SOME BREAST­FEED­ING MYTHS BUSTED

We help you clear all your doubts

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

“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

two-week mark.

‘’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.

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