It is the Breastfeeding Week and this is a tribute to the bond between every mother and her little one.
These are not my words. I am only sharing something that my daughter wrote 3 days ago. (Not sharing the picture that accompanied this post on Facebook.)
This photo is very dear to me because this was taken a couple of weeks ago when my son was hospitalised after being diagnosed with bronchiolitis. He had a nasogastric tube inserted because he did not feed or eat well during the day and was getting dehydrated. He was also put on oxygen support because he was struggling to fully breathe.
This illness raised the biggest doubt in my mind as far as breastfeeding goes. Weren’t breastfed babies at a lower risk of contracting respiratory illnesses? Why is this happening to my child?
In that moment of utter heartache, a nurse said which formula should be administered. I took a second to process her question and asked – why formula? She said he needs to be fed, right? I said he is 13 months old. She said they have toddler formula. I thanked her but said no thanks and that since he is breathing better and his oxygen levels are stabilized, I will nurse.
So I began nursing. Day and night. Like a mother nursing her newborn. He was not eating any solids or drinking too much water so breastmilk was all he was getting. I nursed him in his hospital crib, crumpled up in a fetal position. I nursed him sitting on a hard chair.
His pee count picked up and he became more active and alert. He was in hospital for 5 days and on oxygen support for 3 days.
Breastmilk is not a guarantee to anything in life. It gives your baby a better chance in life. Just because I breastfeed does not mean my child becomes immune to every disease known to humankind – he has a better chance of fighting illnesses. Maybe he felt better knowing his Mum was always near by. Maybe he felt that milk was all his sore throat needed. I don’t know and I can’t say. But he did get better. I don’t know if he would have found the same level of comfort with the nasogastric tube.
It’s easy to blame oneself for something that goes wrong with your baby. But it’s only in the darkness that we can see light more clearly.
I am glad I could give what my baby he wanted.