Awareness for breastfeeding has increased greatly in the last few years, as more mothers attest to different experiences with breastfeeding their children in this day and age along with juggling more responsibilities outside of their homes and families.
Breastfeeding is beneficial for both mother and child, this is a message that Maternal Child Health (MCH) works with other health authorities to deliver.
Breastfeeding is free, it is always available, always at the right temperature and breastfeeding strengthens the bond between mothers and their children, protects children from illnesses and helps the child’s brain development explained Ann Ruth Pakoa, a Midwife at the MCH clinic.
“The MCH finds that it is common for mothers to stop breastfeeding after a few weeks, and the woman will switch to alternative feeding for their babies. We try to help the mothers by discouraging this,” said Pakoa.
“We encourage mothers to breastfeed babies from zero months to 6 months, until the baby can take foods.”
Pakoa said while MCH encourages mothers to breastfeed, many women have jobs and responsibilities outside of the home so breastfeeding full time is not possible for all women.
“In cases which the mother cannot go to the child throughout the day to feed or the child to the mother, we encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies as soon as they go home and breastfeed them through the night,” she said.
Within the past three months, the MCH has provided healthcare services to 2,919 baby visits and the MCH finds that many mothers identify that they have difficulty producing milk in large enough amounts to feed their babies as one of the main difficulties of breastfeeding.
“Life is hard now, mothers express that they have worries and carry a lot of stress which affects their milk production,” said Pakoa.
Noella Kenneth is a mom of two. She shared that her breastfeeding experience was different for both her children.
“With my first child, I breastfed during the whole prescribed time. I worked but i had the baby brought to me at work so that I could meet a schedule to feed at 7am, 9am, 12pm and 3pm,” she said.
“With my second baby, I stayed at home and breastfeed as well as bottle-fed her.
“Breastfeeding takes a lot of commitment from a mother. It means constantly eating or drinking consciously, ensuring you are putting only healthy wholesome things into your body to make breast milk. For some women it is easy but for others it’s more difficult because circumstances are different.”
Rina Tarileo is a mum of four and she expressed that she had other roles outside of her family. While she is caring for her baby, she has three other children, home and work obligations.
“My three other babies stopped wanting to breastfeed after a few weeks and we supplemented with other formulas. This baby however will only drink breast milk, so I try my best to provide her with as much milk as she needs and still meet all my responsibilities,” she said.
Mrs. Pakoa concluded, “We always encourage all mothers that they can do it all, they can see it through as they have seen it through this far along to care for their babies who depend on them and encourage them to make breastfeeding work however they can.”