Friday 22 July 2016

Memoirs of a Nigerian Mum; breastfeeding

A breastfeeding mum is a common sight in Nigeria. In fact hardly would your baby start crying than people around you say things like "ah, ah, breast feed that child na". Stories abound of women who were handed over to the police for refusing to breastfeed. A crying baby and a mum unwilling to breastfeed raises eyebrows as to whether the child wasn't kidnapped.

When I became pregnant, I naively expected breastfeeding to only involve sitting down and putting the baby to my breast. I didn't envisage the sore nipples, the engorged and painful breasts, the night feeds and even the feeds during the day when I'd rather be sleeping or doing something else. I also didn't envisage the times my baby would rather play than suckle my breasts.

I had read and learnt a lot about exclusive breastfeeding by the time my baby was due for delivery that I made up my mind to practice exclusive breastfeeding. Shortly after he was born I put him to my breasts and worried like most mums do if the yellowish fluid coming out of my breasts was enough. My nutritionist sister and the dietitian in the hospital assured me of that and encouraged me to put the baby frequently to my breasts as that would help the more mature milk to come in faster.By the second day of breast feeding, I cringed whenever I was to put my baby to my breasts. My breasts had become so sore, painful and cracked. I was later to learn that I wasn't latching the baby on correctly.
Breastfeeding was moving smoothly till sometime around my baby's fifth month when he would easily get distracted and I had to go to quiet places to breastfeed him. I had more episodes of painfully engorged breasts at this time than any other period. My breasts always seemed to leak milk. Whoever discovered breast pads deserves an award.

Then came the seventh month and my baby completely refused to breastfeed. I almost gave up on trying. He would only breastfeed without a fight when he was feeling sleepy. I held on to those times and ensured I breastfed him then. That episode lasted for about two weeks. Suffice it to say he was already eating other meals by then. He repeated it sometime around his eleventh month.

My baby is 13 months old now and still breastfeeding with no end in sight. Our target is age two.


  1. Two years no be here ooo. The baby go turn GIANT in two years oo and the nipple, a SPARKLING DOT :)

  2. Hahaha haha! It won't oh. Thanks for stopping by

  3. One of the greatest things babies are blessed with is healthy feeding at a young age. When it comes to feeding, I'll always go for breastfeeding anytime as the benefit is much more than bottle feeding. Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants. It has a nearly perfect mix of vitamins, protein, and fat -- everything your baby needs to grow. And it's all provided in a form more easily digested than infant formula. Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea.

  4. Wow! Such a nice blog. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I high appreciate this post. It’s hard to find the good from the bad sometimes, but I think you’ve nailed it! would you mind updating your blog with more information? Baby Formula