Guest Blog: Promoting Breastfeeding Awareness in Young Children


K-BEU Mom nursing her baby

K-BEU Mom nursing her baby

By: Dominique Goh

Breastfeeding is one of the best gifts you could give your child. It is not only nature’s gift of the best nourishment for your child but also a chance for you to build up your bond between mother and child. Many moms these days are pro-breastfeeding and I’m proud to be one of them.

Introducing breastfeeding to a young child need not be a difficult or awkward topic to approach. Here are some ways which my friends and I have used with our kids to increase their awareness of breastfeeding:

1. Explaining to them straight up that mummy’s breast produces milk for the baby to drink and how the baby drinks by latching on.
2. Let your child see documentaries of mammals feeding their young and how to other creatures breastfeed their young. By doing so they will know that it is normal for babies to be breastfed and besides humans other mammals do it too.
3. Answer truthfully any questions which your child have about breastfeeding and let them know that it’s okay for them to be curious about it.

I breastfeed all my children and am still breastfeeding my girl who is currently 17months old. I’ve had my elder boys ask me many weird questions. They range from the following:

– How do you know that she gets enough milk?
– So if you eat chocolate the baby will have chocolate milk?
– Can she eat other stuff like we do?

I had to think quite a bit before formulating a satisfactory answer which would both educate and fill his curiosity.

Question 1: How do you know that she gets enough milk?

Answer: Mummy’s milk is produced when the baby suckles at the breast and the amount of milk produced will be enough for each feed as it is based on demand and supply. If baby is still hungry she will suckle longer at the breast till she has enough. The nutrients in mummy’s milk is enough to satisfy the growing needs of your baby sister so she doesn’t need any other supplements like formula milk.

Question 2: So if you eat chocolate the baby will have chocolate milk?

Answer: No. It doesn’t work this way. There is no special flavoring like chocolate, strawberry or banana. Milk produced by mummy has a slightly sweet taste which makes it delicious for the baby to drink. (I did tell my son that if he too wanted to try mummy’s milk as he may have forgotten the taste I would express some for him to drink. Feeling embarrassed he passed on the offer.)

Question 3: Can she eat other stuff like we do?

Answer: Unfortunately no. Your sister is still young and doesn’t have teeth yet so she is unable to process other type of food in her tummy besides mummy’s milk. She will have to wait till she is 6 months old before we will try other baby foods like purees with her.

How would you promote breastfeeding awareness to your young child?

Dominique Goh, Singaporean elementary school teacher, freelance writer and mom of three who is passionate about parenting and educating kids. In her free time you can see her dabbling in photography, cooking and cake decorating and blogging at Dominique’s Desk.

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21 responses to “Guest Blog: Promoting Breastfeeding Awareness in Young Children

  1. I breastfed my daughter (who’s now 4.5) until she was almost 2. And then my son was born, and I breastfed him until he was 12 months. My daughter (who was only just weaned) would snuggle up to me on the couch with her toy, lift her shirt, and “feed” it as I fed my son. I miss those feeding times:)
    Thanks for providing such easy-to-use responses to those questions which often seem a bit tricky at the time:)
    Kristina

  2. Such cute questions! I think kids that grow up with it, like mine, find it very natural and don’t even give it a second thought!

    • They will be the future moms and other people in the world for whom breastfeeding is a normal thing, that’s the kind of people that will promote and accept breastfeeding. Thanks for helping build a better world!

  3. This is great. It’s amazing how many mothers I know who had trouble of one sort or another. It’s not always an easy things to ask for help and realize you’re not alone with respect to any difficulties you’re having.

  4. First of all the K-Beu mom nursing her baby is awesome! And yes, breastfeeding (minus the complications) was a highlight of having my babies. When I stopped nursing my second at 14 mos., it was sad to let go of that bond. But watching his older sister continue to “nurse” her dollies after was a special reminder of how normal and wonderful it is. Oddly enough, we have not been around many nursing mothers since then and have not had to answer any interesting questions, but the answers to yours were perfect!

  5. It’s so funny, but even though I’m 46 and it was not the norm I remember my mother breast feeding my two sisters. She always handled it very naturally and would read to us or let us sit with her. I remember when I was nursing my first child I was very close with my cousins 5 year old. I was nursing once and she came and asked me if she could feed her doll while I fed my baby. But, she added, “mommy said I have to bottle feed them, she doesn’t want me to nurse them” I still laugh when I think about it. She did get to nurse her dolls a year later though when her own mom had a baby and started to nurse. She felt like she knew all about it too, very sweet!! Of course now she is in college! Thanks for a great post!!

  6. Great post…. Especially the aspect of normalizing it for the older siblings. I also like how thoughtful your responses were to their questions. Breast feeding twins was Ann interesting challenge but I got the help I needed and made it to just a week under 6 months.

  7. I love your straightforward approach in talking to your older kids about breastfeeding. Too often I hear about parents who “fib” about or avoid subjects that are at all uncomfortable. Kudos to you for giving honest, age-appropriate answers to their questions!

  8. I love the questions kids ask about breastfeeding, its the(ignorant) nonsense adults ask that bug me!, lol. It’s a great article, thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks for sharing! I’m all about a straight fwd approach!

  10. This is a natural and wonderful lesson. I am pro breastfeeding and basically living life as natural as possible.

    Thank you for sharing.

    I love the nursing stuffed animal whale ❤

  11. omggggggggggg just realized they are not whales lol

    still cute still love it ❤

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