Breast is Best

23 Jul

Have you heard that breast is best? I guess I’m taking it a little far as Mantou is already 16+ months old. Some mothers who have breastfed have probably stopped already. Why in the world am I still doing it?  I feel like we are in a “bubble” and it’s just time for me and my son to bond. So yes, it’s partially selfish but I don’t find it a hardship to continue. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding to the two years and beyond. I work from home. I breastfeed him in the morning and before he goes to bed. At this point, I’m only pumping two times a day. But this also means I have to maintain a strict diet so that the allergens don’t pass through the breastmilk to him. Most people I tell think I should have stopped breastfeeding right away and start giving him formula or other sources  like soy, hemp, or rice milk. They believe I am making an unnecessary sacrifice.

How is it an unnecessary sacrifice? I don’t mind it, I’ve already learned a lot about being an allergy-free family. It’s unfortunate that people who are not affected or unaware of all these allergies don’t realize the potential lethal consequences nor treat allergies seriously enough. I used to think that I can just pick-up a walnut from my plate and that would be good enough to “remove” the allergen from my food. I’ve since been educated that yes a trace of that nut’s oil can lead to an allergic reaction as serious as anaphylaxis! I have yet to reach that point with my son nor am I looking forward to it. We’ve got his Epi-pen ready just in case, but I really fear that I’ll have to use it at all. We had a scare at daycare when he broke out in hives (and to this day we still don’t know what triggered it).

I am fortunate that both my husband and I work and we can afford a lifestyle with our diet change. I used to avoid going to Whole Foods Market because I knew they were called “Whole Paycheck” for a reason. However, that store hands down has all the options available for me to pursue my new allergen-free diet. I am also thankful for all those other parents with similar situations who share their stories and post their revised recipes so that there is really an alternative to making food available to those with multiple allergies. It’s a creative challenge that I see will help my son realize that he’s not growing-up in a life deprived of certain childhood favorites like chicken nuggets, pizza, ice cream – there’s a recipe for that!

I’ll introduce an alternative to breast milk in due time, it could be tomorrow, next week or month, or even when he turns two. That decision will come but that’s my decision and for now I’ll take any time with my son as I can get – even if it’s on the boob.

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2 Responses to “Breast is Best”

  1. Katie July 26, 2011 at 11:36 PM #

    I think what you’re doing is awesome. Breast is best and you are giving him a great start. I nursed my first kid till just before her second birthday and plan to keep nursing my second past his first birthday.

    • mantousmom July 31, 2011 at 10:40 PM #

      Thanks, Katie! I think you’re wonderful- I love seeing your pictures of the foods that you make, you should start a blog!

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