Firstly, let me say, “If you are already breastfeeding your babies, YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB!”
To reiterate, breast milk should be the first source of food for infants. The practice of breastfeeding is favourable for both mother and child. As August was dedicated to breastfeeding, there were several questions and concerns with regards to it. And, I was appalled to know that people around the world are actually against it, discouraging it or distressing the mothers who do it.
One of the grievances, on a moms FB group, said that her paediatrician discouraged breastfeeding stating that she would get less fertile if she continued to breastfeed. WTF? Why are highly educated doctors saying stuff such as this? I truly hope that the woman concerned has either misunderstood or has some really complicated medical issue due to which her doctor had to give her this advice. Otherwise, I cannot think of another reason.
Another woman was asking about breastfeeding in public. While men love watching boobs in private, it irks them in public, especially when they see a baby attached to them. It probably confuses their hormones and drives them to irritation. Women, on the other hand, are probably insecure about their husbands viewing the whole scene. Perhaps, they are also envious of the fact that they couldn’t breastfeed their own babies for whatever reason. Who knows?
Then, there was a woman whose husband was totally against breastfeeding as he said that the women in his family traditionally formula-fed their babies (which included him). Generally, women formula-feed for various reasons like low supply, work timings, depression, etc. This definitely cannot become a tradition where you are NOT ALLOWED to breastfeed your baby, especially when you can, especially when it is beneficial for your baby and you.
Many moms seem to want to wean off their babies as soon as possible. Seriously, what’s the hurry? While formula-feeding moms are not to be dissed, I believe that one should breastfeed as much as possible, if they can, until they can. Experts recommend that babies be breastfed as long as possible. For the first 6 months, babies need to be exclusively on breast milk – without infant formula, water, juice, honey, egg, cow’s milk or any other food. FYI – babies can be breastfed for as long as 7 years.
The nutrient needs, in breastfeeding moms, increase after delivery. This is a natural phenomenon to fulfil your baby’s needs as well as your own. While the amount, of some nutrients in your diet, may directly affect their presence in your breast milk, other nutrients are transferred into your breast milk regardless of your food or liquid intake. The need for specific nutrients, including protein, vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, B12, selenium and zinc, grow as well.
According to nutritionist and dietician Mrs Swati Narshana, it is advisable to keep in mind the following for healthy breastfeeding:
*Eat a well-balanced diet which includes a variety of healthy foods (carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals).
*Avoid counting calories as everyone’s body is different with different needs. Though there is no specific amount of calories required, generally, lactating moms need around 1800 to 2000 kcal in their diet per day.
*Rest when you can. I would generally snooze along with my baby.
*Sesame seeds are known to improve breast milk. You can have a teaspoon every day with lukewarm water or simply add them to your salads, sandwiches or other homemade snacks.
*Make a list of the top foods that increase milk production and make sure you have at least two bowls a day. Some of these are: Oatmeal, Garlic, Green Papaya, Carrots, Fennel seeds, Fenugreek seeds, Nuts, Bottle gourd, Salmon, Garlic and Dark Green Vegetables such as alfalfa, lettuce, kale, spinach, and broccoli.
Breast milk lays the foundation of nutrition for your baby. Breastfeeding your baby helps protect the immune system and promote physical and cognitive growth and development. It also helps in preventing infections like pneumonia and diarrhoea. Breastfeeding is said to have saved an estimate of 800,000 infants each year, by preventing death and stunting from malnutrition.
So, if you are a new mom and are bestowed with breast milk, trust me, your babies will thank you for feeding them for as long as possible. All the best, dear mommies!
Once you are done breastfeeding, if you want, start losing the excess weight slowly but surely.
I’m taking my blog to the next level with
Blogchatter’s My Friend Alexa.