Its the Breast feeding week 2017, and being an advocate of Breastfeeding how can i not share my journey of breastfeeding & share my learning & experience on this topic . I remember i had put so much pressure on myself right after delivery that i was getting panic attacks until the 3rd day when i started lactating.With so many failure lactation stories around i was under a lot of pressure thinking , will i ?, what if i wont? but even if i didn’t!?! would that make me a bad MOM? NOPE! so please don’t beat yourself on this, and do whats in your control because the way women feed their baby does NOT define their success as a MOTHER.
when it comes to breastfeeding every mother is different & every child is different.Every moms challenges will be different. So weather you breastfeed or pump feed, or bottle feed it does not matter as i believe every mom does best for her child. Having said that breast feeding has endless benefits both for the baby and the mother.
So here are some Reasons why Breast feed is good for the baby and the mother, what are the challenges, lactation, Foods for Lactation & support during lactation.
Advantages of Breast feeding –
- Unique nutritional formulation- ideal nutrition.
- Unique immunologic and development medicament- Which protects against Infection & stimulates optimal development while breast feeding.
- Programs infant for later development
- Human milk is a complex bioactive and prophylactic fluid.
- Wholesome hence there is no need for supplementation.
- No risk of contamination & no need to sterilise bottles ( such a task)
- Maternal antibiotics in milk protect against infection till 9m of age.
- Problems like Skin allergies, asthma are less common in breast feed babies.
Different position of breastfeeding –
I started lactating at 3rd day after delivery and learning feeding positions was so difficult for me. Also people around ,created much panic. But its important to keep your cool and learn about these positions from the beginning.
Start by placing baby on one side, toward your breasts. Make sure your baby’s whole body is facing your chest, with his or her ear, shoulder and hip in a straight line (those little boy or girl parts should be parallel to the breast you’re not feeding from). You don’t want your newborn’s head turned to the side — it should be straight in line with the body. Use a nursing or regular pillow to bring baby to a height that makes manoeuvring him or her to the breast easier. A mother should always sit with her back supported . and take the baby towards her, this prevents her from back pains. I always preferred Upright position. Other positions like lying down & feeding sideways are better avoided. In case of twins Football potion works best as both kids can be fed simultaneously. Also this position is good for moms who had c-sec as you don’t have to place the baby on your belly because stitches hurt for few days. Learn more about Feeding positions Here–
Always let the baby feed from one breast then give the other as the baby gets HIND milk which is rich in FATS. Basically, the initial milk during each feed is more like water and later comes the nutritious milk , Always complete feeding from one breast then move on to the other even if the other one is leaking milk, its fine. I did the exact same thing until the health care providers pointed it out to me.
Challenges during Breastfeeding
- Inadequate breast milk: First few days there may be reduced milk, or you wont even lactate but from 3-4th day you should start lactating. First few days a jelly like substance called Colostrum is enough for the baby. Especially post C-Sec lactation may delay as the mother is fasting. Its advisable to consume 4-5 ltrs of liquid in form of water, milk, juices etc.
Some women get adequate lactation and some dont, here is a quick look at foods that enhances milk production –
- Water – Drink lots of water all day especially right after a feed.
- Nuts – When you get hungry because of feeding, munch on some nuts.
- Flax seeds- best to have first thing in the morning
- Green veggies – Have lots of leafy greens like SPINACH , i used to have a spinach tomato soup daily.
- Fruits, ornage, payaya, banana etc
- Sesame seeds
- Dry fenugreek seeds (Methi)
- Thymol seeds (Ajwain)
- Aniseed (Sauf) – soak them in ater for couple of hrs, and drink it. Repeat 2-3 times a day.
Click below to know my postpartum journey and what food i ate and how i lost weight.
2.Retraction or Flat nipples– prior to delivery massaging of nipples helps. In severe cases, Nipple shield can Solve the problem. Expressing milk by breast pump is also an option. All though extreme hygiene care needs to be kept in mind while expressing and feeding expressed milk, to avoid infections.
3. Breast Engorgement /Mastitis : This condition is swelling & pain in the breast during feeding. To avoid this you should massage your breasts daily, it forms lumps otherwise which leads to complications. If there is excess milk express it and keep. Hot fomentation and medicines help in severe cases.
Breast milk Recommendations –
- Mastitis – Continued breast feeding is recommended during antibiotic therapy.
- Breast Abscess : Feeding from affected breast is not recommended but breast milk should be expressed out. Feeding can be resumed once abscess has been drained out and mother is treated with antibiotics. Breast Feeding should be continued from unaffected breast.
4. Cracked Nipple – Do not use too much soap & water , keep them exposed to air, do not wear tight bra. Can apply breast milk or coconut oil. or use ointments like Nipcare which is also safe for the baby.
I personally swear by Breast pumps, I started pumping when my son was 2 months. Sometimes i had excess milk so i had to express and it worked great because while i was sleeping, any body in the family use to feed my son. Its a good way to keep your sanity in place. Also when a mom gets back to work Breast pumps are your answer to all the puzzles in your head. Its easy & quick, however some precautions needs to be kept in mind to avoid infections –
- Wash your hands well with soap & water before expressing.
- Sterilise pump and and the bottle
- Storage :Room temp- 2-3 hrs , insulated cooler with ice pack – 24 hrs, Fridge – 5 days, try to use it up in 24 hrs, Freezer – 2 weeks.
Support during Breast feeding –
Breastfeeding is not an easy journey for a woman, And this is the time when a woman needs people around to make her feel that she is not alone and she has all the support.It also takes a father’s shoulder, a colleague’s helping hand, a friend’s sympathetic ear and a grandma’s eyes. It takes all of us and our hearts to help mothers breastfeed. Because raising the healthiest possible tiny human is not only a mother’s responsibility. IT TAKES ALL OF US. Fathers, grandparents, friends and colleagues , you’re already helping a lot the breastfeeding mum whom you know closely or intimately. But you may be wondering how you could possibly help her more so that she can breastfeed for longer.
- For DADS – After your wife is done feeding the baby, take the baby and burp him, also provide emotional support to your wife, believe me she needs you like never before. wake up with her if the baby wakes up in the night. Show her some love, let her know you are there for her.
- For Friends – Keep visiting your friend who has become a mom recently, spend some time looking after the baby so she can catch up on some sleep or motivate her to speak her mind, talk about how fun life will be with her baby around.
- Family/grandparent – Let the new mom rest in between feeding times, meanwhile look after the baby and help the new mom with daily chores so she can relax. And shower all the love on her ,motivate her to breast feed and tell her she is doing great.
- Boss – Be lenient with breast feeding moms with working hrs at least for 6 months. Make her feel she is still as productive rather more as she has one new role now.
Hope you find this article useful!