Breastfeeding, a form of art Indeed
Before I begin, let me just say I am not here to offend mothers who choose/chose to not breastfeed. FED is BEST and I'm just happy babies are being fed-point, blank, period!
Now that I've gotten my disclaimer out of the way, lets get right into it why don't we. I have had it with people asking me how long I plan on breastfeeding my child. Why should there be a cap to how long I nourish my daughter? Queens we have to stop passing judgement on each other.
Lack of knowledge greatly affects are communities. We tend to frown upon what we have no or very little knowledge of and as a community, as a village, we have to stop it. Also, how is it that breastfeeding in public is indecent but we wear swimsuits to the beach in front of hundreds of other beach-goers?
The history of breastfeeding dates back as far as the early 15th century (and even before then). It is even stated in the Qur'an that a child should be breastfed if both parents agree upon on it, up to 30 months. Islamic children were/are all either breastfed by their mothers or "wet nurses". So just how did something so natural and beautiful become "disgusting" and "frowned on"? how did we become the only species that purposely take away from the nurturing of our offspring.
The World Health Organization states that "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond". The key word is "recommend" so it is not required, they are not forcing you to, they just suggest it. As many people have asked how long I planned to breastfeed, I honestly do not know the answer to that question. I've said 8 months, I've said 1 year, I've said 18 months, but truth of the matter remains that I am not going to put a time cap on how long I will nourish my baby with food I was naturally created with to provide for her.
I was born in a country where every mother I knew breastfed their baby; they carried their babies on their backs through daily tasks and stopped to feed them as they could. And if a woman could not breastfeed due to death during labor or illness, guess what, another nursing mother would nurse her baby. YES, that’s women nursing babies of their own and those that are not their own. I would like to encourage women to breastfeed essentially because there are great benefits for your infant. I understand that most mothers only get 6 weeks with their baby and have to return to work (damn this country), but I want to encourage those same mothers to breast feed during those first 6 weeks then switch to formula. From the time I knew of my pregnancy, I knew I wanted to breastfeed; I knew that if I don't do anything else, I would do my best to breastfeed. I heard terrible stories of how some women experienced latching difficulties with their infants, or painful nipples, and eventually gave up. I hoped that this wouldn't be the case for me and my little one.
During your first 6 weeks postpartum, your breasts create what's called colostrum. Colostrum is the yellowish, thick, and sticky milk produced as the pregnancy is ending. It is the perfect food for the newborn as it is rich in nutrients your baby first needs. My breasts were leaking heavily during my last trimester. When women are fully supported by their partners, families, health care systems, and society, they tend to do better. It just hurts me to know that support is not the same across the board for all mothers.
So Dear Mommy, You are a good mom whether you breastfeed or not, and I'm not taking that away from any wombman. We are a team, a village.
I love you Queen. And if no one has told you yet, you are beautiful, and you are a great mother/womban.