Breastfeeding, also referred to as nursing is the process of giving milk to your baby directly from your breasts. Breastfeeding is widely recommended by Gynaecologists and Paediatricians worldwide but at the end of the day it remains a personal choice. Breast milk is the ideal form of sustenance for the baby coz it has the perfect blend of nutrients that is just right for the baby and its all provided in a form that is more easily digestible than infant formula.
The mother should try as much as possible to breastfeed her baby within the first hour of the baby’s life. Latching on may be difficult at first, but with patience and practice, the mother will be an expert in no time! Make it clear to your hospital that you want to exclusively breastfeed your baby and the nursing staff will assist you in achieving this.
Baby should be exclusively breastfed for at least 6 months, this means no water, supplements or any other source of milk and they should be fed on demand, whenever they are hungry.
The size of your breasts has absolutely nothing to do with your capability to produce milk. Women with small breasts have the same ability to produce milk as large breasted women. Even flat-chested women can breastfeed and babies find it easier to latch on to smaller breasts than larger breasts. So there you have it, having small breasts doesn’t mean you cannot breastfeed!
An exclusively breastfed baby’s poop doesn’t smell as bad as formula-fed baby. It is sweet smelling, happens frequently and is seedy in appearance.
More and more mothers are resorting to exclusively breastfeed their babies rather than give formula.
To commemorate World Breastfeeding week, Dr. Hanan was invited by the County nutritionist to attend a function at Aga Khan Hospital Mombasa to talk about her breastfeeding experience to nursing mothers, as a first time mother. Here is her testimony which she shared with others:
My name is Hanan Omar, I am a first time mother to a baby boy. He will turn 6 months on 14th of September. I delivered normally and I remember the nurses bringing the baby to my room, it was so surreal. I looked at him and I was speechless God blessed me with this beautiful baby boy. We shared our quiet moments then he started wailing! All those around me looked at me, almost telling me indirectly pick the baby and nurse him. And that’s exactly what I did. It was amazing. The baby knew exactly what to do, he nursed and I felt at peace. Then came the question, are you exclusively breastfeeding? That meant nursing your baby only! No water, no powdered milk, no porridge. And I confidently said yes, I understood the benefits of breastfeeding , my sister did it with all her 3 babies, she was my role model. And I wanted the same for my baby, not only to copy what she did, but I literally saw the benefits, zero hospitalizations, save money not only on buying formula, but also on menstrual supplies, the baby is very portable, you can feed him anywhere, no time is wasted in mixing, and measuring, and the babies had a special bond with their mother.
I stayed home on my maternity leave for 3 months. On the 2nd month, I recall my sister in law calling asking me when I’ll be resuming work, she also asked me whether I had started expressing and storing the milk. I was very confident in myself that I would manage. I kept on postponing it. However, she really insisted on expressing my milk. So I decided, let me just do it! To my surprise I only got 3 drops on milk. I was in utter shock! I called her she said just keep on doing it everyday, early in the morning, when the baby is asleep and at 11am or even at night. I finally did it. I managed to express enough milk and store it until I resumed work. It wasn’t easy, I had to eat nutritious foods, take oats porridge, drink a lot of water and take my supplements, Protoken. Expressing milk has also given me the best of both worlds, I get to go back to work and still ensure my baby is only on breastmilk!
I am so happy and I have peace in my mind that through all this sheer hard work is a success, my baby is getting the best both in nutrition and immunity!