So…being true to myself, I began to ask myself why in traditional Kikuyu culture the muciaire (new mother) is encouraged to eat njahi (black beans) and fermented uji (porridge). My “why” curiosity led me to several Google searches, at the end of which, I really saw no scientific link between these foods, and an increase in milk production in the lactating mother. (Word to the wise here: don’t bother having this debate with your mother or mother-in-law…you’ll never win!)
In all honesty, however, I didn’t look into this ‘norm’ that much; rather, I searched for alternative ways of ensuring a steady milk supply, and found tips which I made up my mind to follow; you know, herbal remedies, increase in my water intake, etc.
Woe unto me, my “forward” alternative thinking led to a steady decline in my milk production! It got so bad, until one day I felt like my sweet little Nyakio, only weeks old, was looking at me and asking “seriously mom?? Is this all you’ve got to offer??”
When you feel like your 3 week old baby is judging you, know you’ve hit some kind of rock bottom
But beyond that, I couldn’t fathom the idea of turning to formula – not this early…and especially because I breastfed my first child Tumiso exclusively for 6 months, and continued to let her “snack” until she was 2 years old (yes…I’m that much of a believer in breast milk) Btw as a result, we never had to take her to hospital…not even for a flu. To date, she’s the healthiest little girl.
Besides, breastfeeding is such a wonderful opportunity for mommy to bond with her little one, something only the two of you share, and for me, to give that up without a fight is unacceptable.
So faced with the prospect of ending my breastfeeding experience less than a month after delivery, I called my mom, and with my “tail between my legs” and almost on the verge of tears, I said “mummy, I need help!” The very same day, mom dashed over to my house, and without so much as a look of “I-told-you-so” she headed straight to my kitchen and made me some nice fermented uji and a pot of njahi.
I still don’t know how this stuff works but I promise you, within 3 days, my milk production was back to normal. Whether it’s psychological or there’s some scientific logic behind it, quite frankly I don’t care at this point. All I know is that I gat full boobs baby!!! Lol! (funny how some intimately suggestive words lack sensual connotations when ur a lactating mom! Hehehe!)
So by all means, bring on the “old wives’ tales”! If they worked then, they’ll work now! We’ll deal with the science behind it (while hitting the gym) after baby is well fed 😉
An old wives’ tale is … a superstition or something deemed to be untrue and to be ridiculed … said to be passed down by older women to a younger generation. Such “tales” usually consist of superstition, folklore or unverified claims with exaggerated and/or inaccurate details. Today, some so-called “old wives’ tales” have proven to be valid. Old wives’ tales often concern pregnancy, puberty and nutrition, about which women have historically had a great deal of knowledge and experience.