Breast Milk - Liquid Gold
World Breastfeeding Week was observed last month and the Internet was overflowing with mothers sharing their breastfeeding experiences. I too joined the bandwagon and dropped a line or two about my breastfeeding journey. The stories were worth a read and many of them made me well up.
I had decided to breastfeed my child during the initial stages of pregnancy itself. I am an avid reader so I left no stone unturned to read up on everything related to pregnancy and childbirth and stages post that. Google had become my adopted parent ☺ But, you know what ? Nothing and noone can actually prepare you for it. Every person's experience is different.
Going back in time; I delivered a cute little Angel in 2015 and my world changed in an instant. I was wheeled into my room with my husband tugging behind me adoring this bundle of cuteness in his arms. As a mandate, the first thing the nurse did was to hand over the baby to me so that I could feed him. The first form of milk produced by a mother's body is Colostrum, which is yellowish in color and is vital to build immunity in the baby. It is enriched with proteins and antibodies. I held my Bub close to me and he, as a reflex started suckling. It was a moment of exhilaration as I never knew that this kind of happiness could ever exist. Soon enough, it turned into a nightmare for both of us.
Since I had an emergency C Section, I wasn't lactating. There began a month of an overwhelming struggle. Riaan was given formula milk in the hospital (he couldn’t be kept hungry) and I took atleast a week post delivery to start lactating. The first hurdle was cleared. Now, the next and the biggest challenge was to get him to feed. We tried various ways to make that happen. Nothing seemed to be working but, eventually we both got a hang of it and we went strong till he was 2.3 years old ☺ The tables turned and he wasn't ready to wean off now. That's another long story which I will save for some other time.
WHO urges mothers to exclusively feed their children till six months of age and recommends supplementary feeding till the age of two. Breastfeeding has immeasurable benefits for both the mother and the child.
How the baby benefits from it:
- Increased intelligence
- Cold and flu resistance
- Decreased risk of asthma, dental problems and obesity.
- Decreased risk of developing physiological disorders.
How the mother benefits from it:
- Helps the uterus return to its pre pregnancy size
- Reduces post partum bleeding
- Helps the mother reach the pre pregnancy weight. (I have experienced this).
- Reduces the risk of breast cancer later on in life.
Mommies, do feed your babies as much as you can even into toddlerhood if possible, as this is the best form of nutrition they can ever get. Even if it seems tough initially, hold on a little longer and it will happen. I'm talking entirely out of experience (I don't like to give free advice ☺).
Would you like to share your thoughts or your breastfeeding journey? Do drop a line and let us be a part of this wonderful bond.
Also read: 4 Advantages Of Breastfeeding Your Child
Explore the entire collection of articles: Breastfeeding Tips
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