“I grew up in a pro-breastfeeding extended family and it has a very special meaning to me. My mother breastfed me and my four siblings. When I became a mother, breastfeeding just seemed like the natural thing to do. As a Muslim, breastfeeding has an added dimension to me - it is an act of obedience and a way to express my love for God. In the Koran, God recommends that mothers breastfeed their babies “for two whole years” and requires that the father “pays for her food and clothing equitably” (The Koran, 2:233). (Who doesn’t love the paid maternity leave, right?) I work as a medical researcher and I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that WHO and UNICEF also recommend breastfeeding for two years too.
Watching so many others breastfeed with such apparent ease, I was surprised that it was not as easy as it looks. However, after the painful first few weeks of mastitis, engorgement and sleepless nights I am glad I persevered. I describe it as pure moments of bliss now, a time for just the two of us to bond while giving my baby the best nutrition available. This is my third child who I am successfully breastfeeding. As I hold my baby close, breastfeeding her many times a day, I have to remind myself that these precious moments will fly by and one day she won’t be needing me in the way she needs me today. Enjoy it while it lasts.”