort of person who just nods and says yes I'll think about that when really I want to say no, you are totally wrong and are giving out wrong advice. The only benefit to me stopping BF now would be that DH could put DS to bed - but I like doing that anyway!

tiktok Mon 14-Jul-08 12:04:20

choc, neither your GP, your physio, nor your acupuncturist, are likely to be qualified enough to make these statements about bf 'leeching all the goodness from you'. That's preposterous.

Breastfeeding beyond infancy helps protect you against breast cancer, ovarian cancer and fractures due to osteoporosis in later life (though this last is not as well researched as the others - not all the research shows this).

Some women find that the hormones linked with bf seem to have a continued effect on SPD if they are unlucky enough to have it - some women with SPD for instance only find they get relief when they cut down on bf. But that's 'some' not all...individual experience seems to vary a lot.

Ask your practitioners for references for their advice, and you can read them up for yourself. If they don't have references for what they are saying you can of course draw your own conclusions

I hope others will come on here and tell you more.

chocbutton Mon 14-Jul-08 12:09:02

thanks tiktok, I agree that I need to actually ask on what evidence are they basing their comments. SPD is actually one of my continuing problems, but it isn't painful enough to make me stop BF, i.e. nothing like as bad as during pregnancy.

PrettyCandles Mon 14-Jul-08 12:16:59

Chgocbutton, have you tried varying your feeding position?

I have had SPD, RSI, whiplash, and chronic back problems due to a very old lower back injury. Feeding sitting up has always been hard on me, and caused me pain in various places - some joint and some muscular.

My very favourite feeding position is lying down. 20m ds2 now takes me to the bed, shoves me gently against it, and says "lie, lie" when he wants a feed.

I feed mostly lying down, and occasionally sitting up, and it's much easier on my aching bod.

And good on you for feeding so long!

RoRoMommy Mon 14-Jul-08 12:43:36

Hi chocbutton. I've had very similar experiences dealing with health professionals w/r/t bf; in fact, even when I am in their offices for entirely unrelated issues, they seem to bring up bf as a potential cause of the issues and encourage me to stop (the last time I went in for chronic constipation and the doctor asked when I was thinking of stopping bf as this would help "get things moving," as if diet and fibre and water wouldn't do the trick sufficiently).

To confirm your feelings about the goodness of bf, I second tiktok's references to reductions of various cancers. It also gives you a wonderful sense of closeness to your DS (mine is 15m.o. and very mobile and active, so bf is when we get our special quiet time together to cuddle, and I honestly don't know if I'd get as much of it if I wasn't stilll bf). Not to mention the good mood hormones that are released when you're breastfeeding.

That's just the beginning, there is so much more. Good on you for continuing, and good luck with being more assertive; I think asking for references is a good start, certainly easier than coming up with a list of your own (though that would also be quite compelling!).

chocbutton Mon 14-Jul-08 14:34:28

thanks for these - I really want to continue as both myself and DS get a lot out of it, especially as I am back at work - I really look forward to the last feed of the day.

It just gets tiresome when people seem you suggest that you are making things harder for yourself by continuing to Bf as if that is the problem, rather than looking at what might actually be causing it. I am going to swot up on my list of benefits so I can quote when necessary!

une Mon 14-Jul-08 17:32:39

Not to mention the benefits for your kid! It's like an extra vaczination at that age.

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