The nourishment of a child greatly depends on the emotional and physical well-being of the mum. That responsibility is so great, imagine that a mother carries both the aspects of the physical and emotional health of her child. I am a mother of two, and very honestly the parenting journey of both my girls are just as different as their personalities.
Almost 12 years ago, I was a new and young mother. I was overwhelmed with this life changing responsibility. I remember attending neo-natal classes with a nurse specialising in childcare and reading extensively about the birthing process (doulas and all else), the after-birth care and nursing thereafter. Low and behold with all the theoretical knowledge in my headspace, it was still a shock to my system when I had brought my newborn home. I must admit that four-and-a-half years on, when my second child was born, I felt more equipped to handle the pressures of parenting. This time though, there was a different dynamic with having to juggle between two children and being super mindful of keeping a stable home environment for the elder.
Many parents with more than one child will identify with this scenario.The stark contrasting point with both my girls is that breastfeeding was so crucial in the parenting journey of my second child, whereas with my elder – this was a struggle. Personally, I will always look back and treasure the special bond that was created during this period. Not only were the books that promoted nursing correct, but this journey has made me a firm advocate to encourage new mums to try and try again to breast-feed. With August highlighting World Breast-feeding Week, I take this opportunity to share a few benefits of this wonderful natural gift.
The mum’s mind-set
This plays a big factor in whether a mum will nurse or not. I can vouch that persistence and patience is key to experiencing a successful nursing journey. Often times we may find family and friends frown at a new-mum who may not be all that confident in the latch of the newborn. This may create doubt and lack of confidence in the mum, and after just a few tries, she may give up. However, reading and having a strong positive support group is so important in overcoming this fear of failure. Keeping the mindstrong and encouraging yourself to keep trying, keep going, will encourage relaxation and help during the initial days of nursing.
Remember the physical nourishment
Babies who are breast-fed are at lower risk of allergies, and colds and flu’s. Their immune system proves stronger, colic problems are usually kept at bay and digestion is definitely easier.
With such close physical contact, emotional bonding between mother and baby is a natural outcome. This also provides a safe and secure feel for the newborn curbing times of distress, therefore having a happy baby at hand.
Although this has ranked lower in my nursing motivation list, I did discover that this is a huge benefit! Less bottle washing and sterilising, means more time to sleep when baby sleeps. This is such a reality for new mums, and when one is in the thick of things, this factor becomes a blessing.
About the columnist:
Krsangi Radhe is an educator, public relations practitioner, neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, time line therapist and coach.