Teenage Mothers and Breastfeeding
You probably had some huge decisions to make when you discovered that you were pregnant. As your pregnancy progresses there are new decisions to be made. One of the first will be how to feed your baby. Doctors used to believe that breastfeeding was not advisable for teenage mothers whose bodies are still developing. In light of recent research, which proved that teenage mothers who breastfed their babies have healthier bones than teenage mothers who did not breastfeed, doctors have changed their stance. As a teenage mother you have all the same reason to breastfeed as older mothers do and maybe more.
Healthier Baby and Healthier Mother
Research abounds with proof that your baby will grow up healthier and smarter if he is breastfed than if he is artificially fed. These health benefits last throughout a baby's lifetime and will make mothering easier for you. You will be busy enough without having to make trips to the doctor for ear infections and a healthy, happy baby will be more of a pleasure to care for than an unhappy, sick one. Breastfeeding confers health benefits on the mother as well. Healthier bones are only one example.
Your Special Role
Your baby may spend a lot of time in the care of others while you are at school. If you are living at your parents your mother may be the baby's main caregiver. Breastfeeding is something that only you do for your baby. Breastfeeding is the original pacifier and the best way to calm a baby who is hungry, tired or otherwise cranky. Your baby loves it without knowing how good it is for him. It is the perfect way for the two of you to reconnect after being separated. Your baby will look forward to you coming home and nursing him.
What Breasts Were Really Made For
Many people see breasts exclusively as sex objects. This may be especially true for teenage boys. If the baby's father will be involved in raising her he will need to learn the importance of breastfeeding and what breasts are really for. Take a prenatal course together that discusses breastfeeding or provide him with some reading material aimed at new fathers. You may want to include other people close to you as well, like your best friends or family members. It is important that the people close to you understand why you are breastfeeding your baby and that they support you.
Probably the best way to help yourself in your endeavor to breastfeed, and as a young mother in general, is to hook up with other breastfeeding young mothers. Find out where there is a support group in your area and take advantage of it. If there is no group in your area try an internet forum or better yet, start a group of your own.
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