<![CDATA[La Leche League Asia & Middle East - Close to the Heart Articles]]>Tue, 26 May 2020 19:03:11 +0800Weebly<![CDATA[Breastfeeding an Adopted Child]]>Sun, 02 Feb 2020 12:39:06 GMThttps://www.lllasia.org/close-to-the-heart-articles/breastfeeding-an-adopted-child
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by Chetana Mrunalini
Bangalore, India

 
As a young child, when I came to know that families come in different varieties and that adoption was an option to build a family, it struck a chord in my heart. When I saw families with adopted children, though very rare, I would often daydream of being a part of a similar family.
I was very fortunate to meet my now husband when we were in our late teens. When we decided to get married, one of the things we agreed upon was adoption. He readily agreed and was on board with my proposal of having one biological baby and adopting another baby.

Fast-forward to many years later, after the birth of our first child, I came to know and learn so much about breastfeeding. We decided to follow natural- term weaning and it was such an amazing journey. Along the way, between taking care of a child and just living day-to-day life, our desire and dream to adopt was put on the back burner. Every so often, when we would talk about another child, we would end up feeling overwhelmed and underprepared to care for another baby. Adoption seemed a very daunting process then. It took nearly five years before we felt ready.

When we applied for adoption, I expressed my desire for a baby rather than an older child because I was keen on breastfeeding. By this time, I was often passionately talking about breastfeeding and I was informally helping women in their breastfeeding journeys on various forums. It only took two months before our child came home. During those two months, I learned as much as I could about adoptive breastfeeding, by joining related social media groups and speaking to other parents who had undertaken this journey.

When we laid eyes on our child for the first time, we instantly fell in love with her little smile! She was four months and three weeks old. She was overall quite healthy considering the resource crunch in most adoption centres, but had an ongoing eye infection, cough and cold. I could not help but think about how much breast milk would improve her health.

At this time, my older one was five years old. She would breastfeed occasionally, mainly while going to sleep. Whilst I was obviously making milk, I knew it wasn't enough for my baby. I had decided not to pump much ahead of the new baby’s arrival since I didn't think it was suited to my situation (I had had some stressful experiences pumping for my older child).

Two days after her arrival in our home, with the lowest of expectations but a flame of hope and a fluttering stomach, I used a nipple shield and dropped formula from a bottle into it. She latched on and suckled for almost 15 minutes! All babies have an instinct to breastfeed which lasts for several months, but it may have also helped that she had also been wet-nursed during her stay in the hospital as a newborn. We were told that at the district hospital where she was born, the staff usually request mothers of newborns to nurse premature babies who are not their own (according our baby’s medical records, she was born at 32 weeks and spent 40 days in the hospital).

I made a lactation aid (also known as a
supplemental nursing system or SNS) at home by watching YouTube videos, to help her stay interested in the breast and learn how to nurse. A homemade version can be made at a very
reasonable cost using a sterile tube (such as one designed for feeding premature babies in the NICU). The tube runs from a feeding bottle to the nipple of the parent, where it can be taped if necessary. My adopted baby was very cooperative and continues
to be a cooperative child. She happily participated
in all our breastfeeding experiments. Lo and behold, in a matter of days, we had found our nursing sweet spots!

We co-slept, did a lot of skin-to-skin, had baths together, and I wore her in a ring sling and a wrap. All this helped us not only bond but also helped my body to start responding to her needs. Within a few weeks, I was able to cut her formula consumption of about 27oz in half, and at night she was only on my breast (without the aid). Though I could not completely wean her off the aid, we were able to reduce her formula by a significant amount.
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​My rock-solid husband stood by me and supported us to breastfeed. My older child continued to breastfeed for two more years and self-weaned at seven years. The two years of tandem nursing were a roller-coaster ride but really helped all of us to make new connections as a family of four.
I had a lot of help and support from some amazing friends, LLL Leaders and lactation experts. I could bounce my ideas off them and share my experiences, while being encouraged and cheered on!

A few months after our adopted baby came home, we needed to pay a visit to the adoption agency for some paperwork. When they saw that she was breastfeeding, they were quite stunned! Even during our pre-adoption paperwork, when I expressed my desire to breastfeed, I don't think they fully understood what I meant. This was the first time they had ever come across an adopted child being breastfed.

From this experience and from talking with others, I have deduced that very few prospective adoptive parents (“PAPs”) or adoptive parents (“APs”) in India are aware that adopted babies can be breast. I believe the Central Adoption Resource Agency (“CARA”) in India should consider allocating resources for counselling PAPs about breastfeeding during the adoption process.

Although breastfeeding is nature’s perfect food, and the physical closeness is a great way for new parents to bond with their adoptive baby, inducing lactation can be tough. It requires a support network and help from lactation professionals. So I don’t believe that PAPs should receive any pressure to try breastfeeding, but I do think they should be made aware that it is an option, among other options to encourage bonding such as co-sleeping, babywearing and skin-to-skin contact.

In a week's time, my adopted child will turn five years old. We have decided to follow natural-term weaning this time around too – I don't think I could have it any other way! She goes to school most of the day, is busy playing in the evenings and only remembers to nurse to sleep, just once since she started sleeping through the night. Our breastfeeding bond still continues today. And as many mothers have reported, it is with bittersweet thoughts that I daydream of the day she will wean!
 
Close to the Heart Vol. 20, No. 3 (Late-Year 2019)
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<![CDATA[Starting Solids]]>Sat, 04 Jan 2020 11:41:02 GMThttps://www.lllasia.org/close-to-the-heart-articles/starting-solids
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by Jeana Wong
Singapore


Grannies in my neighbourhood often commented on how small my children were for their age. Then they would watch wide-eyed as Judy and Gene, now nine and five years old, swigged their water and munched
on baked sweet potato fries, baked Saba fish in batter, sushi rolls, dried seaweed, and dried fruits or nuts in between their play escapades. The same grannies would then tell me their grandchildren would not touch any such foods, only candies.

​That is how children in Singapore have become bigger, taller – and sicker.

Some also have a tortured relationship with food due to forced feeding in their formative years. My spouse was one such child. Sickly as a child and overweight for much of his adulthood, he became very conscious of what he ate. Even today, he falls sick after one poor or unwholesome choice. It took us a few years as a family to work out our meals and get educated about nutrition.

​Good nutrition means eating a well-balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible, says one of the La Leche League philosophy concepts. That means food free from hormones, additives, pesticides and chemicals; preferring whole, fresh, seasonal and local foods; and avoiding processed and/or packaged food.

Overwhelmed? Planning and preparing healthy meals can be daunting at first – there is a lot of information to sieve through.

Enjoying healthy meals during pregnancy is a good start. That way, good habits are already in place when the baby arrives. Before the baby’s birth is also a good time to work out the logistics of feeding a family. Neighbours and families who cook are usually quite happy to give tips to expectant parents.

An exclusively breastfeeding mother can buy even more time to cultivate healthy eating habits without worrying about allergies and food sensitivities, labels and politics. According to La Leche League, for the healthy, full-term baby, breast milk is the only food necessary until baby shows signs of needing solids, about the middle of the first year after birth.

Pureed food is often recommended as baby’s first food. With my eldest, Judy, we bought a puree machine that blended and cooked healthy vegetables, soups or legumes in 20 minutes. However, I was repulsed by the smooth, unvaried texture by the fifth use.

Our second child, Gene, was exclusively breastfed and showed very little real interest in “solids” until well after his first birthday. He was about 15
months old when he showed understanding of what eating really meant. Before that, foods were merely curiosities or sensory play. I was happy to learn (during a discussion on child-led weaning at a LLL meeting) that bananas, avocados and baked sweet potatoes were good first foods on top of breast milk. I was fully confident that the varied tastes and flavours and wholesome, homemade meals I ate transferred to Gene through my milk. For sure, over a week, he would have ingested the half a cup of carrots or broccoli or whatsoever amount a puree-fed baby would get – and more, because breast milk contains all needed and easily digested vitamins, minerals, live enzymes and antibodies.

With poor breastfeeding support especially in the early weeks, Singaporean grandmothers and mothers typically rely on formula or mixed formula and breastmilk, and then introduce solids to babies by way of porridge and purees well before six months. These so-called “meals” consist of 95% water, and are lower in calories than breast milk. I figured it made more sense for my children to drink water from cups when they wanted.

According to the World Health Organization, breast milk provides all the energy and nutrients an infant needs for the first six months of life. If the mother carries on breastfeeding, her milk continues to provide up to 50% or more of the baby’s caloric and nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to 30% through the second year of life.

Perhaps the best part about continuing to breastfeed into Gene’s second year was that I could enjoy and explore the full range of local and exotic foods along with him. Binging on hotel lunch buffets with my two small children made for great value and fun tasting outings with minimal clean-up. Nursing Gene the toddler also gave me the confidence and freedom to soothe a young child on the go. If he fancied none of the foods at home or outside, there was always fresh and complete nutrition in my breast milk.

Many toddlers are much too active and easily distracted to feed properly anyway, preferring to graze.

With baby-led weaning, parents are only responsible for putting out a wide range of healthy foods over a week, and the child decides when and how much he eats. Knowing that helped our family take meals with much less stress, tantrums and power struggles. Daddy had picked up cooking family meals and we ate healthier and better since Judy came along. So the children ate what we adults ate, saving us the time and hassle of providing separate children’s meals.

I still feel very grateful for the home-cooked meals my mother made while I was growing up. My mother was raised in rural Malaysia where she learned to cook and source produce well. Born and raised in urban Singapore, I realised as a young mother that I was handicapped by not knowing how foods were grown, harvested and processed.

In the city state of Singapore, we import food from all over the world. While there is variety, fresh produce is relatively expensive and invariably processed for a longer shelf life, which compromises quality. Considering the time and effort it takes to plan, source, prepare and cook family meals, it can be a real challenge to eat well here, even at home.

My husband and I have to be very intentional and disciplined about providing quality meals in Singapore. It is too easy to fall into the snares of convenience, relying on packaged, frozen foods at home, or takeouts from the many affordable eateries which serve unhealthy food.

Parenting is an inconvenient journey. There will come a time when our children will grow up and explore or indulge in their own convenience-driven life. For now, I feel responsible for feeding them properly, starting with pregnancy and breastfeeding. We feel better when we eat well. By cooking and packing our own meals and snacks when we go out, I choose when, where and how much I indulge.

This is a valuable lesson for my children. When we do indulge in foods, we do it out of love, not hunger, addiction or desperation.

In The Lost Art of Feeding a Child, Canadian author Jeannie Marshall lived in Italy and noted what Italian children ate in school. She found that they didn’t have a choice of Western or Asian, or less salt or more; they eat the same appetizer, main course and dessert that everybody else eats, in the same sequence. They were not fussy and they finished their meals. Now that’s real convenience.

More resources about nutrition, starting solids and baby-led weaning:

Starting Solid Food, La Leche League GB
https://www.laleche.org.uk/starting-solid-food/
Feed Yourself, Feed Your Family: Good Nutrition and Healthy Cooking for New Moms and
Growing Families
, La Leche League International
Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, Norma J. Bumgarner

Close to the Heart Vol. 20, No. 3 (Late-Year 2019)
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<![CDATA[From Bottle-feeding to Exclusive Breastfeeding]]>Tue, 12 Nov 2019 09:35:16 GMThttps://www.lllasia.org/close-to-the-heart-articles/from-bottle-feeding-to-exclusive-breastfeeding
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Jia Xin Tian
Hualien City, Taiwan


When I was pregnant, I decided that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby. It made practical sense since I had applied for unpaid maternity leave, and I knew breastfeeding would save me a lot of money while I wasn’t earning. I was also aware that it would be best for my baby’s health. ​My mother encouraged me to breastfeed, saying she had breastfed both me and my brother, and that my baby would suck naturally when he was put to my breast. Little did I know what lay ahead.
On 12 January, my baby was born in a hospital and I became a mother; this was the start of a new life. Things were not easy or joyful. My baby did not latch but only cried! He cried often and then slept. The nurses helped me patiently and carefully every two hours when I tried to breastfeed my baby. I took him to the nursery in order to avoid disturbing other mothers in the postpartum ward because my baby cried so much. I didn’t give up, which meant I didn’t get much sleep. My husband asked me to take a good rest but I told him, “I haven’t succeeded yet. I will continue to try until I succeed.” However, nothing helped.

My family members encouraged me to feed him formula. I was so stressed and sad because my baby cried so loudly at my breast while I tried to breastfeed him, which also made the rest of my family anxious. Due to so many voices, I fed my baby formula and pumped milk instead of breastfeeding. Unfortunately, pumping took me into a dark world. I pumped every two hours which was followed by engorgement, blocked ducks, and lack of sleep. Pumping created another problem: stress about milk volume. I was asked how much volume I pumped all the time. I was tired of so much pressure and felt like a failure. My world felt totally upside down.

I started to search the internet for help. After my confinement period was over, my husband accompanied me to visit an IBCLC. I cried and told her I was so tired. She told me gently that she understood my feelings. She guided me step by step and assured me that bottle-feeding could be wholly shifted into exclusive breastfeeding. She let me know that a mother’s determination to breastfeed is very important. She encouraged me to have skin-to-skin contact with my baby, and said she was ready to answer all my questions online whenever I needed her help.

I then joined a Facebook breastfeeding group and I was encouraged to practise paced bottle-feeding and use a small-hole teat. In addition, I tried cup and spoon feeding, hoping I could get rid of bottles, but that ended up with more screaming and crying from my baby. In these two months, I had two bouts of mastitis and was admitted to hospital once. After that, my milk supply decreased a lot and my son was fed with formula most of the time. However, I kept having skin-to-skin contact with him and let him play with my nipples when he liked and felt happy. I also kept in contact with the IBCLC.

In the fourth and fifth month, I attended La Leche League meetings. The Leader shared with me a LLL publication and encouraged me to try to let the baby latch at any suitable time, before or after bottle feedings, and decrease the formula quantity by 30 ml every day. This information and encouragement were very important to me. I continued holding my baby skin-to-skin and tried to take care of him in a relaxed manner. I believed that when I was happy, my baby would be happy and healthy as well. I gradually shifted my attitude away from fighting against breastfeeding issues towards working with my baby and learning together as a team.

One day, while I was half asleep, my baby latched! He was five and a half months old at that time. I was so happy and shared the news with everyone who had encouraged me to breastfeed. It’s hard to put my feelings into words, but all the challenges and difficulties I had overcome felt worthwhile.

We enjoyed direct breastfeeding for several months until he self-weaned recently due to changes in my milk during pregnancy. My second baby is due in August and I hope my son will regain interest in breastfeeding then, so that I can tandem-feed both children.

The IBCLC was certainly right about the importance of a mother’s determination to breastfeed. It took a long time, but my patience paid off. I never stopped believing in myself and my baby.

Close to the Heart Vol. 20, No. 2 (Mid-Year 2019)
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<![CDATA[Loving Guidance]]>Tue, 12 Nov 2019 09:25:22 GMThttps://www.lllasia.org/close-to-the-heart-articles/loving-guidance
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by Alicia Horsley
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


I am a mother of four children, aged between 13 months and 15 years. Now that I have been a mother for 15 years (and I have completed my 93rd month of breastfeeding – I hope to make it to 120 months which will be a decade of breastfeeding!), I have recently stepped back to reflect on how I have approached parenting and how breastfeeding has influenced my parenting style. 
I had a rather harsh childhood in which my sisters and I were beaten routinely - if our rooms were untidy, if we quarrelled, if the chores weren’t done properly, if our grades were less than excellent, if we skipped piano practice, etc. I don’t resent my parents, because I have accepted that they did the best they could at the time with the knowledge and tools they had at their disposal, and they have recently been a great help to my growing family. But still, while I was pregnant, I felt ambivalent and detached. My own childhood was still an uneasy memory. While I knew I didn’t want to repeat it, I wasn’t sure what my options were.
 
My mother and maternal grandmother both encouraged me to express my milk when my first baby was born seven weeks premature and was in the NICU for 20 days. The first few drops of colostrum were applauded and admired as if I had produced molten gold! Many years later, I was surprised to learn that both women had had very little success breastfeeding their own babies; from the support they provided, I assumed they had breastfeed all their children.
 
Breastfeeding ended up helping me become the mother I wanted to be, and gave me confidence that I could care for my babies with ease. Every time I nourished my baby, each leaky smile when they latched off, each stroke of their tiny hands on my breast made me love them more. I felt like a superhero for being able to solve most of their problems with a quick nurse. When they were babies, nothing they did could upset me. All they had to do was smile and I was rendered stupid with love. All that oxytocin from breastfeeding made me incredibly susceptible to their silly squeaks and drool-adorned smiles.
 
However, as they grew older and had more complicated frustrations to deal with, and the breast wasn’t always the comfort they needed, I gradually realised that we can’t and shouldn’t solve all their problems. I think it’s important to accept that kids cannot be happy all the time. They need to feel the entire range of human emotions, and we need to help them recognise and deal with what they’re going through by being calm and present. Getting upset with an unhappy kid is usually a recipe for disaster.
 
I was always warned to expect toddler tantrums. I’d seen children kicking and screaming in supermarkets.  Other parents said it was something inevitable. However, I realised that if you listen with empathy and respond promptly, tension can be defused and complete meltdowns can be avoided. I honestly cannot recall any of my children becoming hysterical, and I attribute this to at least one adult in the family responding calmly, often with humour, to what seemed like the kids’ unreasonable demands. I’ve learned to listen in order to understand instead of listening to formulate a response. Sometimes, all they want is to be heard.
 
I like to teach my kids that “big feelings” are part of life. I believe that always accepting their feelings and emotions sets the foundation for teenagers who trust their parents and will turn to them if the need arises. Teaching them that negative emotions are normal means not hiding my own pain and frustrations. I explain when things are bothering me or upsetting me, and tell them if I need space or may be tetchy. I apologise sincerely when I am wrong. My husband and I do not hide our arguments from our children, though we are mindful to disagree respectfully and to be focused on a resolution, rather than hurling accusations or hurtful words at each other just to win the argument.
 
As they began to grow out of my arms and interact with the outside world more, I realised that children are our mirrors. If I wanted reasonable, respectful and kind children, they would learn that best from how I treated them. This does not mean giving in to all their whims or having no limits. It means explaining calmly why things have to be a certain way and standing by our family’s rules politely.
 
How we deal with difficult situations also helps them deal with their own disappointments. About seven years ago, I had our month’s grocery money stolen while I was at the market. The kids could tell I was devastated, but I told them maybe the person who took the money had a need greater than ours. We would be okay as long as we were careful.   A few years later, my youngest lost a beloved toy in the cinema. After trying everything we could to find it, we had to accept it was gone. He said, “It’s okay, Mama. Maybe he’s with another kid who really really loves him too.”
 
As they have grown up, I have also encouraged them to negotiate and explain their point of view. For instance, if I ask them to tidy their rooms, they are welcome to explain that it’s not possible for them to do so immediately because they are in the middle of a project, but that they would do it as soon as possible. They’ve also created agreements among themselves regarding chores: my eldest is very organised and likes tidying, while the middle two are physically strong and like jobs that involve carrying heavy loads.
 
Like other parents, I have had awful days when I feel I have let everybody down. But each day is a new beginning and a chance to be the best mother I can possibly be.
 
Back to reflecting on how breastfeeding has shaped my parenting style. I have long believed breastfeeding has made me a better mother. It encourages us to feel empathy for our babies and be responsive to their needs, and oxytocin protects us from stress. It may even change our brains permanently. That’s not to say that mothers who don’t breastfeed can’t be good mothers, but it may not happen as naturally.
 
When dealing with behaviour of my kids which I find problematic, I always try to remember that my children are not “misbehaving” to embarrass me or to manipulate me; they’re simply reacting to things happening to them. I learned this from breastfeeding: babies cry because they want food or comfort or security. The only thing that changes as they get older is that our role becomes helping them to meet their own needs rather than trying to meet all their needs for them.

Close to the Heart Vol. 19, No. 3 (Late-Year 2018)​​
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<![CDATA[Because of Love]]>Thu, 19 Sep 2019 13:56:13 GMThttps://www.lllasia.org/close-to-the-heart-articles/because-of-loveby Evelyn Chen
Xiamen, China


“Wow, you are still breastfeeding your big baby?” I’m often asked this question when I nurse my little girl, who is now 20 months old, in public. I usually reply, “Because she likes it and I have plenty of breast milk” or “Because it is good for her.” But if I think about it seriously, then I would say it is because of my love for my child; I demonstrate this love by giving her precious breast milk.


Breastfeeding my daughter has gone smoothly, partly because I was determined to succeed after a negative experience trying to breastfeed my first baby nine years ago. Looking back, I can see that I was poorly informed about breastfeeding, and I depended on the advice of people who were equally poorly informed. Upon the advice of a very good friend, my bag to take to the hospital contained a can of formula milk powder, which I was told should be given until my own breasts started to produce milk. (I’ve since learned that a mother’s first milk, colostrum, although small in quantity, is perfectly designed to meet all a newborn baby’s needs.) My son was born 20 days early and he seemed so small. During the first two days after he was born, my mother, who came to help, fed my little baby boy with the formula milk. My breasts started to produce milk, but my left nipple was short and seemed difficult for my tiny baby to latch onto. As my breasts got fuller, they became very hard and sensitive. The doctor said my mammary glands were blocked and arranged some electrical breast message.

After leaving the hospital, I went back to my hometown in the countryside and stayed there for my maternity leave. In the first two weeks, my little boy cried a lot and my family thought he was not getting enough breast milk. I felt helpless and decided to continue giving him supplements of formula milk. My mother always said that my breast milk looked so clear and watery, it couldn’t be enough for my baby. (During my second pregnancy I learned that it is normal for the milk to be clear when the breasts are full, and this is good to relieve the baby’s thirst). Consequently, the quantity of formula milk gradually increased while my own milk supply declined.

Approaching the last month of my three-month maternity leave, my little boy had infantile diarrhoea which lasted for a couple of weeks. I took him to a private clinic where he was given some medicine, but that did not stop the diarrhoea. I worried that the mixed feeding might be the cause of the problem. Being unaware that breast milk is the best thing to help babies recover from illness, I made a stupid decision to wean my little boy suddenly, hoping that this would help him recover from the diarrhoea. I also thought it would be more convenient for me to go back to work in the city and leave my baby with my mother - at that time, I never heard of breast pumping. This was one of the worst decisions I have ever made in my life, which I have often regretted.

Thus, my boy grew up raised on formula milk. He was big and tall, but he often got sick and even got colds every month while he was in kindergarten. Those years were tiresome for me and the whole family. I worried that his poor health might be because of the formula milk.

Seven years after my first pregnancy, I fell pregnant again in 2017. Thankfully, since 2016, all couples have been allowed to have two children in China; in fact, the one-child policy began to be relaxed in 2007. I decided that I would really like to breastfeed my second baby and for as long as possible. During my pregnancy, I approached my old friend Missy, who I knew had nursed her son for many years and is a La Leche League Leader in Xiamen. I told her of my determination to breastfeed and my interest in attending LLL meetings. She was so happy that I had approached her, and she invited me to join a meeting the following weekend.
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La Leche League Meeting in Xiamen
When I arrived at the meeting, I was so impressed with what I found. There were mothers with babies and toddlers, mothers with kindergarten-aged kids, another pregnant lady, even grandmothers and dads. Mothers talked about nursing their children and asked questions. I became convinced that breastfeeding is a natural thing for
a mother and child, and I learned that almost every mother can make enough milk for her child. I felt very encouraged to follow my determination.

​Later, through articles from the LLLI website and books from the LLL Group library, e.g. Making More Milk, I learned about babies’ milk needs from birth to two years old, how lactation works and how the demand and supply cycle is established between mother and baby.

My little girl was born at the same hour as her brother, 8 pm. After she was cleaned and dressed, she was put next to me in the bed, with her big and bright eyes watching me. I tried to nurse her for the first time: she suckled successfully, although it was short in duration. I was thrilled! That night, she slept next to me in the hospital bed and I nursed her twice. Still in doubt, I asked the nurse to check if my breasts had already started lactating, and the answer was yes. How pleased I was! It was a great start to our nursing relationship. I never opened the can of formula milk which my family had insisted on putting in my hospital bag.

In the coming months, I did come across some common problems like fluctuating milk supply and decrease in volume after returning to work. But every time I met a problem, I felt calm and searched for the most reliable sources of information I could find on the internet, and I also consulted with Missy. The help of Missy and other mothers from the LLL Xiamen Group really inspired me. They are my allies and their support has been invaluable.

Although my baby girl’s health has been more robust than her brother’s, she has had some episodes of sickness that I remember very well. When she suffered from infantile diarrhoea or fever, she refused to eat any table food. Luckily, I have always had breast milk for her. Whenever she wanted to nurse, I was there for her. I did not need to worry about what she should be eating or any adverse reaction to food. Since nursing could always comfort her, I always had the ability to take care of my sick baby.

I have explored the book How Weaning Happens and I’ve decided that I’m in no hurry to wean my toddler. In contrast to the experience that I went through with my first child, I have gained confidence through continued nursing. Every day when I get home from work, my lovely girl will pad to the sofa where we usually sit when nursing and she says the few words she’s learned to say: “Mummy, ne-ne” (our term for nursing). With my little angel in my arms, with her tiny month on my nipple and looking at me contentedly, my heart feels full.

The close relationship with my child through nursing, and observing her good health, has brought me great confidence and pleasure, which invigorates me to continue this amazing journey with her. I enjoy loving my child wholehearted.

Close to the Heart Vol. 20, No. 2 (Mid-Year 2019)
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