- Written by Queen Munguti for KenyaKidz
Lactation manager, Evelyne Kongoro- is helping Kenyan women ease into breastfeeding- something new mothers find challenging and has been found as one of the reason why they stop breastfeeding and switch to baby formula.
A study published in the journal Pediatrics found that women who had just delivered but were worried about their ability to breastfeed, were more likely to switch to formula sooner than those who did not have these concerns. Three days after delivering, over half of the women were worried about their babies’ ability to latch on, while 44 per cent were concerned about breast-feeding pain, and 40 per cent about their capacity to produce enough milk.
“As a lactation manager, I help mothers especially first time ones, get through the challenges of breastfeeding,” said Evelyne. “Breastfeeding is an acquired skill, some mums may take time to produce milk and while others may not have such a hard time.”
Her first time experience as a mother inspired her to start the program, Askone Breastfeeding Solutions. “When I had my first child, I went through hell. I had cracked nipples, I was in pain and I was not able to maintain breast milk,” she said. “I would not want any woman to go through that, so as I learnt on how cope with breastfeeding; I thought it would be a good idea to start a platform where first time mothers can have support and learn how to deal with the challenges.”
After her second birth, Evelyn said her first experience was a good teacher and breastfeeding was much easier. “Once you get through the first time, the second time is usually easy with little or no challenges.”
On the kinds of food that one can eat in order to help in lactating, Evelyne said, there is no special diet one has only eat a balanced and healthy diet.
The program has helped a lot of women, in the last two years since it was started. “There are women who call me and tell me that they have given up on breast feeding and want to start their babies on formula, I advise them not to because I know I can help them and the advantages of breast feeding to the babies are crucial,” she said.
For her services, Evelyn does not charge. “The program was started as a way of helping mothers and that is why I do not charge,” she said. “I might charge for transport fee but only if you live far from where I live.”
She also gives talks in different mothers’ events, “lactation is a very important topic but it is hardly discussed even in Lamaze classes, I saw a gap that need to be filled.”
To get in touch with her you can call her on: 0723137738 or through her Facebook page Askone Breastfeeding Solutions.