One and a half years ago, I embarked on a journey that is fulfilling yet lonely at times. However, I am glad that I am still going strong with no qualms of slowing down.
My body has been working hard to produce ‘liquid gold’, to provide for my little bundle of joy. For the first 6 months, it was the only thing that sustained her life. Yes, ‘liquid gold’ is none other than breast milk. Now that little one is having her full three meals, many may think that breast milk is no longer that important.
There are many benefits of extended breastfeeding for toddlers. I am just going to list 2 that hits the spot for me. Firstly, breast milk contains antibodies which can help your tod bounce back from an illness really quickly. Most people are concerned that when a mother is sick, they should not be breastfeeding. However, the opposite is true!
In light of the recent pandemic, limited studies were done on nursing mothers with COVID-19. Thankfully, COVID-19 was not detected in breast milk. However, to prevent the spread of the virus, mothers are advised to wear a mask while nursing or express their milk to bottle feed their child.
When a child breastfeeds, the mother’s body will produce oxytocin, a ‘love’ hormone. It helps the uterus to contract and return to its normal size after childbirth. Oxytocin also helps a new mommy with postnatal blues.
As an overly attached mother, breast feeding really kept me sane. I love how my body is able to provide for my child, and nursing helps us to bond. Although my little one wakes up multiple times in the night looking for comfort by latching, I am glad that I am able to catch up on the lost time which I have missed during work hours. Many people close to me has been urging me to stop but the thought of weaning my child is more unbearable than latching. I guess I will continue for as long as my body is able to, and as long as my child wants to.
To all new mothers out there, I understand that you are exhausted, you feel engorged and in pain. You feel like giving up because it is too tiring. You want your freedom, your body, your time back. However, I would like to share this phrase which I came across and helped me push through the tough times.
‘The nights are long, but days are short.’
Enjoy your journey mommys!
Written by Er Ya Qin
Illustration by Toh Bee Suan