I remember going to visit a new mother in hospital while I myself was in my 3rd trimester, and what followed was sort of eye-opening for me at that time. The hospital room was filled with joy and laughter as the family welcomed their ‘bundle of joy. I saw the baby, chatted with my friend and asked her the most rhetorical question ever….How does it feel?
It was a whole gamut of emotions, not only for her but also for me, as I knew where I was headed. However, my emotions were soon capped by a sense of disgust when I saw her breastfeeding. I admit, I was grossed out and absolutely traumatised.
I came home and swore to my husband, and to myself, that I would never breastfeed; quite frankly, I was freaked out. Things however weren’t so bad when my own time came- call it my raging hormones or motherhood kicking in. The experinece was quite unique actually, and now after having breastfed both my children, I can safely give new mothers a few tips and some ‘free and unwarranted’ advice; my 7 mantras.
Express your way to Freedom: It’s really depressing to sit at home all day. Make use of modern technology; get yourself a breast pump. Electric or manual, they are all good, and most importantly, they are liberating!
Pump before anything Else: The baby has great survival instincts and can feed off his/her mother even after you’ve expressed, but the pump can’t pump milk after you’ve fed. So, pump first thing in the morning, even if you have to wake up 20 minutes earlier than usual. Even if the quantity isn’t the best, just pump! Your flow is bound to increase in time.
No worry, No hurry: Stress is the number one reason that prevents mothers from lactating. Take your time, don’t think about it, don’t listen to other people. And like I said earlier, your baby’s survival instincts are super.
The Key – Hydration: It’s simple, the more liquids you drink, the better chances of it turning into milk for your baby. Have lots of Coconut water, milk, water and juices.
Every drop makes an ocean: Pump everyday… even if you don’t have anywhere to go, and are planning to stay home. Even if you pump half an ounce; every bit of milk expressed has ‘alone time’ written all over it. Store it for later – a holiday, a night out, the day you may not be well or simply not want to feed!
The Milk of Miracles: I don’t know why Breastmilk is such a taboo topic (much like periods), especially because it has some super powers. Use it for your baby’s rough skin, on small cuts, and you can even moisturise your baby’s face with a small amount. What’s more, you can even express some extra and use it in your face packs (yes you can!).
A happy mom makes for a happy baby: I don’t know why it’s so important to equate milk production with being a good mother, but it is not an ‘either/or’ situation. If you can breastfeed, great! If you can’t, no sweat! Remember, a happy mother makes a happy baby, and if that means a happy mom with formula milk of the 21st century, well so be it! (I was nearly fully formula fed, and I am just fine). Stay Happy, stay healthy.
Image source: medicaldaily.com, nymag.com