A breastfeeding mum’s post was shared more than 7000 times last month after she posted two bags of her own breastmilk. One a creamy white and the other a light yellow.
She writes in her post:
“Why do you still let your 7 month old nurse” “she’s too old” “she’s just using you as a pacifier” “you need to put her in her own bed”.
Top milk is from 3 days ago when a healthy Elliot was nursing. Bottom is from today, after sick Elliot with a fever comfort nursed all night. This.
“I read before that your milk could change for different reasons, but I was so sleep-deprived that morning, I just thought there was something wrong with it,” Chase tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Leigh Anne O’Connor, a board-certified lactation consultant and La Leche League leader says, “The baby’s saliva goes back into the breast and then the breast manufactures special milk to protect the baby. This can happen when other members of the baby’s family are sick and can also happen if the breastfeeding mom is sick, she says, adding, “This is one of nature’s beautiful tricks to protect the offspring and to keep the population healthy and growing.”
The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for up to six months of age and continued breastfeeding for up to two years and beyond and according to the La Leche League – if you are exposed to any bacteria or viruses, your body will be making antibodies against them and these will be in your milk. According to O’Connor, every nursing mom’s milk does this — they just might not realize it. “We are only beginning to understand the complex elements of human milk,” O’Connor says. “It is medicine at its finest.”
Just like Chase, my milk too changed when my child or I was sick. He would usually cluster-feed and suffer effects much milder than the rest of us. And the comfort that breastfeeding gave him almost always made any illness easier to bear. For both of us.
I read voraciously when I was pregnant with my oldest son and made the decision to breastfeed for several reasons, one of which was that it greatly reduced the incidence of asthma (and other conditions) which ran on both sides of my and my husband’s family. I breastfed both my boys for two and a half years. Each.
This was a personal decision for me and I too, had my share of critics but I persevered – because the decision I made to breastfeed was one I held very close to my heart. My boys are older now, and I look back very fondly to the years my body nourished them.
I’ve encouraged every mum to be I know to breastfeed but ultimately, the decision is theirs. A mother’s journey is never a smooth one and however she chooses to feed her child is entirely her choice, and no one should ever make her feel bad for it because really, fed is best.