Breastfeeding is the easiest way to feed your baby.
Uhh, no it isn't. There isn't anything easy about it in the beginning, when you're trying to squish something the consistency of an ultrathick milkshake out of your nipples. And there's nothing easy about helping your baby learn to latch on correctly. When you have a newborn screaming the "I'M STARVING" cry and you're having to pop him off the boob and back on again there is simply nothing easy about it. And you can't leave him latched on wrong or the pain hits...oh yeah, the pain. Think of what it would feel like if someone froze your nipple, then pinched it as hard as possible. When your nip is compressed completely into an unnatural shape, they let go and the painful sensation turns from frostbite ouchie into needle stabbing sharpness.
So...let's just be honest and say it is much easier to feed your child from a bottle, be it breastmilk or formula. And I'll follow that by saying that although it is harder than bottle feeding I believe that the skin-to-skin contact elevates the mother-baby bond to a much higher level. If you can't or won't breastfeed I suggest taking off your top and the baby's onesie and feeding with bare skin. Call me crazy, but there's something very comforting for both mom and child when you utilize skin-to-skin contact. Just try it, if you haven't already.
Breastfeeding is more convenient.
I've been told that breastfeeding is more convenient because I don't have to worry about carting around bottles and expressed breastmilk or formula. There's plenty of inconveniences such as when you're out running errands and the baby wants to nurse but you aren't anywhere close to home. If you don't have some nifty nursing shirt or wrap that allows you to modestly feed your baby then you have to deal with the pervy stares and outright glares of uptight people. I've already fed Ryder in several parking lots...I use a receiving blanket to cover us but he doesn't like having a meal under the covers. When we're over at a friend's house it isn't every friend who's comfortable with me whipping out a boob nor is it convenient to ask to use a private room to feed Ryder.
Breastfeeding will help you lose weight.
Breastfeeding burns about 500 calories a day, that's true, but helping you to lose weight? No. What happens if you were to engage in an activity that would burn an equivalent amount of calories, say running? You get hungry. Uh huh. You want to eat. This is not conducive to weight loss. Breastfeeding makes me hungry. All the breastfeeding books tell you that you need to concentrate on good nutrition. Seriously, you finally get away from feeling like a ground walking whale but can't diet. Exercise, yes. Dieting, no. Healthful eating yes. Restricting calories below 2600/day, no. And whaddya know, the number one change that has happened in my body since I started nursing is craving carbs. Crave 'em! I want them with an intensity on par with a junkie needing a fix. I salivate over the thought of sweetly yeasty buttered dinner rolls, sinfully dark and moist chocolate cake with rich, thick fudge icing, a pile of mashed potatoes with a little flecks of potato skin here and there, topped with peppered country-style white gravy....I could go on and on revealing my carb porn dreams.
Now you know the truth, that there are some myths being bandied about by well meaning folks. Or maybe I have it all wrong and there are women to whom breastfeeding is easy peasy and they never have a moment's trouble. I'm still advocating for breastfeeding if at all possible. I'm happy that Ryder prefers me to a bottle even when he's indulged in cluster feeding and has drained me dry but is still insistent on more, more, more. And I'm not opposed to formula. Ryder started off being supplemented with formula and still is, albeit a very small amount compared to breastmilk. So please, La Leche Leaguers, no hate mail or nasty comments. I know breast is best.