I always knew that when I had kids I would nurse them! It has been an awesome experience with all of my children. We did not really encounter too many problems, besides some plugged milk ducts due to me trying to do too much too soon. I did not have a set amount of time that I would nurse. I know that there are tons of benefits for both mom and baby so I figured I would do it as long as we were both benefiting. I nursed Natalie and Alivia until nearly age two and I am currently still nursing Pierson.

Ten Reasons to Breastfeed

1.Bonds mom & baby
2.Conveniently packaged
3. Always ready
4.Satisfies emotional needs
5. Perfect nutrition
6. Higher I.Q.
7. Natural immunity
8. Lose extra weight
9. Reduce risk of cancers
10. It's what breasts are made for!

B-bonding: Lots of physical contact strengthens mother/baby relationship. Moms are more tuned in to baby’s needs, babies feel more secure.
R-relaxing: Breastfeeding requires mom to sit down frequently, built-in rest periods with no guilt. Mothering hormone (prolactin) releases while nursing enhances feeling of well-being and makes mothering easier.
E-easy: Breastfeeding require no mixing, heating, cleaning, or sterilizing. It is always available immediately at the right temperature. This perfect first food changes as the baby grows providing exactly the right amounts of vitamins, protein, and iron.
A-allergies: Breastfeeding reduces risk of allergies.
S-stains: Breast milk does not stain baby or mommy’s clothes, plus breastfed baby’s bowel movements don’t smell bad, are water soluble so you can just through the soiled cloth diapers right in the washer!
T-traveling: Just pack the baby and diaper bag. No worrying about carrying and warming a bottle. IF travelling abroad you don’t have to worry about the quality of water to mix with formula or where to get more if you run out.
F-fertility: Many moms experience longer period of time before menstruation cycle returns, helping as a natural birth control and in spacing out children.
E-economical: Total breastfeeding for 4-6 months saves hundreds of dollars over the cost of formula, bottles, etc. Also because breastfed babies have fewer illnesses you will save in doctor fees too!
E-exclusive: A gift that only mom can give to the baby which increases mom’s self- confidence.
D-developmental: Promotes proper jaw, tooth, and speech development
I-immunities: Breast milk contains antibodies to illnesses to which mother has been exposed, protects against infection (including ear infections), and prolongs natural immunity to mumps, measles and polio and other diseases.
N-night: Night feedings are easier, especially if you are co-sleeping you don’t have to even get up and you can all fall right back to sleep, so the whole family sleeps better.
G-gas: Breast milk digests easily, which means less spit up, gas pain, reflux, colic and crying!

How amazing is it that a baby's instinct leads it from the womb to the breast! Check out The Breast Crawl.

Check out my friends Blog Mama*cue for great breastfeeding truths

And make sure to get yourself one of these nursing back buddy pillows from my friend at Moms Essentials LLC

Research and practice in the 5 years since publication of the last AAP policy statement have reinforced the conclusion that breastfeeding and the use of human milk confer unique nutritional and nonnutritional benefits to the infant and the mother and, in turn, optimize infant, child, and adult health as well as child growth and development. Recently, published evidence-based studies have confirmed and quantitated the risks of not breastfeeding. Thus, infant feeding should not be considered as a lifestyle choice but rather as a basic health issue. As such, the pediatrician’s role in advocating and supporting proper breastfeeding practices is essential and vital for the achievement of this preferred public health goal.For the entire 2012 Policy Statement 2012 Policy Statement Breastfeeding and the use of human milk

There are tons of great articles to read at Mothering Magazine Articles on Breastfeeding Here is one to start with Lactation and the Law or
CNN reports that More New Moms Nurse but Turn to Formula too soon

Here are a few good sites to check out:
Nut milk recipes
Nutritional composition
Newborn breastfeeding
Treating problems

Most moms set a goal to try and breastfeed until their baby is 12 months old since the pediatricians support this. It is hard to think beyond that or know how you will feel about nursing once your baby becomes a toddler, but it is worth considering.

Breastfed toddlers
1) Get complete nutrition
2) Are physically healthier
3) Are emotionally healthier
4) Are smarter

Breastfeeding Moms
1) Promotes mom’s emotional well-being
2) Reduces mom’s risk of disease
3) Acts as a natural birth control

My childbirth teacher required us to go to a La Leche League breastfeeding, mom-mom support group meeting while pregnant, so I did. At that time Lenawee County did not have a group, so I attended the Jackson County group. I found like-minded moms there who were all, of course, very supportive of breastfeeding. I was new to Michigan and I actually met some of my best friends at LLL meetings! In September 2007 I got to be one of the core group starters of the Lenawee group. I was very active with our group in MI and highly recommend La Leche League no matter where you live. Since moving to PA, La Leche League is where I've met some great mom friends and other natural birth advocates. It is a great place to meet other moms who are experiencing a similar place in life and there is a lot of wisdom that comes from these women. La Leche League offers a wealth of information and you can find a meeting near you.

I regularly attend the Glenmoore/Elverson meeting at our church Forks of the Brandywine Evangelical Presbyterian Church . We meet around the back of the church at 1648 Horseshoe Pike, Glenmoore (Rt 322 west of Downingtown, east of Rt. 82). Check out the local La Leche of Chester County PA or call the any of the leaders: Jamie 610-675-7520, Jennifer 610-942-7045, Kristina 610-321-0319 or Judy 610-363-6206 for questions or info.

I have captured some moments of our La Leche meetings, our booth at a local festival, a friend nursing her 5 pound newborn, and my favorite-my daughter nursing her baby dolls! If you have a photo you'd like to share, please Contact Me and send it my way.

Breastfeeding photo gallery