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Why Gen Z Fear Breastfeeding



While the majority of millennials embraced motherhood willingly and were well-prepared to face its challenges, many Gen Z mothers approach the idea of becoming mothers with apprehension and worry. A significant number of them prioritize their physical appearance over the well-being of their children. They have concerns that breastfeeding could lead to sagging breasts and a perceived decrease in attractiveness compared to not breastfeeding, opting instead for alternatives like baby formula.

Nancy Madiva, a resident of Kibra and a mother to a 5-month-old baby, shared her breastfeeding experience, stating, “My baby is now 5 months old, and I’ve been exclusively breastfeeding her as advised by the doctor. While I initially had concerns about how my breasts would appear post-breastfeeding, I’ve come to terms with it and am committed to breastfeeding to safeguard my child from various challenges.” She added, “The reason why many young women hesitate to breastfeed their children is due to the ongoing criticism from men when they notice breast sagging. However, I’ve embraced motherhood as a responsibility, and I’ve also witnessed women whose breasts returned to normal after breastfeeding.”

Caroline Auma, a resident of Karanja, also shared her experience with Pamoja FM, saying, “I have a 1-year-and-10-month-old baby whom I’m still breastfeeding. Initially, I worried about breast sagging after having my first child, but after receiving guidance from nurses, I made the decision to breastfeed my children for 2 years.” She emphasized, “It’s not that I’m unconcerned about the appearance of my breasts, but I also prioritize my children’s health, which is why I made this choice.”

Nurse Benter Anyango from the DC Medical Facility in Kibra emphasized that their facility educates women on the importance of breastfeeding and closely monitors the progress of the children brought in.

The benefits of breastfeeding include:

Nutrition: Breast milk offers optimal nutrition for infants, containing essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for their growth and development. It also provides antibodies and immune-boosting substances that protect against infections and diseases.

Immune System Support: Breast milk contains components that enhance an infant’s immune system, guarding against common childhood illnesses like diarrhea, and respiratory, and ear infections.

B0nding and Emotional Connection: Breastfeeding fosters a strong emotional bond between mother and child through skin-to-skin contact and close physical proximity.

Digestive Health: Breast milk is easily digestible and less likely to cause digestive issues compared to formula milk.

Reduction of Chronic Diseases: Breastfeeding is linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and allergies later in life.

Maternal Health Benefits: Breastfeeding aids in postpartum recovery, uterine contraction, weight loss, and reduces the risk of certain cancers.

Convenience and Cost-Effectiveness: Breastfeeding is convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly, reducing the need for formula production and packaging.

The World Health Organization (WHO) underscores the significance of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding alongside complementary foods up to the age of two years or beyond.

Charity Kilei
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