The first week of the month of August is dedicated to encourage breastfeeding and improving the health of babies around the world.
Women in Cameroon are joining the rest of the world to commemorate the 2021 World Breastfeeding Week which began on August 1 and will end on August 7, 2021. The theme of the week is, “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.” The week highlights the links between breastfeeding and survival, health and wellbeing of women, children and the nation. Despite the challenges, many women encounter, breastfeeding their babies for more than six months is and remains a priority. As such, more women are taking the commitment to breastfeed their children for as long as 12 months.
Ornela Zanga Eyenga is a 20-year-old mother who is ready to breastfeed her daughter until she is one-year-old. The young mother says she would have loved to stop breastfeeding her at six months, but she refused artificial milk. Because she does not want her daughter to suffer from iron or protein deficiencies, Ornela Zanga says she will continue with breast milk while hoping that her daughter will cope with artificial milk. She is not worried about the state of her breast which some people think might sag after breast feeding. “Nowadays, there are several products that can be used to keep the breast firm. That which is important for me now is the proper growth of my baby”, the young mother reaffirms. Dolores Veryuy is a teacher and a mother in her mid 40s. She breastfeed her babies for one year and stops when they start walking. Dolores explained that some children fall sick and cry a lot when they are weaned from breastfeeding. Because it is a difficult thing to see a baby crying, she prefers to spare her child from such moments.
Etoh Katy Manga Bell is another mother who breastfeeds her children for six months exclusively on breast milk and begin mixed feeding until when the child is 10 months. According to Katy Manga Bell, at the tender age, breast milk is important for any child because it frees them from diseases such as water borne which can impede their growth. Gwendoline Shang manages to breastfeed her children for up to three months and stop immediately she resumes duty in her office. According to her, time constraints, distance between her office and home, regular breast stains in public does not permit her to continue breast breastfeeding her children when she resumes duty after a maternity leave.
Joana Ekeke says she usually breastfeed for about six to eight months. But exclusive for the first three months of maternity leave. “I know all the benefits of 12 months breastfeeding but with work, post-partum depression and all what is demanded from a mother, wife, employee it's too much to handle at times,” Joana explains. Regina is happy to narrate that she breastfed for 12 months for all her three children. Aida seems to have been an exceptional mother who breastfed her children for at least