Breastfeeding is difficult and to succeed – breastfeeding moms need confidence.
New moms give up on breastfeeding for various reasons. And one of the commonest reasons for giving up is that they are under too much pressure from friends and family to succeed at breastfeeding. And that is really sad.
“Are you able to breast feed?”
“Do you think you have enough milk?”
“If your baby is crying so much I don’t think you have enough milk for your baby”
“Arre!! I think your baby is starving”
When you say such things you shake a new mom’s confidence in herself. You make her doubt her ability to breastfeed
Yes the sound of a baby crying is unbearable.
But do you know that the breasts are actually programmed to respond to that sound?
The sound of the baby crying tells the breast that the baby is hungry and that more milk production is now required.
And that is how the breasts produce more milk
When the baby cries the breasts read it as the demand for more milk and they step up breast milk production.
If you are around a new mom whose baby is crying don’t say “Your baby is crying so much why don’t you give your baby a bottle feed and stop the crying?”
Instead say “See your baby is asking for breast milk – let me step-out so that so that you can begin breastfeeding”
Be supportive. Reduce the new mother’s stress instead of adding to it
Breastfeeding requires physical and mental stamina. New moms look to the people they are closest to – their friends and family for support when they feel weak and unsure of themselves and their ability to breastfeed.
If we count ourselves among friends and family of the new baby – we must put aside the pain we feel when we hear the baby crying and suppress our urge to quieten the crying by taking the easy way out and giving the baby a formula feed.
Instead we must stand strong and support the new mom so that she can breastfeed because that is what is best for both mother and baby.
This World Breastfeeding Week let us pledge to support breastfeeding.