In April last year, God blessed us with our first baby. However, our excitement was short-lived. I got complications with my heart, there was fear of a possibility of a clot and my blood pressure shot so high that I was rushed to the intensive care unit and put on oxygen.
On the other hand, my baby was diagnosed with jaundice, a condition that required her to receive photo therapy (light treatment where she had to be put under electrical light rays).
For her to recover quickly, she had to be breastfeed a lot, but I was fighting for my life too. My baby had to take formula.
As soon as I was taken off oxygen, but while still in the intensive care unit, I sent for a breast pump so I could express milk for my baby.
When I got better, I set out to breastfeed my baby. However, because she had got used to the bottle, she did not know how to suckle the breast. My inverted nipples made matters worse. I needed to bond with my baby and I was also exhausted by the challenges that came with bottle feeding. This made me more determined to get her to breastfeed.
My efforts paid off, our efforts I could say, because I had a supportive family, friends and a wonderful husband, who gave me what he called “breastfeeding allowance”. He also bought niplettes to correct my inverted nipples.
Finally, at three months, my baby suckled my breasts. It was the most wonderful feeling! From then on, I breastfed her exclusively for seven months. I continued expressing milk for her up to 11 months. She is now 16 months old.
Breastfeeding is the best gift a mother could ever give her baby. I thank Her Vision and New Vision for dedicating the month of August to breastfeeding and encouraging mothers thus nurturing a healthy generation.