The minute you get pregnant everyone starts telling you how important it is to breastfeed. Breast is the best, they say. But let me tell you, my dear ladies, it is indeed a tricky business. Even before the baby has arrived, we have tons of questions about breastfeeding in our minds. In this blog, I will try and cover my experience of the first month of breastfeeding.
I believe it’s a personal choice but I have hardly met any pregnant woman, who doesn’t want to breastfeed her child. But it is not always in our control. A lot of my friends have faced problems, where no matter what they ate or did, there was no production of breast milk. So, we discuss what to do you do in these circumstances along with other FAQs.
Does Breastfeeding hurt?
Breastfeeding might hurt in the beginning but once your baby is pro at latching and feeding, it shouldn’t pain at all. Go to the doctor if the pain persists. Hot towel therapy and hot showers also help with the pain and engorgement.
Why baby is not latching while breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is as new to the baby as it is to you. So, it’s very common that babies don’t latch immediately. It’s a constant practice. You have to show your baby several times before he learns to latch. One small tip, if you need to break the latch try and put your little finger in his mouth to loosen the grip. Otherwise, you are going to be so sorry.
Why don’t we instantly produce breastmilk and what is the yellow liquid?
Another expectation every new mom has, at least I did, was that she will start producing milk immediately post delivery. Answer is NO, the first thing mom produces is it COLOSTRUM. It is magical liquid and nothing is as healthy as this for an infant. As your baby grows, so will your milk supply.
Is my baby breastfeeding enough?
You can read on several portals that you need to feed baby every two hours but my son’s pediatrician suggested to feed whenever baby is hungry. Plain and simple. Don’t ration his feedings or try to time it. Feed as and when demanded by the baby. If you are exclusively breastfeeding you might feel like a “Mother Dairy”. Lol… having said that, the law of breastfeeding is simple “more you feed more you produce.”
Am I producing enough breastmilk?
I used to pump a lot during first two months, which gave me a pretty good idea if I am producing enough milk for my baby. Your baby’s doc will be able to tell you average ounces of milk your baby will consume at given point of time. So, you can check.
Breastfeeding or Formula Feeding?
Mine was a c-sec and baby had a bit of fever at the time of birth, so he was in special care. I wasn’t able to feed him for 24 hours. Meanwhile, nurses had to give him infant formula. So, for what ever reason you are not able to breastfeed your little one, you can always rely on formula. In fact, my son’s pediatrician insisted on supplementing his feeding with formula. He said after every time I breastfeed him I should give him some formula. In my experience it fills baby’s tummy.
Another advantage of supplementing with formula is it gives new moms a little break. Postpartum women are exhausted. You are hardly getting any sleep. So, if you have a family member or spouse staying at home to help you, formula comes in handy. Or if you are traveling and you are a bit shy breastfeeding in public, again formula comes to your rescue. So, don’t worry or feel guilty at all, if you have to give formula to your little one.
Till when should I breastfeed?
That is absolutely up to you and obviously, depends if milk supply is enough. Plus additional factors like going back to work etc comes in play as well. But doctors suggest to feed religiously at least for 6 months. Post that you can do it till the time you want. My mom breastfed me till I was almost year and a half. I plan to do the same. Though, once you start your baby on solids, number of feedings come considerably down.
Products for breastfeeding
A comfortable feeding pillow is a must have. It helps you with your back posture. Plus, it will take off the stress from your shoulder of holding the baby, every time you breastfeed.
If you want, you can try nipple shields but my baby just didn’t like it and refused to latch. After few days I didn’t feel the need either.
Nursing clothes: Investing in nursing lingerie and tops is a smart thing to do. Especially, if you are out and baby is too fussy, breastfeeding is the best way to soothe.
Product for Formula Feeding
A set of bottles. I personally like Comotomo but there are tons of options available.
Bottle Sterilizer: I think it’s a must to sterilize bottles at least once a day. They clean all harmful bacteria that might transfer from adults to the baby.
Electric kettle, flask & Bottle warmer: Even though doctors said I can use water at normal temperature to make formula but I soon realized my baby likes warm milk.
How Can the Family Support A Breastfeeding Mom
It is the most important factor, be it during pregnancy or post.Make sure you don’t rush new mommies. Don’t make them feel guilty if there is no breastmilk yet or baby is not latching. If she is sad the chances are there will be no breast milk. It is a vicious circle. Keep mommy happy and relaxed. Trust me, she is trying her best. She needs all the support she can get.
Food for Healthy Breastfeeding
There is no scientific proof if eating something or not eating affects your milk production but I feel, nutritional intake is important for your recovery and through you baby will also get all those added nutrition. Despite what’s said above my doctor suggested me to eat “Desi Ghee”.
Lastly, do not under estimate the power of long hot showers or baths, they can do wonders for both your physical and mental health.
And mommies, don’t forget to breathe…
Mum Mum Ma
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