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Nursing Your Baby: It’s the Green Choice

Breastfeeding is obviously the natural choice in infant nutrition. Like many other natural options, it’s also the most environmentally responsible choice. You know you want your baby to have the best “formula,” one that contains no unnecessary or artificial ingredients. With breast milk, you can control the pesticides and chemicals by eating a clean, organic diet.

In addition to the control of ingredients you have with breast milk, you also eliminate a lot of landfill trash. Commercial formula comes in cans or other containers which will be discarded after use. Bottles these days are most likely the disposable plastic bags that fit inside a plastic tube. Even if you use glass bottles, you still have nipples that wear out and must be thrown away.

Natural nursing may be less common than bottle feeding these days, but there doesn’t have to be a mystery surrounding it. For most mothers, the occasional problems, such as discomfort or seeming to not have enough milk, can be easily remedied. For instance, adding nutritional yeast or dairy products to the diet can increase milk production dramatically. Be sure to take a complete vitamin supplement, too.

When it’s time to nurse your baby, you will feel a tingly sensation in the nipple which is followed by a release of milk. This “let-down reflex,” which is the body’s natural response to a crying baby, is not something you can easily control. For this reason, many moms, but by no means all, need to have nursing pads on hand. For green baby care, invest in some good soft cotton nursing pads that can be washed and reused. Look for organic cotton, since standard cotton is a crop that is nearly always heavily doused with insecticides. But be aware that you may not need nursing pads at all.

If you should have discomfort when nursing, there are a number of natural salves on the market designed to soothe sore nipples. If these don’t do the trick, an innovative product called “Booby Tubes” might help. These are organic cotton tubes filled with natural flax seed which can be cooled in the fridge or warmed briefly in the microwave, and then placed in the bra like nursing pads. Cooling or warming the nipples can offer just the relief you need. Booby Tubes have been heartily recommended by many natural mamas.

Nursing your baby can be an important part of raising your family in an environmentally responsible way. It’s also cheaper and extremely convenient. Sometimes it can be intimidating, but with education and determination, you most likely can succeed at breastfeeding your baby.

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