We spoke to new mum Amaka about breastfeeding for the first time and this is what she had to say.
When I was pregnant, I read a ton of pregnancy blogs that shared similar opinions about breastfeeding,
“It was rewarding.”
So it was decided, breastfeeding all the way.
When my son was born through a C-section, he nursed perfectly at the hospital, just for things to change the night he was brought home.
My baby started crying around 11 pm, and after my husband and I cross-checked all the possible reasons he might be crying we learnt from the nurses at the hospital, we concluded he must be hungry.
I fed him for about thirty minutes before he dozed off so I put him back to sleep, after about an hour he woke up screaming.
Maybe I didn’t burp him properly; I thought,
After burping him failed, I assumed he was still hungry but every time I put him to the breast he would pop off immediately screaming, this went on for close to an hour before I decided to prepare a bottle for him, using out of the formula that was left from what the nurses used in the hospital, and he slept afterwards.
That night I went to bed feeling guilty that I had fed my baby what was considered subpar in terms of nutrients.
The days that followed weren’t any different; it became a vicious cycle of me feeling less of a woman every time my son picked formula over my breast.
I found myself secretly crying about my son’s feeding, he began to look unhealthy to me.
I started drinking tea and shakes that according to some blogs improve milk ejection while reminding me that breast milk is best, and I was giving my son less.
This went on for a few weeks which honestly felt like years, and by the time I went to my obstetrician to have my stitches removed, she asked me how I was, and I broke down.
I told her how I was having a difficult time breastfeeding, and how it made me feel like a bad mother.
She then pulls out a nutritional book where they compared the nutritional content of breast milk with formula, and it turns out formula wasn’t as inferior as I thought.
“You need to give yourself a break,” she said.
She went on to tell me that motherhood doesn’t equate suffer-head and that I need to be physically and mentally well to adequately look after my baby.
It’s somewhat sad how so most literature on baby care, totally ignore the importance of mothers taking care of themselves, and maybe for a change instead of pushing what some women can never obtain; like breastfeeding, make mothers know it is okay to use healthy substitutes.