When I was pregnant with my first, people would ask me if I planned to breastfeed...and my response was a horrified
"Of Course I am going to FEED my baby!! What kind of monster do you think I am?!?!?!"
LOL I honestly did not think of another possibility...I really thought that only people who couldn't breastfeed would bottle feed a baby...after all, it is expensive and a hassle, and a poor substitute for the real thing.
That was before I realized that there has been a steady stream of advertising and cultural pressure for the last 100 years (yes, I live in a cave) that make bottle feeding seem "natural" (next time you are leafing through a magazine, TRY to find a picture of a baby without either a bottle or a pacifier, something that was invented alongside bottles because the development of the human jaw required an adequate of suckling by an infant, something that is not provided with the bottle's quicker feeding.)
The main reason I am so pasionate about breastfeeding is that the future of the human race depends on it!!
Scientists are finding that the old adage
"you are what you eat" is only partially true..."you are what your
grandmother ate" is closer to the truth. Hence the rash of deadly
peanut allergies...think back, how many generations ago did peanut
butter become a staple in the North American diet?
Evolution is an amazing thing...ALL life is constantly evolving, and the shorter the life cycle, the faster an organism evolves.
There are MANY organisms that COULD kill a human, but our immune system is ready for them...almost. That wondrous storehouse of immunities has been built by generations of humans fighting off those tiny little "bugs", and so we are only troubled with a little stomach upset instead of death. But the organisms that your Great-Great-Grandmother faced have evolved so much that if she were magically transported to our time, she would likely die from the first flu she contracted, even if it were a descendant of a strain that she had suffered with back in her time.
So mother nature made mother's milk.
The mammary glands are a marvel of immunology,
whereby a baby can have anti-bodies (delivered through the milk) that
the mother does not even have!! This means that the boobs actually MAKE
ANTI-BODIES, just like your fully grown immune system does, which, as
many of you already know, a baby lacks.
Now if you look at the general health of the North American population, you will see a sharp increase of such terrible diseases as diabetes, obesity and allergies over the last few generations, and in my opinion , (and this is based on much reading and research, but I have not yet published a paper :-) there is a direct relationship to the decrease in the number of women who breastfeed and so....
Human protection from the microscopic world has a growing hole in it.
When a baby is not "boosted" up to the evolutionary stage that the viruses and bacteria have evolved to, it becomes more susceptible to attack by the same. And when that baby grows up and has a baby, that baby's immune system is now 2 human generations out of date. If that mother does not breastfeed, her child will grow up with an immune system that is now millions of generations behind the bacteria and viruses that can seriously effect their health.
So, why am I passionate about breastfeeding?
Evolutionary, my dear Watson...evolutionary.