Remember when you were pregnant? You marveled at how a tiny bunch of cells grew a heart and brain, arms and legs; and finally a fully formed baby arrived, who turned your life upside down!! Of all the amazing things that Nature does every day, the Miracle of Life has got to be at the top of the list.
What’s interesting is that this amazing phenomenon doesn’t end with the birth of your baby. The way a woman’s body changes to accommodate the growing needs of her infant is actually quite incredible. Soon after birth, the breasts secrete Colostrum, which is thick and loaded with white blood cells and antibodies which are essential for a baby that has just been exposed to the big bad world of germs from the safe confines of its mother’s body. As time passes, the milk gets thinner, and has less white blood cells but more of other immune factors.
Unfortunately, many mothers don’t realize these wonderful features of breast milk, mainly because they aren’t aware of their life long benefits. To this end, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has declared the theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week as ‘Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – For Life!’ The week is observed from 1st to 7th August and is led by UNICEF and WHO, in association with 17 other global organizations. This is in an attempt to meet the Millennium Development Goals to fight poverty and promote health by 2015.
So how can you do your bit to help? First of all, if you know of a new Mom in your family or among your friends, offer your full support. Breastfeeding is a natural process and one could argue that it’s been happening since time immemorial. But the truth is that for most Moms, it doesn’t come naturally, and requires a lot of work. Add to that problems relating to post partum depression, guilt and lack of adequate support, and breastfeeding can turn out to be a traumatic experience.
5 TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL BREASTFEEDING
If you are a new mother or a mom-to-be here are 5 tips to help you make breastfeeding a successful experience for you.
1) Get help as soon as possible
I had a lactation consultant visit me hours after I gave birth to Samaira and who helped me walk through the process. She also helped me bust a few myths like baby isn’t getting enough, I don’t have enough milk and so on.
If your hospital doesn’t provide you a lactation consultant then visit the local chapter of .
2) Work on your latch
It’s all about the latch. The baby takes some time to develop the latch and it’s your job to guide him/her. Again make sure you hit all the resources like books, you tube videos etc.. to learn how to develop the right latch.
3) Try Different positions
Breastfeeding is not a one size (or rather position) fits all!! Some people like the cradle approach and yet others prefer the football hold. Even though people will tell you not to breastfeed lying down, I have done it and it was a relief at times. So keep experimenting with different positions till your baby and you find the most comfortable and preferred one.
4) Throw everything at it
Breastfeeding is not always as intuitive as it is made out to be. You may need external tools to stimulate milk like breast pumps. I had to use nipple shields and breast pumps till my daughter developed the right latch and the flow became consistent.
Breastfeeding is not as effortless as it is made out to be. But instead of giving up, use all the resources you can like breast pads, nursing pillows, nipple creams etc.
5) Breastfeeding is not a measure of your love
Despite your best intentions and all the efforts you have put in, you still may not be able to continue with breastfeeding. Don’t think of yourself as a failure or think that you are not a good mother because you couldn’t breastfeed.
Yes, breastfeeding is a great start for your baby in
5 Tips for Successful Breastfeeding- World Breastfeeding Weeklife but remember your love is what they truly need.
Spread the word – use your blog or Facebook page to spread the word about World Breastfeeding Week, so that more people are informed. It would be great if you could do a social media post on the benefits of breastfeeding for babies and Moms.
Breastfeeding is one of the first ways a baby knows that he is loved and will be taken care of. It is truly a special time for both Mom and baby and every one deserves to enjoy this gift. This quote by Grantly Dick-Read sums up the benefits of breastfeeding beautifully:
“A newborn baby has only three demands. They are warmth in the arms of its mother, food from her breasts, and security in the knowledge of her presence. Breastfeeding satisfies all three”
Did you face any problems while breastfeeding your child? How did you overcome them?