Breastfeeding: Problems & Tips From aka Breastfeeding Moms Themselves

breastfeeding

Ya Ya! We all know breastfeeding is good for the baby and atleast 6 months one should breastfeed exclusively, and after that possibly till 2 years. The rules are pretty simple and clear. The tougher part; however, is to initiate the process, manage it (night feeding woes) and continue breastfeeding especially when the maternity leave is over. There is a huge gap between the ideal scenario and the practical reality. And, to bridge this gap we spoke to real mums who have been through the phase of breastfeeding. Who better than them to tell us what works and what doesn’t? And, one tip right away – there is nothing more important than the mother’s love. If your situation is not ideal please don’t beat yourself too hard.

Breastfeeding Tips From Mothers Who Survived Infertility & Precious Pregnancy

 She is the fighter, struggler and a winner! She is the epitome of bravery who fought against all odds of infertility and miscarriages to become a mother.

Mother Of Premature Twin Babies

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My twins were born almost one month premature and they had difficulty in sucking. They had to be given formula through a syringe. Also I got food poisoning or the stomach flu while I was still in the hospital. Due to that issue and being on pain meds from the c-section, I wasn’t at 100% health for them. The twins were fed through a syringe tube attached to the finger so they could learn to suck. Once home, we used formula and regular baby bottles. After the formula, the twins drank full milk until they were 5 years old. My kids have always been very attached to me as I have always been their main caretaker. I stayed home with them for 6 months before returning to work.

 

Though, there is a societal pressure to breastfeed, I didn’t feel any pressure because I do what I feel is right or what I am able to do. I don’t listen to others who may pressure me on how to raise or feed my kids.

                                    Nicky Sangha is a Canadian/American Indian who battled several miscarriages and years of infertility before being blessed with twins

 

Breastfeeding Advice From The Mother Of Triplets

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Shut up your mouth and don’t complain how tough it is to handle one kid- these are mothers of twins and triplets!

I’m not really one to be bothered with regrets but the one thing I do regret is that I didn’t breastfeed my children longer than I did. (Is it too late? They just turned 11.) I should probably mention that I have triplets. Right. Two breasts but three babies. My “system” was whatever worked at the moment.

I did enjoy the freedom of being topless non-stop for a month and a half. My cousin came to visit. “You’re about to feed the babies?” she asked the ceiling. “No. They’re asleep. I’m making dinner. Why do you ask?”

Boppy pillow around me, a baby on each side. One at a time. Two at a time. Pumped. Supplemented with formula. For six weeks, I was always hot and exhausted.  Unfortunately, six weeks was all I could handle.

 

                                    Lori Shandle-Fox, An infertility surviour who has collated all her experiences in a heart warming book, Laughing: The Only Way I Knew to Deal with Infertility.

 

 

Breastfeeding Challenges & Practical Tips By Aparna, A Mom of Twins

The first challenge that I faced was that both my twin daughters were completely different when it came to ‘latching’. While one of them immediately latched on, the other one took close to 2 days – which left me upset and guilty.

Since I had to keep the tummies of the twins full, my doctor convinced me that apart from my feed, the babies would need ‘top’ feed as well…as my supply wouldn’t be sufficient for the two of them. After many permutations and combinations, maintaining time logs, it took me a few weeks to get the pattern going.

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One of my twins was always a small feeder…so I had to realize that even though I wanted to space out the time of feed, I had to cater to both the babies differently. While one could go without a feed for 2-3 hours, the other one had to be fed more often. The initial few days were a little taxing. To ensure sufficient supply, I had to take appropriate rest, apart from a relevant diet.

I enjoyed massaging my babies every day. Over the weekend, my husband would join me too. I guess, that’s a fun activity which definitely helps your baby bond with you. Giving them a bath, talking to them, playing with them definitely strengthens the bond.

Being from a broad minded armed forces family, I was actually spared from the societal pressures, superstitions and stigmas from my family members.

It is necessary for the parent to understand what their baby enjoys. And one needs to spend a little extra time not to miss out on that very important observation. So, let your own experience be a new one and enjoy the phase.

 

Anxieties Of A New Mom: Tales Recounted

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Even that one little angel is enough to make you crazy when it comes to breastfeeding, Navneet, recounts her days when her first son was born.

Well, I was a well-informed mom, who read hundreds of magazines, browsed through various child-related websites to handle both pre and post pregnancy. But still I got goose bumps when I was first time asked to breastfeed my newly born son.

There were some nervousness and anxiety which were provoking me to feed my baby on formula only. But thankfully, my mom comforted me and made me understand my responsibility towards my baby. Soon, I started breastfeeding my child. Even though, I had to struggle with swollen engorged breasts, cracked, bleeding nipples and a colic baby, I did not turn back.

Breastfeeding was like music to the soul, a story to the ears, a canvas to the artist, a caress to the body, yes it indeed was a bond between a mother and child.

                                      Navneet is an architect by profession, Army’s Officer’s wife by love and doting mom of two pre-teen boys.

 

 

The Number 1 Key To Increasing Quantity Of Milk Flow During Breastfeeding

Biggest challenge faced by every breastfeeding mom is the quantity of milk flow and Puja, a mom based in Delhi unabashedly shares her experiences and the most important tip – Stay Happy.

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I had to face breastfeeding problems in both my pregnancies. The major problem with both the children was that my nipples were very big or not formed properly for their small mouth. So they were not able to hold on to it for a very long time. This problem continued with me for two to three weeks. I had to use nipple shields. But I used it only till they learnt sucking slowly and gradually I removed them from nipple shield.

I don’t believe in any superstition, stigma or societal pressure related to it. But few things I can share with my personal experience is that my breast would start over- flow with milk if I am happy. But in second pregnancy, I was going through so much mental pressure that by six month I completely dried up.

I lost from 78 to 56 just with evening walk at the time of breastfeeding.

 

                                    Puja, a budding writer and a mom of two naughty boys

 

 

Adoptive Moms Share Their Secret Sauce Of Bonding

Mother from heart! Motherhood requires love, not DNA.

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Though, she might not have carried the baby in her womb but definitely she had to run from pillar to post to feed her baby. And, Purnima confides about not knowing that induced lactation is possible back then and missing out a beautiful experience of breastfeeding.

It’s something divine when you hold the baby. I still remember that first dimpled smile which brightens my life. But the journey was not easy when I first started out as I had to face problems while feeding my child.

In my case, NGO people used to feed babies with small glasses. Though, they gave me instructions about feeding but later at home I felt helpless as I didn’t feel satisfied because milk spilled over. For a day, this whole thing went on and I really cried the first night as I continuously thought that my daughter was hungry. Next day, my elder sister came and she advised me to feed her with a bottle. 

“I was lucky that my family was supportive and did not have to go through any societal pressure or superstitious with regards to breastfeeding”.

                                                            Purnima Sood, a proud mother of a beautiful girl

 

 

Harleen Kaur Chopra, was lucky for she is an American Indian Adoptive Mom and was away from all the typical Indian societal judgmental behaviour.

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I did not have to face any problem in feeding my child. I already knew what formula my baby was drinking. I did not take long in establishing that chord with my little angel. Without any societal pressure, I am having an amazing time with my baby. 

I hugged her, kissed on her cheeks, lips, put her on top of me before making her sleep. It’s my habbit to sing mul mantra shabad while feeding my baby.

 

Breastfeeding and Nutritional Tips for Lactating Mothers From Our Expert

Our expert, Dr Swathi Shastry is here to talk about breastfeeding and nutritional tips for lactating mothers.

Breastmilk is the best food for new-borns and infants for up to six months of birth.

Breast feeding is not always easy, but it is worth. Research also shows that very early skin-to-skin contact and suckling may have physical and emotional benefits.

Ayurveda gives importance to breastfeeding from two viewpoints-nutritional and psychological aspect.

Breastfeeding is 90% determination and 10% milk production

As per Acharya Sushruta (whose reference is there in Ayurveda), milk ejection is due to thought, sight or touch as well as physical contact with the child and it also depends on the action of the child. The more the baby sucks at the breast, the greater is the stimulus for milk production.

It is especially interesting that fondling of the baby by the mother or hearing the baby crying gives enough of an emotional signal to the hypothalamus to cause milk ejection. Many psychogenic factors can inhibit oxytocin secretion and consequently depress milk ejection. Prolactin “Milk secretion” reflex enhancing factors are sucking, expression of milk, emptying of the breast, night feeds.

On the contrary hindering factors are the incorrect position, painful breast, top feeding.

Oxytocin “Milk ejection” reflex enhancing factors are thinking of the baby, the sound of a baby, the sight of the baby, the mother is relaxed /comfortable/ content and hindering factors are a worry, stress, pain, anxiety.

Bottle feeding use should be avoided because its use also leads to nipple confusion and results into refusal for breast feeding. there is also the possibility of contamination and development of infections due to use of bottle feeding.

You are a meal on heels, so your diet is necessary to take care of that little tummy. Having said that, it doesn’t mean eating like a horse but having, the right food at the right time.

Women who expect and/or have multiple babies need much more support and guidance, which include advice for nutritional and daily care from the time of pregnancy.

A healthy diet offers many advantages that go beyond those that directly affect the breastfeeding baby and mother. So here are some best nutritional tips for lactating mothers.

diet chart for lactating mothers

Key Takeaways About Nutrition During Breastfeeding

  1. Since there are not facts to prove that certain food can cause colic to your baby, a nutritional diet plan for lactating mothers can include any food which they want
  2. In some families, lactating mothers are given food loaded with heavy portion of ghee. As there is no proof to establish that ghee can boost milk supply, a wise move would be to go with fresh fruits, juices, milk and yogurt instead
  3. Continue your supplements of iron and calcium for minimum three months after delivery as well
  4. By adding garlic to your food, you can not only improve its taste but also increases your milk supply
  5. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day

A healthy and balanced diet is necessary to make sure that lactating mothers get extra calories from nutrient-rich sources.

The first three weeks of breastfeeding are hardest, next three weeks its gets easier at three months you start feeling low who feed formula. A wise man always said if it’s important you will find a way if it’s not you will find excuse

So, ladies Laugh, sing, dance, glow let the oxytocin flow in.

 

Birth is not only making babies, Birth is about making mothers- strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength. 

 

 –Barbara Katz Rothman

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