I have already talked about a lot how and why my first-time breastfeeding journey wasn’t comfortable from the beginning. When a baby is too feeble to suck milk from the mother’s breast, what more painful than this can be for a mother!? For the initial few days, I used to express milk manually for her. Because she was not sucking my milk, the milk production was low. Hence, it had become more challenging. A well-balanced diet of a new mother is of prime importance for producing good milk for newborn. What is equally important for the ample supply of milk is that your baby takes frequent feeds from her mother. “More the baby sucks, more the milk-supply.” That’s how it works.
With my first baby, I was extra cautious and I did listen to others more than my own instincts because I was a first-time mom. I was apprehensive about trying anything new, which could harm her in any way or which wasn’t right according to elderly people.
So here are a few things, which I followed to make my journey more enjoyable and peaceful for my baby and myself:
After 45 days of confinement period, which a new mom must adhere to, I gave myself the freedom to eat what all other family members eat. I started eating out once in a while. During the confinement period, I ensured that I take a healthy and nutritious diet to produce good milk for my baby. I ate everything which a new mom supposed to eat – atta halwa (hareera), laddo (full of jadi-butis and nuts), dal, daliya, seasonal veggies, and soft fulkas. I was fortunate enough that I have a family who took care of me like a baby during those initial months. I put on a lot of weight, which I still have to shed. But I will take my time as my younger one is just 1 year old. I believe in taking a good diet to feed her my good milk. According to doctors – “A baby should be breastfed for at least 2 years”. So, I was determined to feed her my milk as long as I could. I also took some lactation supplements as suggested by my doctor and it did help me a lot in my breastfeeding journey. It is important that you listen to your gynae and other experts to make your initial motherhood journey smooth and less stressful.
As soon as she turned 5-month old, I started taking her along with me for blogging work assignments. During my first baby, I was overly protective of her. I (kind of) cut-off myself from everything, even with my self-being; which was not at all right. This time, I got back on track very fast. I said yes to work opportunities and took every kind of support from family and relatives. Sometimes, I would take the baby along with my mother or sister to help me in managing her; and sometimes, I would leave her with my mom. She is the one, who stood by me always.
During the time, when I wasn’t there to feed her, I used bottle-feeding her (post 5 months). I never bottle-fed my elder one as most of the relatives said that this habit is not good for the baby in the future. But this time, I followed what I felt right for me and my baby. Because I started bottle-feeding her 5 months onwards, now I have the liberty to go out without my baby and she’s also not hungry and happy with her tummy full. And now, we are happily doing breastfeeding and bottle-feeding both. It’s all about how you manage things for yourself and your baby. She never denied my milk for bottle-feeding. I know when she needs a bottle or mumma’s milk. It is like we both are together balancing things for ourselves. She is quite a happy and sorted child I must say.
The other thing, which I would like to mention here, is that, which I never did with my first baby – “From the “Day 1”, I started breastfeeding her while I lay on the bed”. Since day 1, we have found a comfortable feeding position for ourselves. I never fed my elder one during lying position. I always sat down and then fed her, which was difficult for me, especially when I would feel sleepy. But with the second one, we both feel super comfortable during the feeds. I always thought that feeding in the lying position is not good for the baby. For the reason that she might catch an ear infection but it is a plain myth.
Because of the challenges that I faced during my first time, I could continue feeding her for 15 months only. But I want to pat my back that I could do this for her despite all the difficulties. Mother’s milk is the birth-right of every baby. She should not be deprived of it. But sometimes mothers are not able to do that because of low milk supply. Those are the times when mothers shouldn’t give hope and be determined to breastfeed by taking care of diet and other important factors that help in contributing good milk supply. Recently, a well-known brand ‘Zandu’ has launched this much needed ayurvedic product for new moms named – ‘StriVeda Satavari Lactation Supplement’. It is a lactation supplement for new mothers and is enriched with ‘Satavari’ – a herb, which helps promote healthy lactation. It is 100% natural and safe for both moms and baby. The best part is it is recommended by doctors and is completely veg. I am definitely going to give it a try because I am going to breastfeed my second baby for 1 more year.
This article was originally published by me here.