Breastmilk is nutritional, and it is critical for the overall growth & development of little ones. We have attempted to comprise some valuable information for new mothers to understand the importance of breastfeeding and learn overcoming commonly known challenges.
Breastmilk is Nutritious -- For healthy growth & development, babies need the right amount of nutrients. And there is nothing like breastmilk because it contains the perfect balance of protein, fats, carbs, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), vitamins & minerals.
Easy on Gut Health -- Breastmilk contains all essential nutrients in the perfect amount, and at the same time, it is also easy to digest. Makes it comfortable for babies and reduces the chances of constipation or any gut-related troubles.
Immunity Builder -- Breastmilk contains antibodies and vital propositions that build passive immunity and help babies fight against infections or allergies. Colostrum secrets several days after birth is known as the first vaccination for little ones.
Reduced Risk of Diseases -- Infants are prone to infections or diseases. However, the chances of infections or diseases are reduced among breastfed babies. Breastmilk helps babies lower the risk of ear infections, gut infections, respiratory infections, asthma, allergies & childhood obesity.
Mother & Baby Bonding -- Breastfeeding builds a strong emotional bonding between mother and baby. It is essential for babies. Also, babies feel safe & secured because of it. Even at the time when baby is sick, they feel good while breastfeeding.
Super Convenient -- Breastmilk is always available and at the right temperature. Making it the most convenient for babies, be it outside or at home. There is no need to prepare for anything so whenever the baby is hungry, the mother can feed conveniently.
Growth & Development -- Breastmilk promotes healthy weight gain. It plays a vital role in brain development. It helps build immunity and reduces the risk of certain infections and diseases. And much more benefits promote overall growth & development among babies.
In today's time, breastfeeding has become a personal choice due to certain reasons like full-time working mothers. However, it is recommended that at least the first 6 months baby is only breastfed, and after 6 months breastfeeding in conjunction with the weaning food.
Breastfeeding Positions -- Breastfeeding for new mothers is challenging sometimes if they are not aware of the right positions. Post-delivery, it is good to consult breastfeeding consultants or to ask a gynecologist to extend support. There are certain positions (like lying on the bed on the side and feeding a baby) that can cause trouble to little ones.
Low Breastmilk Supply -- Again, this is one of the most common issues observed in the initial days. However, most of the time it is just because of the first-time kind of thing. Still, several reasons contribute to low breastmilk supply,
i) If a mother has insufficient glandular tissue in their breasts then breastmilk production remains low
ii) Hormonal imbalances (PCOS, Thyroid Disorder, or Medications), stress/anxiety/baby blues can cause reduced breastmilk production
iii) Breastfeeding positions, infrequent feeding, and baby latches wrongly could result in low breastmilk supply
Improving Breastmilk Production
In the initial days, breastmilk production/supply may remain low because of some known reasons. Unless there are any medical conditions, there are good chances to improve breastmilk production.
1) Mothers should learn about the baby's hunger cues. Frequent breastfeeding (every 2-3 hours) in the right positions and ensuring the baby latches properly can help improve breast milk production/supply. Breastfeeding, whenever a baby shows hunger cues, will also help stimulate breastmilk production.
2) Proper nutrition and hydration is the key. It is important to maintain a healthy diet as it goes for babies too. Including lactogenic food in a choice of recipes will be helpful. Such ingredients are fennel, fenugreek, shatavari, oats, etc.
3) Managing stress, anxiety, and baby blues will indirectly help in breastmilk production. Ask for help from your partner or family.
4) It is good to consult a lactation consultant or healthcare professional that can provide expert guidance on breastfeeding positions and breastfeeding production.