Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Breastfeeding Diet

Well, I dropped all my pregnancy weight + 4 lbs and am now back at my "wedding weight" at 6 months post delivery. Now if only I could get back to my high school weight! Ha. Since I have not been exercising or dieting, I have to blame it all on breastfeeding.

I had heard that breastfeeding would accelerate the post-pregnancy weight loss, but I was surprised by how easy it was. I've never been hungry and never broken a sweat (although that is probably a negative, and I do walk and do yoga). The main key is to not INCREASE your calories by too much, while still getting quality nutrition (fruits, veggies, eggs, nuts, beans, whole grains). There's a rumor floating around that breastfeeding requires an extra 500 calories per day. If it does I haven't noticed. Make sure to ask your doctor or lactation consultant :).

Altogether I've been very satisfied with my breastfeeding experience. I realize that it might be much easier for a mostly stay-at-home Frau like myself because I don't have to pump as often (only about 3-4 times per week). Still, as a stay-at-home Frau, I can't believe I would ever be interested in bottle-feeding unless absolutely necessary. It's convenient - no waiting to make a bottle while baby's crying, no cleaning out bottles and nipples, no warming bottles in the middle of the night. Did I mention no periods?

How breastfeeding / nursing ties into peak oil: it doesn't depend on a supply chain, doesn't require oil to create, package, and ship the formula, and can be done without hot water or electricity.

We had a terrible ice storm here in OKC back in December and power was out for about 5 days across the city. I can only imagine the havoc a mother of a small infant would experience if she were trapped in her home, running out of formula, with no hot water. How frightening!

Fortunately breastfeeding was brought back from the comatose/dead through the efforts of La Leche League and other advocates. What's missing, though, is an entire generation of women who know how to breastfeed. Instead they were taught that chemical formulas and rubber nipples were better than their own bodies, that it was better to purchase a product than to rely on nature, and better to hide babies eating than to let anyone see. The feeding of infants, like everything else in the world, was industrialised to meet the needs of capitalism. These women - my mother's generation and to a lesser extent my own generation - can't teach their own daughters and granddaughters how to do breastfeed.

Which is sad, because in a world of declining energy availability they will probably have to.

1 comment:

Rolen said...

Breastfeeding is good for both mother and baby while some tips to keep contunue breastfeeding

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
Take a whole food prenatal vitamin
Drink enough fluids so that you are never thirsty
Avoid caffeine and alcohol