Aug 30, 2013

75 Things I Have Learned From 75 Months of Breastfeeding (Part 2)

my then 3-month old breastfed baby

My breastfeeding advocacy is largely because I have a mother who has always extolled the value of breastfeeding. My mother has breastfed 6 of her 8 kids, with only the first 2 (that would be me and my younger brother) as the cow-fed ones, lol. This is no mean feat as she lived at a time when bottle feeding was hip and trendy while breastfeeding was looked upon as something a woman would resort to only if she was jobless.
Egged on by other mothers, she tried bottlefeeding me and my younger brother but she found it too much of a hassle. My brother and I also got sick very often. So when her third child came, she decided to breastfeed, notwithstanding the prevailing opinion then on breastfeeding. She found out, right away, how natural and easy and beneficial breastfeeding was to her and child. She liked it so much she decided to add 5 more kids, lol.
My mother was, and still is, a successful home-based entrepreneur. I saw her juggle many responsibilities, one of which was to exclusively breastfeed my sibs for at least the first 2 years of their lives.
I’m glad I have a mom like that. Her breastfeeding philosophy rubbed off on me. Today, I am officially through with my breastfeeding mission.. Yesterday, my youngest child got weaned. Part of me feels relieved, yet part of me misses the breastfeeding moments. I am, in fact, weepy—as I have always been during the weaning stage.
And all I have are the precious memories of nursing and cuddling my babies close. And the lessons-- yes!-- the lessons are many and profound. As this is part 2 of a series, you may want to go back to Part 1 here. To continue with the list, here it is.
26. I have learned that breastfeeding is the best baby pacifier.
27. Breastfeeding has pacified my kids when they were sick, afraid or hurt.
28. I have learned to be a non-judgmental breastfeeding mom.
29. I have learned how to put bottle-feeding moms at ease.
30. I know that not many moms can breastfeed as naturally as I have.
31. I also know that many moms choose to bottle-feed even when they can breastfeed. I don’t get it, though.
32. I have learned that breastfeeding takes time, patience and a certain tolerance to pain.
33. I have learned to be grateful that I can work right in my own home so that I could breastfeed. Other women do not have this opportunity.
34. I have learned that breast milk is the only milk that has live enzymes and antibodies.
35. I have learned that breast milk is being sold in some countries for sick neonates.
36. I have learned that breast milk being sold is so expensive.
37. I have learned that breast milk is always warm enough for my babies.
38. I have learned that breast milk is always suited for the particular age of my baby.
39. I have learned that breast milk changes nutritional composition to best cater to the changing needs of my baby.
40. I have learned that breastfeeding has prodded me to eat and drink more healthily for the sake of my baby.
41. I have learned that only breastfeeding (and pregnancy) can keep me from coffee addiction.
42. I have learned that I have the power to improve the quantity and quality of my breast milk.
43. I have learned that breast milk supply can be increased by moringa in the diet or by moringa supplementation.
44. I have learned that breast milk quality can be improved by VCO supplementation.
45. I have learned that soups and stews do increase breast milk supply.
46. I have observed that stress and lack of sleep can decrease breast milk supply.
47. I have observed that low breast milk supply is indicated by fussy babies.
48. I have learned that breastfeeding is the new sexy.
49. I have learned that breastfeeding is the new hip.
50. I have learned that a growing number of moms are leaving their day jobs and pursuing a work-at-home lifestyle just to breastfeed.

Read Part 1 here.
Stay tuned for Part 3.

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