My little girl celebrated her first birthday on Aug 1. Alhamdulilah. Aug 1 to 7 is also World Breastfeeding Awareness Week.
On the morning of Aug 2, while nursing my child, I suddenly realized, ‘Come on, I have been doing this for a year now’. Alhamdulilah.
I shared a few points regarding nursing learnt during our journey in a BF support group for Indian Moms. Here it is.
1. As per our religious norms, it is highly recommended to breastfeed for 2 years. So that is what I have seen my sis,my mom, cousins, aunts everyone do. It is an accepted and recommended practice in my family and I grew up seeing it. So right from the beginning I knew that is what I want to do. ( NIP within family/friends etc..do not shy away. You have no idea who you are inspiring or putting the seeds of positive familiarisation of breastfeeding – maybe a little cousin, younger sister!)
2. I had tonnes and tonnes of relatives and friends who visited me during my hospital stay and home thereafter. But I did not hear a single negative comment about breast milk not being enough etc. No one dared to invade my personal space. Yet, at 4 months, when I came to India, one of the first few comments I heard – ‘Don’t you have any milk? Why is baby crying? ‘ It made me sad. I knew I had surplus output – leaky, wet tops always, changing breast pads every half hourly – yet this comment made me doubt myself. (Keep away from negative space and energy. It sucks every positive thought and action. DONOT heed to any negative comments)
3. I fed my baby formula on the second day after birth. I did not know colostrum was enough. She was crying and I felt like milk hadn’t yet come. I regret not educating myself about that little amount babies need during the first 24 hours. (Read, educate yourself. Do as much research about breastfeeding as you do about pregnancy and delivery)
4. Since she was born on Aug 1 and the hospital I delivered was celebrating Breastfeeding Awareness Week, we got tonnes of flyers and pamphlets. There was a lactation consultant too though I couldn’t meet her. We get free manual pumps which sadly I forgot to pick up from there!
5. For 3 months, all I remember I did was nurse. It helped I had my mom with me for 2months. One of the best things I learnt was feed on demand. Do not follow the 2 hours rule and make the child cry for 2 hours because the time is not up. Feed on demand. Really, feed on demand. That is all. Initially it is tiring and demanding, but it gets easier. (Take as much help as you want from family and friends wrt household work, cleaning, child care of elder children if any etc)
6. Three India travels, innumerable outings, shopping, weddings,long road trips etc could not have been done so easily without bf. Nursed everywhere including restaurants, malls, parks, car, flight – This is coming from a person who wears the hijab – the hijab acts as a ready nursing cover actually 😀
7. Nursing time is also my whatsapp time. I do not know how good this is, especially phone so near to baby.(usually flight mode with wifi on) But that is how I pass the time/catch up on social media. What all do you do while nursing? Better ideas and suggestions please?
8. I did not know nursing was so hard and had related problems like wrong latching, sore and painful etc until I read the posts in the Bf support group. I hope it gets easy and easier for everyone. Take help wherever required.
9. You hear enough and more of breastfeeding myths – It is non nutritious after 6 months, don’t lie down and feed or baby’s lip will evert out, don’t feed with a wet hair. (DONOT heed to such negative info. Research and read)
10. Supportive Spouse. I have no idea why this is last. It should have been on the top. It helps a LOT. I couldnot have done without his support. (Educate your man as much as you educate yourself)
11. Now that we have reached a very active and mobile stage, bumps, hit and cry are a common occurrence in our household. Everything is solved by feeding. Breastfeeding is not only for nourishment but also for comfort, warmth, assurance, safety, love and of course bonding.
A few FB support groups from where you can take help.
2. La League International –Doha Chapter
3. Breast feeding Support for Indian Moms – BSIM
Enquire with the hospital you deliver for Certified Lactation Consultants.
Much thanks and love to everyone who has supported.