Showing posts with label Breastfeeding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breastfeeding. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Benefits of breastfeeding your baby

Anunoy Samanta with his keen interest in public health talks about benefits of breastfeeding. Give it up for him for touching the topic spoken in hushed tone. 
I am also very sensitive about the topic but I also believe we have to start talking about it openly.Open dialogues and discussions can help us in learning and sharing correct information and practices.

Anunoy I love the candor in the write-up and would urge all mothers to read it with an open mind. This is not a judgement on anyone. It is an effort on our behalf to support and encourage a practice which is medically proven as better than bottle feeding/Cow's milk/formula


“People say, ‘You’re still breast-feeding, that’s so generous.’ Generous, no! It gives me boobs and takes my thighs away! It’s sort of like natural liposuction. I’d carry on breast-feeding for the rest of my life if I could.”  - Helena Bonham Carter (English Actress)

Didn’t you find Carter convincing enough? Well, if I tell you the ugly truth that the moment you’re bottle-feeding your baby, you’re simply amplifying your little angel’s chance of death by more than 5%, would you still not be motivated to breastfeed him? 

Off course I’m not addressing this to those moms who’re refraining from breastfeeding their babies due to medical reasons like, breast infection, inflammation, cracked painful nipples, blood infections, mental ill health or on drugs which can harm the suckling infant.

I’ll try to have a coffee-talk with those mothers who’re abstaining from breastfeeding either due abundance of wrong information about it or not motivated enough. No sentimental touch up here, today I’ll tell you ten well proven reasons why you should breastfeed your baby and after that I’ll leave it to your prudent discretion:

(1)Your breast milk is free from any contamination or adulteration, isn’t that a big matter of relief?

(2)It’s available round the clock, so, no worry of empty packets at night! You don’t need to measure how much to serve because Nature takes care of that. Whatever your breasts can hold is never too much or too less for your baby.

(3)You won’t believe the tremendous anti-infective potential of your breast milk. Once you’re breastfeeding, your baby will have much lesser chances to develop diarrhoea, pneumonia and other infections. Diarrhoea or pneumonia may sound trivial illnesses to you by virtue of casual self medication practices (courtesy: Web search) but they can unfortunately be fatal for your kid!

(4)Scientific studies have proved that breastfed babies are less likely to develop obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems in later life. So, by breastfeeding you’re securing his future health too!

(5)There is evidence to suggest that breastfeed babies stand out with higher IQ score in later life! Do you want your child to grow up as a dumbhead or an ingenious mind like me?

(6)Give a tight slap to anybody who advocates that breastfeeding can distort your figure. As a matter of fact, it shapes you up after the chubbiness of pregnancy! You’re wondering how? Well it’s pretty simple, excess energy stores in the form of fat laid down during your pregnant state is are consumed during the lactation period, i.e. in a nutshell you’re transferring your unwanted energy to your baby who needs it the most.

(7)As you get used to breastfeeding your baby you get a sense of unmatched satisfaction and develop a feeling of importance, essentiality and motherliness! Do I have to highlight that money can’t buy them?

(8)Breastfeeding will strengthen your bond with your child. After all, no mother desires her child to be indifferent towards her in future.

(9)Once you’re a breastfeeding mom you’re less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer in future!

(10)Lastly I would like to talk about the spice breastfeeding can add to your sex life. If you’re sincerely breastfeeding your baby, you may indulge in unprotective intercourse up to a period of six months from the date of delivery of your baby… no nauseating pills… no itchy latex… isn’t that great? If you want to enlighten yourself more on this subject, oblige yourself by searching ‘Lactational Amenorrhea’ in internet.

I’ve talked of only ten valid reasons why you should breastfeed your baby, honestly there’re hundred more.  If I go into the details it might read uninteresting for you. Suppose, if I tell you that by breastfeeding your infant you’re hugely contributing to the national cost savings in a developing country like India, though it is a fact, you may find it irrelevant to your present situation. Now some of you may argue with me about the importance of cow’s milk, but I tell you it is way inferior to your breast milk. Cow’s milk will best meet the requirement of her calf while your baby needs yours. So, happy breastfeeding!

See I told you I loved the candor and this guy has guts and is not uncomfortable in sharing his knowledge on something clearly marked under female domain.

Stay tuned for correct breastfeeding techniques in his next post.

Who is Anunoy Samanta?
Besides his usual run for bread and butter, Anunoy Samanta also has a keen interest in public health and he manages to squeeze out sweet time for creative writing, travelling and photography. 

He enjoys blogging at his personal blogs and iMakeMyTrip. You may also reach Anunoy through his Facebook profile anytime.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Breastfeeding (Tips and learnings from my journey)

Breastfeeding can be the most heart melting and heart breaking experience for any mother. There are so many questions, so many may be and so many prying eyes. This can be especially tough for a new mother.

On the occasion of World breastfeeding week; I want to share my journey and learnings from my journey with a hope that it may help or encourage breast feeding.

I had a wonderful first experience, the baby latched on, there was enough flow and he maintained a clockwise schedule of feeding on his own but inspite of this my second experience was very difficult. My second baby, as they say, was a very very lazy baby. He refused to latch, would sleep in few seconds, would be hungry all the time and would cry invariably all the time because of the hunger.

When I look back now I realise how different both my babies were and how I tried to implement what I had learned the first time forcibly on my second baby. Ofcourse it didn’t work, nothing I knew worked. I finally went to a lactation consultant whose advice did help. She gave me a lot of tips which worked.  I am summarizing a few which I think would have helped me in any situation:

1) Relax: Yes this is the first thing she told me. I was hyper, worried and really unsettled and unconsciously I was passing on these to my baby. Babies are an extension of you, they very quickly get your mood. Because I was so hassled, it reflected on the baby also. Remember you and baby both are new into this and one or both sides may take time to learn.

2) Breastfeeding positions: There are a lot of breastfeeding positions which are correct. Not everyone may know about it. Make sure to talk to an expert/lactation consultant/Any doctor about it. With trial and error figure out what works for you and your baby the best. The most normal position is a cradle hold, the baby turned towards you resting on your arms. This worked like charm for me the first time but it didn’t the second time. Second time I kept varying positions because the baby was never comfortable. Changing positions worked with him to an extent.

3) DO NOT maintain a schedule: The feeding should be driven by baby’s hunger and not by a clockwise schedule. Feed when the baby is hungry. Feed when the baby asks for it. Don’t restrict it. Especially in the starting, with an infant, they are too young and may not follow a clockwise schedule for feeding and naps. However try and breastfeed them as long as you can every time. If the baby sleeps try and wake him/her up. I was told on an average a new born could take feed for about 40-45 minutes. In addition to this, with time try and learn hunger signs of your baby. Especially in case of newborns, make sure that they are fed every few hours. A gap of not more than 2-4 hours is advisable (depending on the age of the baby). This applies at night also, make sure to feed the baby even when he/she is sleeping.

4) Seek help: If you are having issues please seek help. Don’t be embarrassed and no matter what anyone says you are NOT supposed to know it naturally. It takes time. Seek experienced and preferably medical help without hesitation.

5) Be comfortable: Get enough support; your body would be sore from pregnancy and delivery. Make sure to get enough pillows and cushions to support you while breastfeeding.

6) Drink a lot of fluid: Drink more than you normally do. Especially if you feel uneasy while feeding, drink through the process. It eases pain and nerves both.

7) Maintain a normal and healthy diet.

8) Don’t give up: If it is difficult and it remains difficult, don’t give up. It will get easy with time. Just be patient and don’t give up.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful experience, not only is it medically preferred but it is also a beautiful way to bond with the new born.

One of the other things that worked for me but I have not included in the above list is “Being deaf and blind”. I went deaf to all the contradictory advice coming my way both the times. With time and trial and error I figured out what worked best for me. Also I turned blind. Breastfeeding was a very personal moment for me but not many people around me thought so. I tried, running away, hiding behind doors etc etc but finally went blind, ignored and went ahead with it. You can’t change and control these things.

Also last but not the least please note that breastfeeding is not a judgement of you being a good/bad mother. Even if you are not able to continue it/do it successfully it doesn’t make you any less of a mother.

To read more on breastfeeding and World breastfeeding week please click here