Breastfeeding Stories - Breastfeeding Saves the Day
by Pip Wheelwright
Friday night, something (possibly pollen) triggered my toddler Alfie’s asthma, and by Saturday morning we were at Accident & Emergency and he was with a resuscitation team on two lots of nebulizer and steroids! Four hours later he was running about, almost back to normal.
The worst bit? Not being able to get near Alfie apart from holding his hand, while doctors rushed round him strapping him up to oxygen and various monitors, while he cried out for me. The best bit? Giving him a breastfeed and a close cuddle, once we had settled down on the bed together, to the surprise of doctors and nurses who were amazed at his instant calmness! They even asked if they could write it on their notes, as they were impressed by how quickly he calmed down when he breastfed, despite his age (nearly two years at the time). Watching the monitor show his heart rate falling as he nursed was fantastic.
I shared some information with the hospital staff about long term breastfeeding and immunity. Every time a male nurse or doctor came in, they averted their eyes. But one lady sat talking to me about how good it was to see an older one being nursed, and how it would be nice if it were the norm. I told her that there are many families who practice extended breastfeeding, but because we sometimes get bad press about breastfeeding past one year, it’s a low key affair – although it would be better if it didn’t have to be.
I was glad I could be there for Alfie in every way possible. Breastfeeding is recommended up to and over two years by the World Health Organization and others, so why give our children formula milk, which sometimes triggers allergies, instead of breastmilk - home-made by us mummies?
Alfie turned two years old on 9th August, so I’m now feeding a two year old. As long as he is happy and healthy, I will go with the flow each day, let him take the lead, and follow his needs, as I did for his brother Harry before him. Harry, aged nearly nine, has now virtually grown out of his asthma related problems.
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