SOME BREASTFEEDING MYTHS BUSTED
We help you clear all your doubts
“Breastfeeding is difficult.”
Breastfeeding is a natural process and nature’s gift for mothers to make their children healthy. Speak to your obstetrician and diminish any fear that you have on breastfeeding. Get the technique right to breastfeed your baby before you leave the hospital and you will certainly not face any difficulties.
“Breastfeeding is not for everyone as I do not have enough milk.”
It is advisable that you let the obstetrician deliberate on this particular problem you think you’re facing. Do not let yourself or others around you have any preconceived notions of your milk supply. Doctors say over 95 per cent of mothers have more than sufficient milk to feed their babies.
“I cannot breastfeed as I have to get back to work after three months.”
Breastfeeding is to be done for at least the first six months of the baby’s life and there is no compromise on it. If you are firm in your convictions to give your baby the best possible start, you will figure out a way to feed the baby yourself. Work out a longer maternity leave, or if possible, work out a ‘work from home’ option. Moreover, expressed milk that can be stored at normal temperature for six hours can be given to the baby at regular intervals. This ensures you are at work and the baby is on the right diet.
“Breastfeeding in public is embarrassing.”
When pregnancy and giving birth to a baby is not embarrassing how can breastfeeding, which
is a natural progression of care for the baby, be embarrassing? Take along a wrap if required and be confident to breastfeed your baby wherever and whenever required. Nothing is more important than her meal. “Breastfeeding is painful and frustrating.” Getting their baby to latch on may be difficult for some women but it is not as difficult that you can’t eventually get the hang of it. If you want the best for your baby, then the seemingly-difficult task of getting the technique right can be learnt and eventually mastered, to ensure your baby is healthy. A little patience for the first six months, where you’re at her beck and call to ensure you’re aroud to nurse her, is a guaranteed way to make her healthy for life. “I have twins. I can’t manage breastfeeding two babies.” Double the joy means you have the dual responsibility of taking care of the babies in the best possible manner. Doctors say it might be difficult but it is not impossible to breastfeed twins or even triplets. You might require additional help or need to effectively manage your time and feeding schedule, and yes, you might be more exhausted due to the sleep deprivation, but it is not impossible. Again, a little help and a lot of patience goes a long way. “I have had my baby through IVF. I cannot breastfeed such a tiny baby.” Your obstetrician will guide you to this natural process as soon as the baby is ready to have breast milk directly from you. Premature babies need to get the vital nutrients through the recommend health practice of breastfeeding and nothing else. Once a baby is accustomed to bottle feeds she might not take to breastfeeding, and this can be emotionally draining for you. Consulting an IBCLC who will help bring you and your baby back to this natural process can be helpful. “How do I know my baby is getting enough milk and how frequently should I feed her?” A healthy newborn baby can be breastfed on demand or whenever she cries. A baby who is sucking well, passing urine at least six times in a 24-hour period, and is not losing too much weight, is getting adequate milk. Here are a few indicators: a. The baby passes urine six to eight times in
24 hours. b. The baby will sleep for two to three hours
between feeds. c. The baby will gain 10 to 15 grams per day. d. The baby exceeds her birth weight by the
‘’What should be the ideal time interval between feeds?”
Usually, a baby should be fed every two to three hours but it’s advisable to not go by the clock and instead feed your baby on demand or when she cries. Make sure you feed her at least eight to 10 times in 24 hours, and do not skip the night feeds.
‘’Does the size of the breast indicate the amount of milk being produced?”
Size does not matter. Milk production is the same for all mothers and depends upon the frequency of feeds. It’s simple, the more you feed your baby, the more milk production will occur.
‘’I don’t think I have enough milk. What should I do?”
As the baby suckles at the breast, more milk is produced. If your baby urinates a minimum of six times in 24 hours, that means your baby is feeding sufficiently. Moreover, adequate weight gain means your baby is getting enough of milk and you have nothing to worry about.
‘’I have to go back to work. What do I do?”
Resuming work post your maternity leave doesn’t mean you must stop nursing your baby. Of course, it can be difficult, but it’s not impossible if you prepare a feeding chart and stick to it. Here are a few pointers: a. Before it’s time to deliver, you and your partner should chalk out a feeding schedule for your baby. b. If your workplace has an adjoining daycare or you find a suitable daycare close to your office, you can easily continue to breastfeed. c. Talk to your HR and adjust your working hours to make sure you can continue breastfeeding. Moreover, you can also express and store your breast milk and ensure you don’t break the cycle. d. Express the milk in clean containers before leaving for work. Freshly-expressed milk in the bottles that come with either electric or manual pumps, can be stored at room temperature for six to eight hours.