Sun. Jul 21st, 2019

To breastfeed or not to, is the question

’MAPALO NKHELOANE

MASERU – Motherhood is said to be the most precious phase a woman would ever go through.

Evidence to this is the fact that babies are referred to as gifts from God.

Motherhood, however, comes with a lot of duties, including feeding the baby.

For some women, the decision to breastfeed is an easy one, but for others, there are health, financial, emotional or personal choice barriers that interfere with the decision.

Refiloe Ts’obotsi, 28, laments that nature denied her the chance to actually be a mother the first time she was pregnant after having had a miscarriage.

Ts’obotsi says the experience is so tragic and she would not wish it even on her worst enemy.

She indicates that her daily prayer was for God to grant her another baby to make up for the one she lost.

When her prayers were finally answered with a baby girl, Ts’obotsi says she made a vow to guard her with her life.

She says breastfeeding was her favourite maternal duty because it helped her create a special bond with her daughter.

She indicates that she was working at the time and wished the maternity leave would not come to an end and she spent practically all day cuddling with her baby without needing even the slightest of help from family members.

“I still recall how my aunt would tell me to ease up but I paid no attention. I mean, come to think of it; how many times does a woman get to be a mom? When my leave was over, things got hectic.

“My daughter was so used to me that she would cry non-stop when she was held by someone else. I would receive calls from my aunt and I would hear the loud cry of my baby in the background and that deeply disturbed me emotionally.

“I then made one of the most difficult decisions – I quit my job. I was caught between a rock and a hard place because it was either my job or my baby and I chose my baby. Do I regret it? No! She was just that – more important,” Ts’obotsi narrates.

‘Mamosia Lehloka, 22, says she only breastfed for a week and then opted for formula feeding.

She indicates that the decision to breastfeed was initially based on the nurses’ advice which she eventually failed to follow due to reasons that were beyond her control.

“I literally failed to produce sufficient milk and I realised that my baby was going to suffer in the long run. I tried all possible remedies but the situation did not change so I knew I had to opt for a second option which was bottle feeding.

“Breastfeeding just did not work for my baby and I because I lost so much weight in the process and besides, I worked long hours so he was going to suffer anyway,” Lehloka explains.

For Limpho Palime, 26, the decision not to breastfeed was based purely on personal preference.

Palime says she has always been disturbed by seeing women breastfeeding in public places and she told herself that she would not want to increase the statistics of such women upon whom she frowned.

“Do not get me wrong. I am not throwing accusations or judging here, I just know that I would not be comfortable doing that.

“Maybe if I had the power to control when a baby should get hungry then I would always choose hours when we are at home,” Palime says laughing.

She further states that what she likes about formula feeding is that any of her family members can help her with it when she is all worked up while breastfeeding is restricted only for the mother.

She says both her little sister and mother love to help feed her baby and she enjoys seeing them do so and she also appreciates their unlimited support.

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