Breastfeed is the best feed
Someone once estimated that if human colostrum (mother’s first milk when a child is born) could be commercially manufactured with all the same antibodies and immunoglobulin in it, it would cost somewhere around $80 an ounce. Quite expensive! Right? I would say it’s priceless!
When I breastfed my first baby for the first time
Today, I am recalling the birth night of my daughter Shona – a nurse came to my room and asked my mother-in-law that the newborn is hungry and crying for milk. She asked her to mind space and let her express milk from my breasts. I heard all that she was saying and asked how they would express it. She then asked me to open the buttons of my gown and help them as they squeeze my breasts to take out milk for my daughter. I nodded in shock and followed what she said. She then approached me and started doing her work. I clutched my mother-in-law’s hand so tightly and tried holding my tears but could not suppress my screams. We both were looking at each other (me and my mother-in-law); her eyes were trying to assure me that everything will be fine, ‘Be Strong’! Then after a lot of trying and pressing, thick and yellow fluid came out and it wasn’t sufficient to satiate her hunger as told by the nurse but whatever came, the nurse took it to the nursery to feed my baby through a feeding-tube. My daughter was too weak to suck milk on her own so was fed through feeding- tube taken from her nose to stomach. My doctor informed us that the first milk that the mother produces is full of antibodies and immunoglobulin, which helps protect newborns as they come into our world of bacteria and viruses. It’s as though you’re giving her, her first vaccination. This pressing and crying continued for a few days and almost after 10 days, she started sucking my milk on her own. At that moment I was experiencing a whirlwind of emotions – I was overjoyed that now we are doing it the natural way, at the same time I was crying in pain. But I wanted to continue doing it no matter how painful it was; I wanted to stick her to my upper-body till the time she would need me. It was a euphoric moment of my life. I can say at that moment when she put my nipple in her mouth and sucked it, that moment I became a complete mother.
How I made my second time breastfeeding journey more enjoyable with my baby
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.
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, 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 is 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”. Less breast feed may weaken your baby’s immunity. 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.
Breastfeeding challenges and their possible solution
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. Gladly, 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 known to increase the quantity of breast milk in nursing mothers. It is 100% natural and safe for both moms and babies. The best part is it is recommended by doctors and is completely veg. I took this supplement during the second time and I am glad I could feed my baby for almost 2 years! You can buy ‘Zandu StriVeda’ from Amazon.