From mom with love
by Jeswan Kaur
“Breastfeeding is something I am extremely passionate about. For me, breastfeeding was the only natural thing to do, therefore when my daughter Amna Nafeesa was born five years ago I set my mind to breastfeed her until she reached two,” says the actress, host, columnist and interior designer who breastfed both her daughters and is now looking forward to a repeat of the mother-child bonding with her third baby.
”I am now pregnant with my third child and yes, I am definitely giving this baby ONLY mother’s milk!”
Not falling prey to substitutes
While many a busy mother have succumbed to the massive promotions by milk companies seducing them to opt for formula milk, ironically, Wardina who has multiple professional commitments, is vehement to never fall prey to substitutes, no matter what.
“After reading about how the IQ of breastfed children is six to 10 times higher, I knew what I wanted. There are so many other perks of breastfeeding. Kids begin to walk and talk earlier, they have better social skills, they have better jaw and dental development, they are healthier and happier,” explains Wardina. “The ‘contents’ in breast milk can never be emulated.”
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) confirms Wardina’s convictions citing that breast milk contains all the essential nutrients as well as antibodies that counter infection.
Pumping all the time
Wardina’s convictions in the power of breastmilk have challenged her to find creative ways to ensure her babies receive what is best for them.
“Because I was working, the hassle was much more. I had to pump and express my milk ALL THE TIME! I had to plan my time, manage and ‘squeeze’ in my pumping sessions in between my already hectic schedule,” laughs Wardina.
“But I was unfazed. I read as much as I could, talked to other ‘professional’ pumping mothers and got myself used to it. Before going back to work I stored inside the freezer 80 bottles of expressed breast milk and practiced vigorously. I would pump anywhere, everywhere, since in Malaysia workplaces and public places are not that ‘mommy friendly’. I would pump inside the car, the toilet, behind doors – you name it. I never skipped my pumping sessions and after a while it became second nature and a part of me. I would not go anywhere without my pump or baby!”
For the love of my babies
In the face of such ‘challenges’, where did her faith in breastfeeding come from?
“The Quran encourages mothers to breastfeed their babies for up to two years. My conviction was further boosted by the fact that I wanted only the best for my kids. You can buy and give them expensive toys and send them to the best schools but to me the BEST starts with breastfeeding," adds Wardina.
“It is priceless! One thing for sure, I never regretted the fact that I breastfed my children. Money cannot buy the close bond I share with my daughters because I gave them something that no one else can!”
“The misconception of ‘not producing enough milk’ and ‘formula is just as good’ does not help at all. We need to change this in order to see healthier and happier babies.”
Wardina’s quest to ensure her daughters received the best nutrition vis-à-vis mother’s milk was made possible by the support shown by her family.
“My family was amazed at how committed I was. They never once suggested that I stop or switch to formula milk because I was constantly talking about the benefits of breastfeeding! I even took a 12 hour lactation course to gain more knowledge and am continuously supporting other friends and colleagues to breastfeed.”
As for support from the father of her babies, Wardina quipped: “He did not know much. I was the one reading, doing all the explaining and at the same time telling him how lucky he is having a wife so determined and prudent.”
World Breastfeeding Week 2008
Innocenti Breastfeeding Communication Package
Real Lives: Malaysia Breastfeeding
25 August 2008:
23 July 2008:
17 June 2008:
20 March 2008:
1 August 2007:
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20 June 2007:
1 August 2006: