9 Important Learnings from My Breastfeeding Experiences (plus positive effects of breastfeeding)
By : Namrata Patil
As the mother of an exclusively breastfed son and an almost exclusively formula fed son, I would like to share certain tips and tricks that made me manage both with zero regrets as fortunately both the boys have very good immunity so far. Touchwood!
Also read: My Breastfeeding Journeys By Namrata Patil
This is what worked for me both the times-
- Don’t be guilty if you’re unable to breastfeed – As a new mum, when I was unable to breastfeed my son for almost a month and rely on formula feed, I did not get bogged down by guilt and helplessness but ensured that my son gradually built his immunity eating right as he grew up. So mums, Normal or C-sec, breast or formula feed is something you cannot predict or do much about. The easiest way to make peace with it and yourself are to accept things as they are.
You might also like: Common discomforts during breastfeeding
- It is ok to give Formula – It is completely alright to introduce formula feed once in a while to ensure you and the baby get rest and is in the right frame of mind and also physically to ensure quality breastfeeding. No guilt, please!
- Worry doesn’t help in producing milk – There is no need to worry about less or more supply. Usually breastfeeding is about demand and supply. The more the baby suckles, the more you lactate and vice versa. Having jeera and jaggery balls daily with milk seems to have given me excess supply this time. Also, I had badam and khuskhus milk daily for breakfast that my ever supportive and loving Mother in law fed me daily for almost a month post delivery.
- Breastfeed when you’re ready – During my second son, I was already under huge pressure to breastfeed and when I could not even hold him due to the pain, I cried as everybody around me was after my life to breastfeed. I decided to stay calm and not let it affect my flow since breast feeding is not just a physical but an extremely emotional and a hormone controlled activity. I eventually exclusively breastfed for almost 5 months as my calmness and positive mindset worked well for me.
- Don’t be pressurized to overeat and drink more water – I did not let others around me instill fear and make me do things that I was not comfortable with. Guilty for drinking less water or more, guilty of eating the wrong food and passing it on to the baby etc. My pediatrician friend said that a very little part of what we mums eat gets transferred to the baby after it has entered our bloodstream. Also, it gives the baby a chance to develop a taste for varied foods.I know I am a mom and at times I need a break and change too from all this.My own happiness is most critical to keep everybody around me happy too.I am not guilty of having indulged in the food I was craving to eat.Everything eaten in moderation was fine, the guilt, however, wasn’t.
- Your baby is your priority – The main thing you need to breastfeed is confidence and positivity.I was not guilty of excusing myself from guests to feed my baby or feeding my baby in front of them with a cape over me or even feeding my baby in public. My baby was the priority always.
This might also interest you: 10 Breastfeeding Myths Busted
- Don’t worry about weight loss in the initial days – I had put on almost 20 kgs during my first pregnancy and just like any other woman, I was determined to shed it. However, I decided not to step on a weighing scale till the time I was breastfeeding.I was more concerned that my baby was growing well and getting the adequate nutrition via my food and breast milk.The weight loss issue adds more burden on your mind and will definitely affect lactation.After I weaned off my son it was time to focus on the weight loss but I never chased it.It all gradually happened and I was back to my pre pregnancy weight within 15 months.
- You decide when to wean – I weaned off breastfeeding when I felt my son and I were ready for it and did not let anybody else decide that for me.I decided to start bottle feed when I needed it and my only concern was that they need to be sterilized well and I should be able to wean it off easily too.In both the cases, ‘Out of Sight, Out of Mind’ worked best for both my boys.I hid the bottles away after 2 years for my elder son and I hid for a week at bedtime for the younger one to successfully wean them off. Working mums or Stay at Home mums, be confident of your choices and you need not give an explanation for it. Do what is best for baby and you.
- Your doctor knows best – For all advice you will ever get or read about, please consult your gynecologist and pediatrician as every mum and every baby is different and there are no ‘one advice suits all’ in matters like these.It is always to each her own. In the end, as I always say, ”Momma Knows Best”.
Give it your best and do not feel guilty about anything.
Breastfeeding has such a positive effect on the mother’s body and it helps to strengthen the mother-child bond. Dr. Hemant Mittal of Mind Mantra explains the Positive effects of breastfeeding on a mother’s mental health:
Hope you all have a fulfilling and successful breastfeeding journey, most importantly a happy and positive mommyhood.
Want to share your mommy experience with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you