World Breastfeeding Week: Have you heard ‘your breastmilk is not enough for your child’? Here is what you need to know – Times of India

World Breastfeeding Week: Have you heard ‘your breastmilk is not enough for your child’? Here is what you need to know - Times of India

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Breastfeedingis often considered an emotional journey for mothers due to the physical and emotional connections it creates between the mother and her child. But the journey isn’t so easy for most mothers, owing to which a lot of new mothers give up easily. We spoke to Dr. Sreenath S Manikanti, Senior Consultant Neonatology & Pediatrics, Maa Kauvery Hospital, Electronic-city, Bangalore to understand the intricacies behind it.

Is your breastmilk enough for your child?
In a typical Indian household, a woman who decides to exclusively breastfeed is often told that the milk will not be enough for the newborn, encouraging new moms to introduce formula milk to fill the child’s tummy. Somewhere the mother who is struggling through the changes in her body and adjusting with the newborn succumbs to the pressure.

Dr Sreenath shares that if breastfed correctly and often as the baby demands, most of the mothers produce enough milk which is sufficient for the baby. “However, there are exceptions. In some babies exclusive breastfeeding may not be adequate to meet their demands. Signs that can alert the mother that her breastmilk is not enough are excessive crying even after breastfeeding, baby not passing urine regularly, baby not sleeping well, baby losing more than 10% of its birth weight, very irritable baby, dehydration fever, poor latching, refusal of breast, mother not feeling fullness & emptying of breast, mother unable to express breastmilk etc. Pumping or expressing milk frequently between breastfeeding, and consistently when mother is away from her baby, can help build her milk supply.
Stress is often a major factor for mothers not lactating enough. Mothers need to relax and massage breasts regularly. Holding baby skin-to-skin, and massaging breasts before feeding will help milk to let down. Drinking lots of fluids and taking adequate nutrition which include foods & herbs that promote milk production often help. Taking help of a lactation consultant and obstetrician is important,” shares Dr Sreenath.
Why do new moms give up breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding is an art and it needs to be learnt and practiced under expert supervision to get it right. This makes it important for the mothers to learn the right technique of breastfeeding. Continuing to breastfeed is a challenge for many new mothers even if they are well aware of its benefits and have best intentions. Poor attachment and unsettled baby often makes the mothers think their breastmilk supply is not adequate and is considered as one of the most common reasons to give up breastfeeding. Other reasons include cracked nipples, pain , breast engorgement, stress, sleeplessness, exhaustion and poor maternal health.”
What do new moms get wrong about breastfeeding?
Talking about things that new mothers often get wrong about breastfeeding a newborn, Dr Sreenath said, “New mothers often are not well prepared to breastfeed during the last trimester of pregnancy. Taking care of the baby and giving exclusive breastfeeding needs strong commitment from both parents and their family. It’s round the clock responsibility and mothers need to plan their rest when the baby sleeps. Newborns often sleep during the day and wake up at night. So new mothers often don’t get adequate sleep during the night time. Lack of preparation and change of routine can make them overwhelmed. She needs a strong support system at least during the initial period to cope up with the demanding schedule from her spouse, parents & in-laws.”



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