What is Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is a process in which a mother feeds her baby milk direct from her breast or pumps it out in a bottle and then feeds the baby. It is also called Nursing. Breastmilk is more easily digestible than formula milk in babies. Doctors recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and after introducing solid foods you should continue to breastfeed for 2 years. This has many health benefits for both the mother and the newborn.
Newborns should be breastfed every 2 to 3 hours. As the baby grows the milk intake will gradually decrease. By 2 months your baby should be breastfed every 3 to 4 hours. By 6 months babies should be breastfed every 4 to 5 hours. All this depends on your baby and you. If the baby Demands more milk you have to feed her. Because every baby is different and their appetite is different.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for babies:-
- Breastmilk contains vitamins, proteins, and fats which are very necessary for the healthy growth of your baby.
- Breastmilk contains antibodies that help to fight bacteria and viruses.
- Breastfeeding prevents ear infections, respiratory illness, asthma, allergies, diarrhea, diabetes, obesity, and a certain type of cancer.
- It helps in healthy weight gain and growth of the baby throughout his life.
- Babies who are breastfed have high IQ levels.
- It also prevents SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Benefits of breastfeeding for mothers:-
- Breastfeeding helps in reducing postpartum delivery weight.
- Reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer later in life.
- Helps in the fast recovery of your postpartum delivery health.
- It creates a strong bond between you and your baby.
When should a mother not breastfeed her baby?
- If the mother is infected with HIV.
- Mothers who have cancer.
- Mothers who are undergoing radiation therapies of the chest.
- Mothers who have tuberculosis infection.
- Mothers infected with T-cell lymphotropic virus.
- Mothers who consume drugs like cocaine, marijuana, and heroin.
For all new mothers, breastfeeding is a very tough process. You have to go through so many tuff times for your breastmilk to be healthy and you get the right amount of breastmilk to feed your newborn. Breastmilk is not something that is there in your breast when you are born or when you enter puberty. Breastmilk is formed right within one hour after you deliver your baby. This is the magic rule of god.
Right after your baby is born within one hour you have to breastfeed the baby, because the first initial milk which comes out from your breast is called the colostrum which contains many antibodies to fight so many infections and diseases in babies. It is a thick yellowish fluid.
Even though you had a C-section you can breastfeed the baby with the help of either your family members or a nurse. Since you will not be able to sit for at least 2 days due to c-section you have to feed the baby lying on the bed by placing the baby on your chest and bringing him closer to your breast to suck the milk. Unfortunately, I was not able to breastfeed my child for the initial days because I was so weak due to the c-section that I was always sleeping and the doctor told me to take a rest. I felt very bad that my baby didn’t have the first initial milk(colostrum).
Believe me or not the first time when your baby sucks your breastmilk, will be very painful. Your nipples have to come out till then u will have some pain whenever your baby sucks milk. So much patience is required for a mother to handle all these problems. On one hand, you are dealing with your c-section or vaginal birth recovery, on the other hand, you are dealing with breastfeeding complications and at last, taking care of your newborn 24/7.
Many newborn babies don’t sleep at night, they sleep the whole day and wake up all night. This time is going to be the toughest for you. So sleep whenever your baby sleeps or else it may affect your health. Don’t stay alone at home at this phase. Take the help of your partner or your family members. A new mother is just like a newborn baby, she has to be taken so much.
Looking after a newborn is not very easy. You may sometimes get irritated and go into Postpartum depression. Your family support is the only key to helping you in your first initial months after delivery. You have come into a very new world with a tiny soul with you who is dependent only on you for each and everything. Stress can cause a decrease in your milk supply too, so stay calm and relax your mind before breastfeeding.
We think that newborn babies are always sleeping but that is not the case which happened with me. My baby used to get up every hour for breastmilk, and for me, breastfeeding was so difficult that I used to get tears in my eyes whenever my baby sucks milk. Your nipple gets cracked and becomes sore and feels painful. Avoid soaps, creams, and lotions with alcohol, it can make your nipples more dry and cracked. An easy home remedy for this is just to apply some coconut oil around your nipple and wash it before and after every feed.
Healthy Diet for a breastfeeding mother:-
- Have milk 2 to 3 times a day.
- Drink more and more water.
- Have frequent meals every 2 to 3 hours.
- Nonveg items are good to increase your milk supply.
- Have iron, calcium, and vitamin-rich fruits every day.
- Ghee, butter, cheese, and panner are the best for your healthy diet.
- Avoid junk food for the first 3 months.
- Avoid spices like red chili powder, ginger garlic paste, etc.
- Include Nuts and pulses in your diet regularly.
- Have a light, simple and healthy meal.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking.