Joy fills the air as we welcome the newest member of the family. Life radiates vitalizing energy, filled with zest and gaiety. A new mother’s much-awaited moment arrives, as she has her newborn bundle of joy lying in her lap, comforted with her milk when the baby gets hungry. No matter how well-prepared you may be, it is sadly often never enough preparation. As a new mom, you are often asking your pediatrician, “How much breastmilk is enough for my baby?”
“What are the benefits of breastfeeding?”, and the list goes on. So, we thought to compile the responses of your questions and share 7 fascinating facts about breastfeeding!
Never forget that the early stages of breastfeeding are learning in itself. There are several “secrets” about breastfeeding that not many expecting mothers know enough. You’d be surprised if we told you a mom gets to know enough and more fro her own newborn.
Nonetheless, here’s what our in-house lactation consultant-cum-pediatrician Dr. Charu has to say.
Fascinating things about breastfeeding – Myths and facts:
1. Breastfeeding must not be painful
Soon after delivery, breastfeeding will become a 24/7 activity for the next few months. Breast inflammation, blocked milk ducts, sore or cracked nipples are some of the common complications that can occur while you breastfeed continuously. So, always ensure the baby is fed with both the breasts an equal number of times with proper latching. Massage your breasts every day to ensure a continuous flow of milk.
Breastfeeding and COVID-19! Dr. Charu’s advice.
2. Leaky breasts are natural
Leaky breasts are natural and should not be confused for an infection or something abnormal—there’s absolutely nothing to be worried about. Now, if you do notice a leakage, there’s no need not panic. It’s a sign that your body is producing sufficient milk to feed the baby. However, if you feel that the leakage is excessive, consider using a breast pump which can be used to store the surplus milk and feed the baby later. Do remember though to avoid pressing the breast when it is leaking. (meaning unclear—be specific).
3. Too often or too long
A possibly the most common question that is on every expectant mother’s mind is ‘How many times should I breastfeed my baby, and for how long’? Well, the frequency and duration of breastfeeding differ with every child. Typically, nursing can range from 4 to 15 times a day (15 times?! Is that correct?), with each session being anywhere between 30 to 45 minutes. The bottom-line really is not about whether it is too frequent or too long. Just ensure that your baby is healthy and steadily gaining weight as required.
4. Increase water intake
As the baby gradually crosses the necessary milestones, and breastfeeding becomes a practiced routine, it is imperative that the mother remains healthy. Nursing requires a great deal of energy and stamina. Therefore don’t forget to drink plenty of water and generally keep yourself nourished and hydrated.
Post-pregnancy, it typically takes anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks for the menstrual cycle to. There’s literally tons of material out there that tells us how beneficial breastfeeding is for both the baby as well as the mom. The process of breastfeeding pumps the mothers’ body with iron, which in turn is useful to generate the energy that is required to meet the needs of a new mother.
6. Ensures healthy reproductive organs
Yes, it’s true. Healthy and consistent breastfeeding in a way helps regulate the function and overall health of the reproductive organs of the mother. Typically, non-breastfeeding mothers are more prone to ovarian, uterus, and breast cancers.
7. Boosts the immune system
Breastfeeding is the natural vaccine that a mother can give to her baby. Since breast milk contains several anti-infective factors, it helps boost the immune system of the newborn. It also increases the positive impact of the external vaccinations administered during the first 12 months.
Breastfeeding can be an emotional roller-coaster ride as the new mother embarks on one of life’s most important journeys. But, with time, patience, and experience breastfeeding can turn into a healthy and happy journey.
This blog post has been drafted in consultation with the pediatrician- Dr. Gogia, Gurgaon, and lactation consultant, Max Hospital, Gurgaon, Haryana.
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