Pregnant for the first time, I made all the research I could on pregnancy and everything involved. After seeing the merits of exclusively breastfeeding I decided to take the route.
Since I already took a stand for exclusively breastfeeding, I was prepared with information against any argument.
The first argument was giving the baby supplements like gripe water, seven seas, Abidec, and so on. I asked the doctors and Google, I was told all the baby needed was only breast milk if its exclusive, I was able to have my way when I showed my mother the proofs and what the doctor said, some of my friends lost that battle before it even started; they were forced to give extra supplements to their babies.
The next battle was giving water…from what I discovered the breast has fore milk and hind milk; the fore milk serves as water while hind milk serves as food, (Yes, God thought of it all)
Foremilk is the watery milk that your nursing baby gets first, which consists of low fat content and high lactose content. The foremilk helps quench your baby’s thirst, and stimulate energy and brain development. Hindmilk, on the other hand, is the creamy milk with higher fat content that is stored in the milk-making cells located higher up in the breast, and helps stimulate your baby’s growth according to www.breastmilk.com
They are thirsty, the weather is hot, taking only breastmilk is like eating without water…these and many more points were reasons why I was pressured to give my babies water and some people will go as far as giving the babies water when I was not around but I made sure instances like that were rare. At this point some of my acquaintance gave in because they were tired of the constant battle, my colleague at work was ignored by his aunties; being a man it was like fighting a lost battle, they started giving his daughter water from the hospital after birth.
The next battle was after four months…this child is hungry, give him/her milk and start trying food too, by this time I had already developed a thick skin. Though, there are some babies who, like my son wanted more at this stage unlike my daughters, maybe because I wasn’t lactating enough or he was no longer interested in milk alone, I don’t know. I stopped exclusive at five months because he was ready and not because I was pressured into it.
There is nothing wrong with supplementing for your baby if you are not lactating properly or at all. It all boils down to choice at the end of the day and enough information that guides your choice. Don’t be bullied into doing things by supposedly experienced people. Someone told my cousin not to talk while breastfeeding because it will cause the baby to choke on the breast, I asked how and the older woman said she doesn’t know that’s what she was told by her mother…please where is the experience in that?
Summary of it all, we should have the sense of a cow that chews the grass and spits out the stick: ask questions, take note of the beneficial and leave out the wonky.