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‘Love my little fat calf’

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This is about the bittersweet experience of moms in breastfeeding which will be given life on this page by 30-year-old Jenelle (the wife of my nephew Andrew) and her one year and four-month-old baby, Sawyer.

Nelle is a registered nurse at the St. Charles Health System in Redmond Oregon, USA. The ads of the VRP Medical Center’s First Asia-Pacific Breastfeeding Conference (#DaretoBare http//www.breastfeedingcongress2019ph.com) to be held on 7 and 8 August 2019 at EDSA Shangri-La, Mandaluyong City, caught my interest.

My neurons easily got connected with the images posted by Nelle on Facebook from across the Pacific Ocean last 24 June. She and baby Sawyer donned mommy cow and baby calf costumes to mark the end of their mommy-baby bonding through breastfeeding.

This is what Nelle has to say: “Sorry (not sorry) for the possible TMI-too much information-…but our breastfeeding journey is officially coming to an end soon! So bittersweet, but so proud of us!!! We made it almost 15 months and this little dude, Sawyer, hasn’t had a drop of formula (which I am not opposed to…his brother, Lex, had only formula after two weeks!). Cheers to a year with a lot of hormones, an appetite that could put a body builder to shame — being bit so hard, there was blood, mastitis… landing us in ER, researching everything and joining support groups, giving up all meds… with very little alcohol, and spending literally every single break at the work hooked up to a pump in a small room or break room weirding out my co-workers! This was the hardest accomplishment in my life thus far… including RN school. I’m super sad, but also excited this chapter is done! Love my little fat calf!…”

Breastfeeding is something that the mother and the baby have to learn.

The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding (i.e. no other fluids or solids) for six months and then continued breastfeeding combined with solid foods for two years or so as long as mother and baby desire.

The Australian breastfeeding experts are all out for breastfeeding because for the first two to four days of the baby’s life, the mother’s breasts secrete colostrum, a yellow fluid rich in proteins.

These valuable proteins are essential to the development of a healthy immune system.
Breastfeeding promotes the proper development of baby’s jaw and teeth. In the long term, breastfed babies have a decreased risk of malnutrition, obesity and heart disease compared to formula-fed babies.

During lactation, menstruation ceases, offering a form of contraception. Medical practitioners encourage breastfeeding because it burns extra calories and helps the mother lose pregnancy weight faster. It releases the hormone oxytocin, which helps the uterus return to its pre-pregnancy size and may reduce uterine bleeding after birth. Breastfeeding also lowers risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

Although the benefits of breastfeeding for both mommy and the baby could be endless, there would always be a struggle for the mommy to make sure that her baby gets the best nutrition in the best way. Breastfeeding is something that the mother and the baby have to learn and it can take a little while for it to feel normal and natural. It’s a tough but rewarding act altogether.

Love the mommies who breastfeed!

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