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Mugdha Joshi answers all your lactation queries
Dr Mugdha Joshi is a BHMS, MSCDFSM, CNCC, PGCPDN, & International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She is also a qualified Homoeopath & Nutritionist, specialised in Pediatric Nutrition. She also conducts Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes and is open to home-visits and video consultations. She’s the founder of Health4urChild and Greenmoms India.
Every August, the first seven days of the month are celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week, which aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to both the health and welfare of babies, as well as a wider push for maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction and food security. The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2018 is ‘Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.’ Breastfeeding is a universal solution that levels the playing field, giving everyone a fair start in life. It improves the health, well-being and survival of women and children around the world. A plethora of studies have shown the stark health improvements brought about by breastfeeding around the world. Breastfeeding your baby is the perfect gift you can give your baby. It’s nature’s way of nurturing the child. Breast milk is much more than food. It’s potent medicine and, simultaneously, a powerful medium of communication between mothers and their babies. It is custom-made by each mom and changes over time to meet her baby’s needs. It’s astonishing. Dr Grantly Dick-Read, a British obstetrician and a leading advocate of natural birth, rightly said, “A newborn 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.” It’s no secret that breastfeeding can present some challenges for moms, especially at the beginning. Sore nipples, babies who won’t latch, milk supply worries, babies who scream anytime they are near the nipple — the list goes on. Many people, even some doctors, wonder what there is to learn about breastfeeding. If a mother has milk, she can breastfeed and one who has less supply will need to supplement. Genuine low supply issue is seen in less than five per cent of mothers around the world. But many mothers may struggle to feel confident in their bodies’ ability to produce milk. Babies who are formula fed, typically space out feedings or sleep longer between feedings as compared to those babies fed breastmilk because non-human milk is difficult for babies to digest. Mothers may perceive the need to breastfeed more often, especially through the night, as a sign that their milk is not adequate, either in quality or quantity. This may lead to early, unnecessary supplementation, which may then be followed by a real decrease in milk production; the baby stays asleep longer while breaking down the less-digestible proteins in a breast milk substitute, and the mother’s body does not receive the signal that more milk needs to be made. Remember, the more the stimulation on the breast, the more is the milk supply. Breastfeeding is 90 per cent determination and 10 per cent milk production. Though breastfeeding is said to be beautiful and natural, at times it can be frustrating. But, don’t give up and keep on trying. You may not get it at first, but it is something that you and your baby learn to do together. Remember, breastfeeding is like a new job. It’s hard in the beginning, gets easier with practice and in the end, will provide you with experiences that last a lifetime.