Breastfeeding has numerous benefits for babies and their moms. There is an exhaustive list on the positive impact it has on your baby as well as yourself. It is the most vital form of nutrition in the first few months of your baby’s life.
Organizations like the WHO and UNICEF, stress on initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a newborn baby’s life, and continued breastfeeding with nutritionally adequate, age appropriate food for 2 years or more.
Despite the significant benefits of breastfeeding, only 39 percent of children less than six months of age in the developing world are exclusively breastfed.
While there is a host of factors that cause women to drop off from breastfeeding, lack of knowledge and associated fears form a sizable chunk.
We have highlighted a few common misconceptions breastfeeding mothers might encounter while feeding. Having your doubts cleared before initiating feeds is always the best way to go ahead.
Breastfeeding is painful.
Breastfeeding is not painful at all. Other than an initial tingling sensation, there shouldn’t be any pain experienced during breastfeeding. When your baby latches on well, and suckles at the breast, the process should be painless. However, if you experience any pain, the best course of action is to consult a lactation expert.
Remember, you are not alone, and there are people and solutions to help you out.
My milk supply is low if my baby seems hungry all the time.
Babies feed with varying patterns in the first year. Just because your baby is crying, it doesn’t mean she/he is underfed. Most moms start panicking and blaming themselves without realizing that their bodies are capable of catering to their babies’ needs. Sometimes, babies simply long for the comfort of their mother’s touch. All they need is to be held close. Also, don’t rule out a nappy change in case the baby has passed urine.
I shouldn’t be feeding if my breast has an infection.
The main cause of an infection in breastfeeding women are blocked ducts. The best way to clear off the infection is to allow the flow of milk through the duct, which happens naturally in breastfeeding. Unless advised otherwise, breastfeeding shouldn’t be stopped under any circumstances.
My breasts will sag if I continue breastfeeding for an extended period of time.
While most women are clouded by this doubt, the real reason why this occurs is due to the excess weight gained during pregnancy. Due to the hormonal changes and increase in appetite, women pack on plenty of pounds when they are expecting. A lot of this weight accumulates on the breasts as well. Regular exercises aimed towards weight reduction as well as muscle toning will help to sustain the shape and position of the breasts.
Both breasts should be used during every feeding session.
When your baby is allowed to empty out one breast completely, she/he gets access to the mother’s hind milk which is richer in nutrition as compared to the earlier foremilk. Babies who are often switched between breasts during feeding sessions, only access the low-calorie foremilk. Let your baby suckle on the breast until he/she is completely satisfied.
I would have to wean my baby off breastmilk when I go back to work.
Moms often rush to find alternatives for breastmilk when they decide to go back to work. Most often this is in the form of formula milk, which is not as nutritionally rich as breastmilk.
And actually, there is no reason to deprive your baby of your precious breastmilk.
All you really need is a good breast pump. Once you get accustomed to the act of pumping milk, you can get back to work, secure in the knowledge that you are not compromising on your baby’s nutrition at all. Your lactation expert or pediatrician is your best consultant in such matters.
Empowering mothers to feed their babies is currently a widespread stance within our society. Be it amongst working women or women at home raising their little ones, access to breastmilk is a basic right for every newborn.
DID YOU KNOW?
Breastfed children have at least six times greater chance of survival in the early months than non-breastfed children. An exclusively breastfed child is 14 times less likely to die in the first six months than a non-breastfed child, and breastfeeding drastically reduces deaths from acute respiratory infection and diarrhea.