- Namirimu says she would wake up at 5am and breastfeed the baby for one hour before leaving home. At work, she would express and refrigerate the milk and this is what she gave the baby at home.
On the morning of July 30, 2016, Ritah Namirimu gave birth to a baby girl at Mulago hospital in Uganda. She was advised by a doctor to breastfeed her within the first hour of delivery. “My baby weighed 3.9 kilogrammes,” she says.
Namirimu says she would wake up at 5am and breastfeed the baby for one hour before leaving home. At work, she would express and refrigerate the milk and this is what she gave the baby at home.
“I breastfed exclusively for the first two months and three weeks prior to reporting back for work, I started expressing milk,” says Namirimu, an accountant.
The decision to breastfeed or feed your baby on formula is personal. But weighing the pros and cons of each method can help you decide what is best for you and your baby. There are countless advantages to breastfeeding your child.
David Desmond Walugembe, a nutritionist at Nsambya hospital, says breast milk has Omega 3 fatty acids and antibodies that help to boost the baby’s immunity thus resisting illnesses such as asthma.
Breast milk is easily digested so that breastfed babies suffer less from diarrhoea or constipation. Breast milk also naturally contains many of the vitamins and minerals a newborn requires.
Breast milk is free, while the cost of formula is always rising. There is also no need for bottles, artificial nipples, and other supplies that can be costly.
Breast milk is always fresh and available. There is no need to wash bottles and nipples or wake up towarm up bottles in the middle of the night.
However, breastfeeding also comes with a number of challenges.
Initially, many mothers feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding. But with proper education, support and practice, most mothers will get used to the process.
Time of feeding
Breastfeeding requires commitment from mothers, especially in the beginning, when babies feed often. A breastfeeding schedule or the need to pump breast milk during the day can make it harder for some mothers to work and run do other chores.
Mothers should avoid eating or taking certain drinks such as alcohol or caffeine before breast feeding a child.
A woman should check with her doctor if she is unsure she should breastfeed with a specific condition such as HIV. Mothers should also check with the doctor about the safety of taking medicines while breastfeeding.
While breastfeeding is encouraged, for different reasons, there are mothers who fail to breastfeed their babies. Commercially prepared infant formulas are a nutritious alternative to breast milk, and even contains some vitamins and nutrients that breastfed babies need to get from supplements.
Formula-feeding allows a mother to share feeding duties with a partner who will in turn feel more involved in the crucial feeding process and the bonding that often comes with it.
Once the bottles are made, a formula-feeding mother can leave her baby with a partner or caregiver and have a peace of mind knowing that her baby’s feeding is taken care of.