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Breastfeeding in Kenya: “Breastfeeding my Two Children Has Come with Different Experiences” -Alison Kiriinya

Alison with her son.

Alison Kiriinya is a mother of two beautiful children. Her daughter is eight-years-old while her son is aged three years. Alison is a part-time teacher working in Ruiru and Nairobi, though she lives in Thika. She shares her breastfeeding experiences with us today. Here’s Alison’s story:

“I’ll start with my first child. My breastfeeding story with her was not so easy, as she was colicky and would feed for very long periods of time. I breastfed my daughter exclusively for five months before finally weaning her. My feeling was that breast milk alone could not fully satisfy her since she had such a great appetite. I however continued breastfeeding her until she was 11 months old.

With my second child, things were different. I had my son through an emergency caesarean section. The trauma of having a caesarean section as well as losing lots of blood left my body unable to produce milk for days. This saddened me as I had been very determined to start my baby off with breast milk. After three days in the hospital, my gynaecologist gave me an injection to stimulate milk production. The milk started coming in little drops and I was discharged.

Alison with her children.
Alison with her children.

Aside from the pain from the CS wound, all was well for the first few days. Baby slept a lot so I was able to rest.  However, one week later, he suddenly ‘discovered’ breast milk and began to demand it night and day! The result was severely cracked nipples. Breastfeeding became a nightmare. I would cry whenever he woke up, thinking of the pain I would get from my sore and cracked nipples. To make matters worse, I was suffering from depression. I wasn’t eating well and I was permanently tired. It was such a terrible time.

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Maryanne W. Waweru is a Kenyan mum raising her two sons in Nairobi. A journalist, Maryanne is passionate about telling stories and hopes that through her writing, her readers learn something new, feel encouraged, inspired, and appreciative of what they have in their lives. Maryanne's writing focuses on motherhood, women and lifestyle. "Telling stories is the only thing I know how to do," she says.



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