It’s world breastfeeding week and there has been much debate and some research offered in regards to the benefits of breastfeeding.
The Role of Mother
A mother is one who has a duty to care for, nurture and protect her baby this is her natural application of love. Love is not just some emotional feeling it is fueled by action hence the phrase “show me some love.”
The role of a mother is under-valued in this society we live in with the pressures of life magnified by the media and savvy company marketing techniques adding pressure creating the illusion that material things adds value to an individual.
Putting more value on the material things of this world than the beauty and value found in people often leads one to make ill decisions. The high levels of personal and national debt has had people demonstrating out in the streets showing their dissatisfaction and despair on this degenerate state of affairs.
This situation of being trapped for an example, “working to live” which is interpreted as “ working to pay the bills” often puts an expectant mother into the mode of anxiety when thinking on how this change of circumstance (having a baby) will affect her financially whether she’s married or single.
Due to the lack of knowledge of how to maintain positive relationships and indeed choose a good mate, the number of lone parents with children has risen “steadily but significantly” from 1.7m to 1.96m, rounded up to 2m by the ONS. Almost all (92 per cent) of these single parents were women: “Women are more likely to take the main caring responsibilities for any children when relationships break down, and therefore become lone parents.”
These stressful elements play a significant part in whether a mother will breastfeed her baby as she is often forced to go back to work due to lack of finances. It is possible to work and express your breast milk but not many women take-up this option for it requires much determination and organisation.
Do Black Women Breastfeed?
Statistics suggest that Back women breastfeed less than Caucasian women and for longer. I can only say that that there is a steady rise of black women flying the banner to normalize breast feeding check out the “Black Women Do Breastfeed Facebook page http://on.fb.me/WZs5dZ
Now Black women do breastfeed this is fact, but not enough of us do. This is worrying as it is the best start a child can have. “Breast milk” contains more than 200 known beneficial elements, with more being discovered all the time. For example, researchers believe that a recently discovered fatty acid in breast milk promotes the growth of a baby’s brain and retina and may even enhance cognitive development. Many of these elements, including infection-fighting white cells, can’t be manufactured.
When you look at the fact that Black people in the UK are in the lead for diseases like high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes and prostate cancer you’d expect us to be making the best choices to ensure our next generation side steps these health conditions for a better standard of life.
Despite this many mothers I have come across from all walks of life have shared the many reasons why they did not breast feed or stopped after a few months. Accounts ranged from milk drying up after six months to it being too inconvenient for their type of lifestyle to their baby needing more milk than they could produce.
When breastfeeding you have to eat well (healthily) and include foods that release energy slowly like porridge oats, this belongs to a group of foods and herbs called galactogogues which increase milk production. Herbs that help increase milk production are Fenugreek, Coriander and Cumin.
In the early days after birth and a few months thereafter you need to expect to feed your baby anywhere between 8 to 12 times a day. I personally practiced “feed on demand” which is when you feed the baby whenever they want it. Babies digest breast milk very quickly (The mother’s milk is easily digested because it contains digestive enzymes that aid the child’s stomach enzymes in this process. The stomach gets rid of its content through one hour and half), can you image being denied food when you’re hungry after living outside the womb for such a short time? Everything is new to the baby and they need all the comfort they can get and this method is really good for milk production and of course bonding.
Expressing your milk with a good breast pump is a piece of kit you will need in your arsenal! My baby had a condition called tongue-tie read here http://www.tonguetie.co.uk/ it made my breasts extremely sore until they bled and I could not nurse my baby so had to express the milk.
I was determined to breastfeed my son and would not give him a drop of formula despite the challenge this presented. I found that using a good quality electric breast pump worked really well see here for the types that I would recommend the Ameda Purely Yours Lactaline Double Electric Breast Pump
Ameda Purely Yours Lactaline Double Electric Breast Pump has Custom Control™ meaning the dual suction and speed is adjustable, allowing mums to mimic their baby’s feeding and choose from a total of 32 combinations, for the best comfort and milk flow every time. The Lactaline has the same hospital-proven pumping technology as the Ameda Elite Hospital Breast pump, used in over 50% of all UK maternity units.
My son is now a bright bubbly two year old my second son is breast feeding confidently, it’s so satisfying to see him enjoying his milk and the bonding between us growing each day. I really enjoy breastfeeding it is very relaxing.
You see, breastfeeding is put out there like it’s the most natural thing but I like many women needed help in the beginning, latching on was not that easy, the tongue-tie made it difficult but many new mothers struggle with this. Many women are not well supported at the vital stage which is very early on, just after the baby is born. If you have your baby in hospital you should ask to see a breastfeeding specialist to aid you in breastfeeding. A lot of women give up in the early stages due to frustration.
Your Birth Plan
In your birth plan state that you want to breastfeed straight after your baby is born. Should there be any complications which result in your baby not being able to be with you straight after birth, make a plan to express your milk and make clear that you do not want your baby to be formula fed. The National Health Service in the UK advocates breast feeding and will not give formula milk to mothers except in cases where babies are in a neo-natal unit facing difficulties.
Many family members, aunties and indeed mothers (grandmothers) will push a new mum to give the baby formula. This is due to a lot of things, some people feel that breast feeding is only for poor people, others feel guilty that they did not breast feed their children, some just don’t realize the health benefits to both mother and baby and some mothers themselves just don’t want to breastfeed. If you do want to breastfeed stand strong and persist, don’t despair there is help.
Start to speak to women who breastfeed or currently are breastfeeding and ask if they would assist you, alternatively check out this good resource http://www.laleche.org.uk/pages/about/breastfeedinginfo.htm
If you are outside of the UK check out http://www.llli.org/nb.html
Breastfeeding Benefits for you and your baby
Here are a few of the benefits that breast feeding offers;
Benefit to your baby;
1. Less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting and having to go to hospital as a result
2. Fewer chest and ear infections and having to go to hospital as a result
3. Less chance of being constipated
4. Less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life
5. Research has also shown benefits to cognitive achievement (IQ scores, grades in school) (van den Bogaard 1991)
6. Less chance of developing eczema
7. Infant formula doesn’t give your baby the same ingredients or provide the same protection. Breast milk adapts to meet your baby’s changing needs.
Breastfeeding is good for mums as it:
1. Lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer
2. Naturally uses up to 500 calories a day
3. Saves money – infant formula, the sterilizing equipment and feeding equipment can be costly
4. Can help to build a strong bond between you and your baby
5. Exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of your periods.
Other benefits is that breastfeeding is convenient, who wants to have to get out of bed, go into the kitchen and boil the kettle, measure out formula and ……… whilst the baby is crying it’s head off??? When you breast feed all you have to do is take out your breast and comfort the little angel, it’s not rocket science!
For instance for every 12 months a woman breastfeeds she reduces her chance of breast cancer by 4.3%. Black women are dying from the aggressive type 3 breast Cancer in high numbers, why, why not try and do something to lessen this statistic and increase ones chances of life?
I mean the other benefits are amazing, delaying your period naturally for up to 6 months, burning up to 500 calories a day before exercise!!! Come on breast is best!
Formula milk costs what £8.99 upwards for 900g and how long does that last? Many Mother’s on benefit (welfare) choose not to breastfeed and pay for this mess that pharmaceutical companies make millions from, only God knows what is in it. Read these articles http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-66468/Baby-milk-recall-amid-botulism-fear.html http://similacbabyformularecall.com/recall/
It is due to the love of the Honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan that he demonstrated in his lecture series how to give birth to a God that helped me to even realize the true gift of motherhood.
Take a look at that baby that you have given birth to and ask the question –
“What works will you do on this planet towards the building of the Kingdom of God?”
What are you as a mother willing to do to draw out the God essence in your child so it can be used for the glory of God?
Love God, love yourself, love your baby and breastfeed!
Watch my video on breastfeeding and share with those who you know it will help.
Thanks for taking the time to read these words, please share to show you care.
Have you a breastfeeding story to share? Please comment and share with us.