One of the biggest myths about breastfeeding is that it is easy effortless instant and automatic.
Breastfeeding is in fact none of the above.
When we believe that breastfeeding will be as easy as carrying the baby in the womb – we make a big mistake. We have unrealistic expectations from ourselves and our babies – and we set ourselves up for disappointments that can lead to dejection and depression. And this ultimately can lead to us giving up on breastfeeding.
Fortunately there are moms who are unafraid to admit that at first breastfeeding is not that easy. And we are lucky to have one such mom with us here this World Breastfeeding Week.
Akila Subramanian is a mommy blogger many of us are familiar with because of the way she generously helps moms on social media with practical advice from her own experience of bringing up her three little ones. Her reassuring replies to moms panicking and asking for help on social media are a common sight.
Akila has a masters in microbiology and is a trained teacher – but has found her true calling in baking
Her Lunch Box ideas are a regular feature on social media and are a source of inspiration to moms who are wondering what to pack in their kids lunch boxes. She blogs at Morphy and me.
How I Got Used To Breastfeeding
For some moms breastfeeding may as easy as lifting the baby and allowing it to latch on to the breast and from there on facing no challenges in breastfeeding. However, while the stories of such moms are repeated frequently – in reality such moms are few and far between.
Most moms have to go through a relatively rough patch while they get used to their baby and their babies get used to them.
It is only after that they become successful at breastfeeding
Akila puts it beautifully when she says
“For some of us it takes time”
Listen to what she has to say about getting used to breastfeeding
How I Stayed Mentally Healthy While Breastfeeding
The production of breast milk is more than just a physical function of the body. The mind has a huge role to play in breastfeeding.
The hormones that regulate the production of breast milk in fact – are produced in the brain. And so it is extremely important to stay mentally healthy through the breastfeeding journey.
Having said that however, it is important to understand that no matter how determined a new mom is to breastfeed, it is extremely difficult to stay positive while breastfeeding.
New moms are in pain and often exhausted from delivering their babies when they start breastfeeding. And breastfeeding 12 to 14 times a day while compromising on sleep can add to this exhaustion leading to dejection and depression.
It is not easy to remain cheerful when one is confined to the home but moms find their way
Listen to what Akila did to stay mentally healthy through her breastfeeding journey.
How I Stayed Physically Healthy While Breastfeeding
Staying physically healthy while breastfeeding is also very important.
New moms start breastfeeding at a time when they are exhausted from their birthing experience. And then they plunge into breastfeeding which is extremely physically demanding.
Feeding a newborn is not an easy task. An average feed lasts for 20 minutes and a newborn takes close to 12 to 14 feeds in a day. To add to the feeding cycles – new moms also have to change diapers and take care of the new baby’s bath and sleep routines while coping with the stream of visitors who come in to see the baby. All this adds up to a lot of work.
The easiest thing to neglect and let go of when a new mom is breastfeeding – is her health.
Breastfeeding makes you hungry and thirsty and the stress makes you want to eat everything that is unhealthy.
Eating unhealthy however is not good for either mother or baby. A breastfeeding mom must eat healthy food.
Akila shares what she did to ensure that she ate healthy when she was breastfeeding
At the end of the breastfeeding journey – a mom must feel confident and empowered.
Knowing that breastfeeding is difficult and takes time. And understanding how to stay mentally and physically healthy can help tremendously in boosting the confidence of breastfeeding mothers. A confident mom is less likely to give up on breastfeeding.