If there’s anyone who is a strong advocate of breastfeeding, it is none other than yours truly. I managed to exclusively breastfeed Kitty for his first six months, something that I am absolutely proud of. Exclusive breastfeeding means that he never fed on anything else besides breastmilk for those six months.
And it didn’t end there. After I weaned him, I continued giving him only breastmilk until he was a year old. He never took formula or cow’s milk all that while. Just breastmilk, in addition to the other complementary foods I was giving him.
So how did I manage?
Friends, let me be honest and tell you that it was work, waaaahh! I used to express milk three times a day –first thing in the morning, at lunch time in the office, and first thing when I got back home in the evening. That year called for total sacrifice in immeasurable amounts that I wouldn’t even know where to begin narrating. For starters, my social life took a dip because I had to be home most of the time to ensure that he didn’t use up the stored milk in the freezer –that was reserved for when I was away at work. But all the sacrifices were well worth it I tell you.
Kitty hasn’t stopped breastfeeding by the way, he still does so when I get back home from work in the evening and on weekends when I’m mostly at home.
So why am I glad I engaged in this year-long breastfeeding practice?
Because I know the benefits of breastmilk. I spoke to Pauline Ochola, a senior nursing officer who is incharge of the Makadara Health Center in Nairobi and she gives more details on this. Have a look.
By thew way, the World Health Organization says that breast milk is the natural first food for babies as it provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one-third during the second year.
So to all you new moms who managed to exclusively breastfeed, kudos. And to you who are currently doing it, keep going. And to those who are planning to do so when they get their little ones -just know that you can do it too.