Health Stories With Hygeia HMO explores the health struggles of everyday Nigerians. We’ll share these stories regularly – they will be tragic sometimes but will always be educative.
By Dr. Okonkwor Oyor C.
Health Stories With Hygeia – Baby’s First Meals
Exclusive breastfeeding is feeding your baby only breastmilk for the first 6 months of life. This practice has been found to be deeply rewarding with great outcomes for both mother and baby. However, it can be tough for mothers to practice.
We got talking with 5 women and they shared their breastfeeding stories with us. So, if you are a mother out there struggling with breastfeeding, be rest assured that you are not alone.
41 years old
I found it hard to breastfeed at the beginning, but it got better over time. My breastfeeding experience was different for both children. The first kept me awake at odd hours but was less demanding. My second child on the other hand slept more at night but wanted to suckle all the time.
This made it harder for me to sustain exclusive breastfeeding when I resumed work. So, I believe that breastfeeding experience differs from child to child. So, you may need to learn new tactics for each child, even if you have breastfed before.
Something I wish I knew back then was the option to store expressed breastmilk for feeding later.
Lastly, I believe that mothers should breastfeed as much as they can. The longer the better, but not more than 12-18 months.
43 years old
I exclusively breastfed all my children for at least 6 months. My first child enjoyed it so much that after 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, she refused to take complimentary food. Took us a month before she finally started complementary feeding properly.
My second and third children were also breastfed, but there was no drama when it was time to wean them off.
It was my last child that was exceptional. I practiced exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, and even after that, she kept demanding for breastmilk up to 3 years.
My children are healthy and they hardly fall sick. They are the best children a mother can dream of.
I knew a lot about breastfeeding before I started because I read up about it. So, there were no surprises. I believe breastfeeding is the best gift a mother can give her infant child because the benefits are countless.
38 years old
Honestly, breastfeeding my children gave me so much joy. I think it is a great way to bond with your child. I really love the feeling I get while breastfeeding, with my child suckling and looking into my eyes. They usually fall asleep right after, and the whole activity makes me feel like a good mother.
I initially thought that breastfeeding exclusively would be inconvenient. But it was not, and it really helped me observe my children and communicate with them more.
37 years old
I was initially scared because of the stories that breastfeeding makes the breasts sag. Thankfully, my breasts are still bouncy. My major challenge was that I had hungry boys and I was not producing enough milk. So, I had to use a formula to complement it.
On the bright side, weaning my kids off breastmilk was easy for me and for them.
I think one thing most mothers need to know is how to get help when they need it and for those like me that struggle with producing little milk. Simple tips on how to increase milk production.
28 years old
It was a bit tiring and exhausting. I know it is good for the baby and all. I also know that it helps with bonding.
But for me, the drawback was the massive change to my lifestyle. I could not wear certain clothes out anymore. Imagine using public transport and the baby wants to eat. Of course, the baby must be fed.
For me, the advantages were more for the baby, but breastfeeding is certainly a cheaper and more effective way of feeding a baby
I think breastfeeding mothers need to be patient with themselves. Also, they need lots of support and encouragement, especially from their spouses.
Click here to read about how to breastfeed efficiently.