Allow me to introduce myself; my name is Pamela Madonsela. I am a mom to two beautiful children, Omntimande (3) and Lubambo (1).
Being a mother and wanting the best for my children, I chose to breastfeed exclusively; however, my breastfeeding journey was cut short with my firstborn because I did not have enough milk.
So, I was excited when my second child latched properly from day one; I couldn't wait to experience the beauty and bonding, knowing it's the best thing a parent can do for their child.
According to the World Health Organisation, every mother who chooses to breastfeed her baby in the first six months exclusively is doing the best thing she can to help her baby grow and stay healthy.
The organisation says that: "Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean and contains antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breastmilk provides all the energy and nutrients that the infant needs for the first months of life, and it continues to provide up to half or more of a child's nutritional needs during the second half of the first year and up to one third during the second year of life."
It has been beautiful to watch my son grow into this healthy and active boy, and I can attest to the fact that we have visited the doctor a lot less. I would like to believe that it is because he is breastfed.
Fast forward to 2021; however, I do not feel the same way about breastfeeding.
Also read: Breasts behaving badly? Here are some sensible solutions for common nursing problems
The leaky journey of breastfeeding
Giving birth during lockdown and being told to work from home gave me more time to bond with my son; however, I was never warned that stepping out of the house as a breastfeeding mom came with so much pain.
An hour or two away from the house, and my breast would have tripled in size, the pain unbearable. It's either you sit down and express, rush back home, or your breasts would be leaking.
When we got back to the office, I had a designated corner to express twice a day to ease the pain. At some point, when my son was much younger, I would express and store milk for days when I had to be away from home.
Did I mention that I am only breastfeeding with my right breast because milk never seems to come out from my left?
Tired but not ready to let go
I am tired, my son is too clingy- and there is not much anyone can do when he wants to be breastfed. It has become draining.
I always complain to my husband, saying that I will stop breastfeeding because even a weekend away from the kids is impossible because
I have a little breastmilk addict who will not survive a night without mommy. Apart of me wants to stop soon while another part of me is not ready to begin the process.
This journey reminds me of when I needed to get off my daughter her bottle- we had a few sleepless nights of crying, but she eventually forgot about it, but I do not foresee that happening with Lubambo because he is so attached.
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Emotionally and physically draining
Many people tell me to breastfeed until he is 2-years-old, but I do not think they know or understand how I feel.
Lubambo demands milk, and he will pull what he needs and scream if I do not cooperate. I stay away from malls and most public spaces with him because of this very reason.
Being a mother to two toddlers alone is exhausting, top that off with working from home, looking after the house, and breastfeeding. I love my kids so much, but sometimes I feel like a zombie.
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