Breast or bottle feeding

Is it better or easier to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby?  Over the years I don’t think it has ever been disputed that breastfeeding is far healthier, but bottles are certainly very convenient, especially for fathers wanting (or needing) to feed their babies.

The health advantages of breast milk include:

  • contains antibodies that fight viruses and bacteria
  • contains all the essential minerals and vitamins needed in the first 6 months
  • lowers the risk of asthma and allergies in children
  • lowers the chance of diarrhea and ear infections
  • breastfeeding helps moms get back to pre-pregnancy weight faster

When my mother was feeding me and my siblings, (in the late 50’s and early 60’s) breastfeeding was not as popular as it is today.  Why that was I am not sure.  Moms were still predominantly “stay at home” and breastfeeding was (and still is) certainly the more economical way to go.  Maybe because of the larger families and the time commitment involved in breastfeeding.  It would be hard to concentrate on breastfeeding with a few other munchkins running around.  I have heard too that breastfeeding was considered to be an uncultured or low-class practice, an opinion that started in the early 20th century and extended almost to the 21st century.

When I was feeding my own babies (in the 90’s) breastfeeding was the thing to do.  I found it very convenient and relaxing, with no complications.  No sterilizing bottles and no filling bottles in the middle of the night.  I do know several women that had difficulties though, with low milk production or trouble with babies latching on properly.  I always said that was the advantage I had in having large babies; (my first was 10 pounds!) they had no trouble latching on and draining me every feeding.

Today, there appears to be mixed feelings about breastfeeding.  It has been making a comeback due to the increased interest in pursuing healthy, more natural lifestyles.   However, although no one can really dispute the health advantages, some modern women still feel tied down and men feel left out when choosing to breastfeed their babies.

The smart choice (in my opinion) is to do both.  Reap the health benefits for mom and baby, but make it more convenient.  Modern technology has produced very efficient (although the electric ones are costly) breast pumps and bottles with colic reducing nipples shaped like breast nipples so baby does not get confused with different sucking procedures going back and forth.

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I have seen my daughter-in-law pump two 5 ounce bottles in ten minutes, something that would have taken me hours to do by hand years ago.  Below are a few of the newest products out there for breastfeeding moms on the go; they are all greatly admired by this grandma…

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On being a Grandma

I have always claimed that my greatest accomplishments in life are my three sons.  Now that I am a Grandma too, I am discovering that this experience is right up there with being a mom, although I cannot claim it as an accomplishment.

I so envy the current generation having children with their parents willing and able to help with their grandchildren.  And, I admire the grandparents willing to spend the quality time with their grandchildren.  I am also very grateful that my two eldest sons have settled close to home, so any grandchildren they produce will be close by.  In my generation, we went to visit our grandparents once in a while, but always as a family (mine had 8 members) and usually for special occasions where the house was full of cousins and other relatives.

Spending the last few days with my grandson I am reminded of how miraculous a new baby is.  From the moment they are conceived to the time they are full grown, their progress is an amazing accomplishment, one we as humans should be incredibly proud of and grateful for.

It is such a joy to spend quality time with a grandchild, even a tiny one that spends most of the day eating, sleeping, spitting up and pooping with bouts of unexplained wailing.  Even my gardens have taken a back seat this week as I babysit (that’s what the parents call it, I call it bonding with) my grandson.

First grandchild born on Family Day

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What better way to celebrate Family Day than to welcome our first grandchild into our family?  The parents were expecting to get a phone call scheduling them for an induction, but their baby had his own plans. Our grandson arrived this morning (very) shortly after a race to the hospital in the middle of the night.  I guess the baby wanted to beat the rush hour traffic LOL.

The complications I talked about in a previous post are still a factor, but hopefully under control.  CHEO, (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) where the baby has to stay for monitoring over the next few days, is next door to the hospital mom delivered at so she and my son can spend as much time as possible with their new baby.

Grandma’s coat and boots are ready at the door, just waiting for the all clear sign to go visit!

Happy Family Day!

Worst nightmare

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My worst nightmare may be coming true.  Years ago, back in the late 80s and early 90s, I suffered through three stillbirths and three miscarriages.  Because they were never able to determine what caused my ordeal with my pregnancies, I have always worried that my three sons might encounter similar problems.

One of the suspicions way back then was cardiovascular abnormalities, but it was never confirmed or ruled out. Today I learned that my son’s baby has an irregular heartbeat (atrial flutter) detected during a routine ultrasound.  Hopefully, modern technology can help solve and deal with the problem today.  if nothing else, I am hoping and praying that because mom is 37 weeks along in the pregnancy they can induce labor and deliver a healthy baby boy.

Now I know the heartache my mother felt, waiting for the phone to ring with news…

Diaper shower

Have you ever heard of a diaper shower?   Since Dads are much more involved in their childrens’ lives these days, a diaper shower is a modern, male version of a baby shower, to help the men celebrate their “dad to be” status.  What an awesome idea!

My eldest son organized such a diaper shower recently for his brother to celebrate our excitement to be expecting a new addition to our family.  Did I mention I am going to be a grandmother for the first time?

The event was a pool (billiards) tournament with a box of diapers as the price of admission.  My job was to collect and deliver the mountain of diapers to their new home…

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