21 Rock Solid Reasons Our Family Doctor is Passionately Pro Breastfeeding

We met Dr. Ilana Joubert by happy accident...

We were out for tea and a playdate one morning, when Benjamin was about 20 months old.  There was a bicycle leaning against a wall.  Naturally, Ben had to investigate.  I spotted what he was up to seconds too late, just in time to witness him pulling the bicycle on top of himself. He landed up with a bad gash just above his eye, which of course meant lots of blood spurting out.  What a shock!  I rushed him to the closest emergency room (Parklands Intercare), to see if he needed stitches.

Enter – Dr. Ilana Joubert.  I asked the Doctor if I could nurse Benjamin, as that was the only thing calming him down.  It was too awkward while Dr. Joubert was patching Benjamin up, but she was happy for me to feed him before and after.  We were both upset and in shock, Ben was screaming, and were all grateful for the magical calm that descended as Ben fed.

Dr. Joubert commented to the nurse assisting her: “you see how valuable breastfeeding is in these cases.”  She went on to explain that her 3rd child was also still feeding, with no sign of letting up, and she was 2 years old.  That was the moment I decided Dr. Joubert would become our new family Doctor.  

I was just as thrilled when Dr. Joubert agreed to write an article for Happy Human Pacifier – here it is… enjoy! 

Breastfeeding!!

Did I intend to breastfeed for a total of 7 years? No!! Was it worth every second in the end?  Absolutely!

scheduled feeding vs demand feeding

“I’m totally in love with breastfeeding”

Its most certainly the best thing I ever did, I’m totally in love with breast feeding and would never understand that a mother of a newborn wouldn’t even want to give it a try!!

People are prepared to spend thousands  to conceive, seeing specialists, in vitro fertilisation, or natural pregnancy. Then they spend more money on decor for the baby room, special unnecessary baby monitors and breathing pads, expensive prams etc. But heaven forbid spending a second of my own time on this special new little person I have wanted so badly and planned for so long!!

I believe this is one of the biggest reasons why new mothers do not want to engage in breastfeeding or don’t last even a few months. Selfishness is so part of our very nature, and of society today.  It’s all about me, my time, my body, my freedom… breastfeeding sadly ends up at the bottom of the priority list for many!!

I’m prepared to pay lots of money for lots of gadgets, as long as it doesn’t involve me spending my time, sacrificing one year of my life to feed and be close to my new baby most hours of the day!!  People can’t wait to ship baby off to their own room, do sleep training and get baby on formula milk, so they can resume their lives as per usual.  As if the biggest life changing event in your life, and relationship hasn’t happened!!

“As a career driven Medical Doctor, I of course, had it all planned out…”

Have I made these mistakes myself? I have indeed. As a career driven Medical Doctor, I of course, had it all planned out. I will breastfeed for 4 months (I wanted to try at least), and will then, put baby in a nursery and wean them onto formula, so I can resume my life, my career, my social “responsibilities”, my gym training etc.!!

But because my “ difficult” baby refused a pacifier, any plastic bottle “boob replacements” and only slept peacefully in my arms or in my bed, I engaged in a war that went against all grains of nature and one I certainly didn’t win!!

But after about 9 months I started to surrender to what she needed and wanted.  I realised “this too shall pass”.  I reasoned, what is 1 year of my entire life, to go slower, slow enough to incorporate my breastfeeding baby in all aspects of my life in order to accommodate for what she needed at the time.
And all she needed was…ME!!

attachment parenting criticism

As soon as I stopped forcing my baby into a stupid sleeping routine and feeding routine generically designed by other people who have never even met her or know what she likes and dislikes, there suddenly was no war any longer!!

“I started feeding on demand…moved baby into my bed… she was content, in baby heaven!!”

I started feeding on demand, introduced solids as per protocol (never forcefully though), moved baby into my bed. I can appreciate that co-sleeping is not for everyone, but since that day, me and baby and the rest of the house could have sound nights of good sleep, with baby sneakingly taking little night-caps as and when she needed, while I never even had to really wake up, or get out of bed, or rock my little girl to sleep. She was content, in baby heaven!!

That led to me waking up refreshed in the morning, being able to go to work, not tired and grumpy, and able to cope much better on a day to day basis.

Yes, I didn’t sleep away from baby for the first year.  Yes, I had to feed in public behind bookshelves and clothing rails on the floor, or underneath a blanket in restaurants.  My social life certainly wasn’t what it was before!!

But guess what, I discovered it’s not forever.  And it’s such a small price to pay for one of the best investments you can ever make for your child!!

And today, after having fed 3 little super healthy/content/intelligent/ emotionally secure little girls for 2.5 years each, I am free to go out again as much as ever, pursue a busy career, train 5 days a week, and have a life as good as ever before kids!!

Benefits? Endless… here are a few, off the top of my head…

  1. Cheap, easy,  accessible at any time or place
  2. Very rarely sick, no need for added vitamins
  3. Well-nourished baby, no constipation
  4. Hours of sweet cuddles and love
  5. Happy, content, never crying little infants
  6. Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria
  7. Breastfeeding lowers your baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies
  8. Co-sleeping and breastfeeding significantly lowers the rate of SIDS(sudden infant death syndrome or cot death) by 50%
  9. Exclusively breastfed babies also have a lower incidence of ear infections, respiratory illnesses and diarrhoea!!
  10. Breastfed babies also have a reduced risk of long term conditions such as type 1 Diabetes, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease and even some childhood cancers (lymphoma)!!
  11. Breastfed babies also have a better antibody response to vaccines than formula-fed babies!!
  12. Breastfeeding acts like a natural tranquilliser for baby…breast milk contain chemicals that seem to work like “knock out drops” for tired babies.
  13. Even if baby doesn’t fall asleep, he will certainly calm down and become more agreeable
  14. If you choose to breastfeed into toddlerhood you may find that the “terrible twos “ never materialise!!
  15. Breastfed babies were shown to have better cognitive development
  16. The psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies clearly differs from that of bottle fed ones and leads at the age of 12 months to significant advantages of the psychomotor and social capabilities
  17. Breastfed children are protected against mental health problems and addictions
  18. Breastfed children tend to be higher in intelligence and more emotionally secure than children who were not breastfed!!
  19. Breast milk contains 200 fatty acid chains, including DHA/ARA that the brain needs for development.
  20. It provides growth factors, enzymes, minerals, vitamins, fat, carbohydrates, protein and water
  21. Breast milk changes composition throughout the day, from feeding to feeding, from mother to mother, to adapt to the needs of the child!!

So after a mouth full, though far from everything that could possibly said about breastfeeding, I can say from personal experience that “while breastfeeding may not seem the right choice for every parent, it most certainly is the best choice for every baby-“ Amy Spangler

pro breastfeeding publicA newborn baby has only three demands. They are:

  1. warmth in the arms of its mother
  2. food from her breasts, and
  3. security in the knowledge of her presence.

Breastfeeding satisfies all three!

Dr. Ilana Joubert

 

10 Replies to “21 Rock Solid Reasons Our Family Doctor is Passionately Pro Breastfeeding”

  1. Adina

    I agree breastfeeding is necessary and recommended. I have two sons and I tried hard with both of them. Results: one month breastfeeding with both. I still do not know why. Maybe stress or wrong nutrition…
    Do you think in “I do not have milk” statement? Or you think is only my mistake here? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lauren Kinghorn Post author

      Hi Adina, well done for giving both your sons a month of breastfeeding. Every drop of breast milk is a gift.

      You are not alone. Many Moms struggle with low milk supply. I am working on an article now that will hopefully answer your questions.

      Reply
  2. Lovejeg

    Hey Lauren

    You go girl. I am also pro breastfeeding. I breastfed both my babies for as long as I could. They are happy and healthy children today. There is also a special bond that forms between a mother and a child that is breast fed. It is sad that society sometimes frowns upon a woman who is breastfeeding in public.
    Great site, great article.

    All the best.
    Michelle

    Reply
    • Lauren Kinghorn Post author

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments Michelle! Wonderful to meet another fellow Happy Human Pacifier. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Megan

    Hi there, so I was reading your blog about breastfeeding and I found it really interesting. I’m pregnant with my first child, and this is still something that I’m not sure if I want to do or not (breastfeed), and it’s not because of selfish reasons or wanting to make the child independent already from the womb, but more likely, I just don’t know if my body will produce enough milk, I’m scared, I take specific medications for my health that I don’t want to pass through to the baby. I think the benefits are great, and it makes me worry that people out there will think I’m a bad mom for not wanting to breastfeed. Part of me does, but part of me doesn’t. I say that I don’t want to do certain things and I have no idea how this baby will change my life and how I will bend to his needs. I’d probably do the breastfeeding before I did co-sleeping though, only because I don’t trust sleeping in the same bed with a baby and my husband who both he and I like to roll around in the bed while sleeping. I just don’t think that’s safe, but that’s just me, and I commend you for doing what works best for you. That truly is all that matters! Very informative and interesting article.

    Reply
    • Lauren Kinghorn Post author

      Hi Megan, firstly, Congratulations on your first pregnancy! How exciting! And thank you for being so honest in sharing your fears. From my understanding, the single most important factor in producing enough breast milk is feeding on demand, rather than on a schedule. However, as I don’t know which medication you’re on, and I’m not a doctor or expert in this field, I can’t comment on whether you will be able to produce enough milk to breastfeed. There is an expert I follow on insufficient milk supply issues – Pinky McKay is an IBCLC and gives excellent advice. Visit Pinky McKay’s website: http://www.beautifulbreastfeeding.com/

      You may be surprised to know that I never considered co-sleeping before my son arrived either. The cot was there, ready for him, but somehow I just never managed to get him into the cot without waking him after a feed. My son is now 2 and a half years old and still nursing and still co-sleeping. None of this was planned during my pregnancy.

      I agree with you 100% – do what works best for you and your baby. I wish you all the very best for the rest of your pregnancy, and will be here if you have any questions once baby is born.

      Reply
  4. Mijareze

    I just read your post titled, “21Rock Solid Reasons Our….” That was quite an experience you had with your child and your new doctor. It seems like you had a good experience come from a bad situation. I don’t know how you could nurse for seven hours. My wife and my daughter tried nursing their children but said it hurt too much to continue. Perhaps it is not the same for everyone.

    Thank you,

    Edward Mijarez

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Edward, thanks for your comments. Yes, I was glad to have met Dr. Joubert. I am so sorry to hear that your wife and daughter found breastfeeding too painful. It can be painful at first, but usually this can be resolved by learning to latch and position the baby correctly. Some nursing issues are easier to resolve than others, for example, sometimes there is a tongue tie issue, and an expert IBCLC or midwife would need to correct this before nursing could be comfortable. I commend your wife and daughter for trying to breastfeed. Any amount of breast milk, especially the first few days of colostrum, is a blessing.

      Reply
  5. Lynne Huysamen

    Oh this is just lovely Lauren!
    I breast fed both my children and I must say it was a bit of a struggle for me, for various reasons. But it was the best thing for me to breast feed them. The bond that comes with breastfeeding, all the cuddling and closeness, well nothing beats that does it?
    I think there is nothing more natural and beautiful in the world.

    Reply

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