Grace Katiku is a wife and mother of two boys. Her first son is aged 4 years, while her second is five months old. Grace is a Science Communicator and teacher, having done her undergraduate studies in Biology and Agriculture, and her Master’s degree in Agricultural Information and Communication. 30-year-old Grace believes in exclusive breastfeeding, and I had a chat with her about her conviction on the same. Read on….
Maryanne: How did you Arrive at the Decision to Exclusively Breastfeed?
Grace: When I got my first born, I was advised by the paediatrician to exclusively breastfeed him for six months before weaning. At first, I didn’t know what she meant by ‘exclusive breastfeeding’ so I asked her to take me through it. This she did comprehensively, explaining to me that it means offering baby nothing else to eat or drink apart from breast milk for the first six months. She also took time to point out to me the benefits of this best nutrition practice. She convinced me, and I decided to do it.
Interestingly though, I didn’t inform my relatives -particularly those who live upcountry, that I was going to feed my son purely on breast milk for the first six months. This is because they had strongly advised me to wean baby at just three months, as that is the norm in the community. They believe that introducing solids at three months helps to reduce colic pain in baby, or prevent it altogether. So I decided to exclusively breastfeed my son for six months secretly so that they wouldn’t criticize me. Thankfully, being in the city and away from them worked to my advantage.
Maryanne: For How Long after Weaning him did you Continue Breastfeeding?
Grace: Even after weaning him at six months, I continued breastfeeding my son until he was 2 years and five months old. He is four years-old now, and I am filled with so much joy and pride because I know I gave him the best start in life. Breastfeeding, I believe, is simply one of the best gifts a mother can give her child; that is if she is healthy, able to produce breast milk and has no complications that would hinder her from doing so.
Maryanne: As a Full-Time Working Mom, What Strategies did you Employ to Ensure you Managed to Exclusively Breastfeed?
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