I exclusively breastfed both my babies upto 6 months of age and then continued it upto the 2+ years for my daughter and planning to do the same for my son. Breastfeeding even though important can be overwhelming sometimes and we are always on the look out for tips to make it easy going and effective with minimal things.
I had this experience twice and corrected some of my ways during my second time like using a breast pump. For the World Breastfeeding Week 2020, I’m sharing some of the things I followed during my breastfeeding journey.
✓ Massaging your breasts and nipples during pregnancy using coconut or olive oil. Firstly its for the pain and dryness that your breasts have during pregnancy. For first time Moms, feeding your babies becomes difficult in the first few days due to nipple issues. Massaging and pulling of nipples with the help of oils helps this to much extent.
✓ Do your research about breastfeeding, positions, latching, etc. You can even think about buying feeding pillows and breast pump during the 9th month of your pregnancy as a pre-prep so you do not have to worry later.
✓ After delivery, skin- to- skin contact of Mom and newborn is of utmost importance. It builds their bond and also helps in the building of the hormone oxytocin and hence increases breastmilk supply.
✓ Latch your baby within the first hour. Do not feed formula or water or honey.
✓ The first milk i.e. colostrum should be fed to the baby. It is the best for their immunity since it has antibodies and lowers the risks of infection.
✓ Massage your breasts before and after every feed atleast for the first month. At the start the milk supply is high and a newborn’s needs are less so there are chances of milk-clot and blocked ducts formation. Massaging helps to keep the ducts clear and the milk flowing. Your gynaecologist or lactation experts can help you understand these massages in a better way.
✓ Breasts pumps are a boon. It is a mother’s choice whether to bottle feed breastmilk to your baby or not, but you can definitely use them to empty your breasts to avoid milk clots and further issues. Plus it helps to increase you milk supply as more demand so more supply.
✓ Blocked duct can be self soothed by regular oil massages, warm water compresses and baths, etc. But if it gets severe and you have temperature, it’s best to consult your gynaecologist for medication which will help relieve the clots faster.
✓ Your medication which includes multivitamin, iron, calcium, folic acid and omegas should be continued untill you breastfeed your baby. Postpartum also affects your body alot and continuing your multivitamins helps your body to cope better.
✓ A healthy diet including iron and protein rich foods can help boost your milk supply. Calcium rich foods are also important as well. Having galactogogues is also a must to keep your supply high and also helps your body to recover faster.
✓ Taking proper rest and being stress free also helps a long way. A happy and well rested Mama will keep the newborn happy and healthy too.
Breast is best and every mother should definitely give it a try for the health of your newborns. Many experts including the organisations like WHO, UNICEF and IMA (Indian Medical Association) , IAP( Indian Academy of Pediatrics) recommend exclusive breastfeeding upto 6 months and to continue breastfeeding upto 2 years of the baby’s age.
But some Moms are not able to do that due to medical issues. That doesn’t mean breast is the only and the best way and a mother failed. They can always go for formula feed or human donor milk which can be procured from Human milk banks where storage of breast milk is being done. Many doctors are now suggesting to go for human donor milk instead of formula milk.
After all, you know what is best for your baby!
Happy World Breastfeeding Week 2020!