Nature always has it’s ways. Breastfeeding is one of them. It helps mothers recover from the physical stress of birth, uncover the natural instincts of motherhood and most importantly fall in love with their babies. Breast milk nourishes, protects and helps in development of the baby. Educators, Doctors and Doulas across the world recommend at least six months of exclusive breastfeeding. Once the baby is introduced to other forms of semi-solid and/or solid food, it is recommended that breastfeeding is continued for a further year at least.
Breastfeeding is extremely important for your baby. It affects the new born physically and emotionally. A few reasons why breastfeeding is critical have been listed below:
Every woman is created different. Do not worry if you don’t not look like the women you see in breastfeeding videos. Your baby will love your breasts no matter what size or shape it is. Breast size or nipple size is not related to how much milk your body will make. It just takes varying amounts of time for the baby and mother to get the perfect latch.
Breastfeeding is beneficial as long as both the mother and baby are comfortable with it. Ideally WHO recommends six months of only breastfeeding followed by breastfeeding plus solid food for two years. How long you will breastfeed will depend on your lifestyle, occupation, health etc. As a mother you will be able to identify when to stop.
Your body starts preparing itself for breastfeeding even before you get your first period! As you grow, conceive and deliver; your body internally prepares the breasts for the lactation period. Once you start breastfeeding your baby, milk will be produced on a demand and supply basis in a healthy woman. All you have to do is eat healthy and nutritious food, exercise regularly and stay fit. Try and refrain from smoking and alcohol during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Think about breastfeeding as something you can and will do. Do not fear it. You can also read acclaimed books on breastfeeding. If there is a breastfeeding support network or classes in your city, you can enrol yourself for them. It always helps to talk to people about your doubts, fears and opinions.
You can do the following:
It can be hard to take care of a new born baby and work at the same time. Try going back to office part-time initially and slowly make the transition to full time. However, the following tips might help you continue breastfeeding while you work:
While transporting breastmilk, try and keep it as cold as possible. You can use insulated bottle carriers or reusable ice packs. Do not use ice cubes. Ice cubes do not maintain temperature and create a mess.
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