Today I met Jane, a married and working nursing mother. We got talking and as a child- conscious fellow, I asked her views about breast feeding. Jane is quite informed about the issue of breast feeding and she is committed to the World Health Organisation’s recommendation of exclusive breast feeding from 30 minutes after birth to six months and supplemented breast feeding for two years. She is aware that the first yellow milk protects baby against infections. She knows that it is right to even breast feed even when baby is ill.
She however feels that a woman’s breasts may lose their firmness to breast feeding, but feels the advantages of breast feeding will make up for that. When asked Jane the benefits of breast feeding, she reeled out seven without blinking: it increases growth, reduces infection, helps mental development, it helps proper teeth and speech development, bonding, protects mother from breast cancer, affordable, available, free contamination.
I asked Jane to give me a description of how to position the child during breast feeding; she was very vivid in her description: The mother should be in good position with her back supported, the baby is brought to breast not breast to baby, areola (black part of breast) is put in baby’s mouth, the head, back, buttocks of the baby must be in straight line, the baby’s chin touches the breast
‘Great,’ I said, ‘how I wish that all mothers are as informed as you are Jane.’ When I asked, how do you know when the baby is satisfied when being breast fed, she answers confidently, they will come off when satisfied.
Satisfied with our discussion, like a well breast fed child, I thanked Jane for her time and was ready to take my leave. She sighed and said, can I ask you a question? I sat back and listened. Then Jane asked if the crusade for six month exclusive breast feeding would work for a working mother like her. Curious, I asked why? She responded that the duration of maternity leave in Nigeria, which is 3 months is a threat to the campaign. She further informed that in England maternity leave runs for six months with pay and another voluntary three months without pay.
Dear friend, what do you think about Jane’s fear? Is it far-fetched? It is real? Again do you think breast feeding makes a woman to lose the firmness of her breast? What do you think?
Thank you for joining me today…Think the Child! Think Today! Think the Future!