Breastfeeding Advice for New Moms From Dr Mahima Bakshi
How much and How often?
She is a child wellness consultant and also the author of the book, ‘Birthing Naturally’ – A guide to a stress-free pregnancy and natural child birth. Every year countries around the world observe breastfeeding week for a good reason. Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to provide children everywhere with the best start to life. Let’s be more aware and learn important things about BF, so you don’t freak out when you fill up. Check out what Dr Bakshi has advised.
Why is breastfeeding so important ?
It is very beneficial for both the baby and the mother. Breast milk is very rich in antibodies that helps a child develop it’s immunity. Breastfeeding help in making the baby more emotionally secured and also helps in developing a better IQ. Mothers who are on exclusive BF also get to shed off the pregnancy weight faster. It also helps in reducing risk of breast cancer in moms.
Till what age of the baby a mother must Breastfeed her baby?
WHO recommends exclusive BF for the first six months, after which complementary feed must start. So liquids like daal water and rice water can be given in the beginning after six months along with BF. BF must continue for atleast a year and the mother can consult a lactation specialist when she wants to wean off.
What is your opinion on public BF in India ?
Many moms are uncomfortable BF in public. It’s a very natural process. We need to sensitise men about BF in public. Many malls now have the facility of feeding rooms. We need more feeding rooms across every mall and public places in India, which will help us in making moms more comfortable for BF when they are at public places.
Any advise for pregnant women for natural birthing ?
Every pregnant woman must prepare herself emotionally and physically for a natural childbirth. Support from her husband is also needed. My book Birthing Naturally is a guide for a stress free pregnancy and childbirth preparation. A natural delivery helps a mom in establishing a good lactation much easier and earlier as compared to caesarean sections. I also strongly advise the husbands to help and support the wife for BF by not letting the family members influence her to unnecessarily give formula feed without consulting the paediatrician.
What kind of clothing lactating moms must wear?
There are special clothing options available for lactating moms. They must wear feeding bras, feeding kurtas or dresses. And they can carry a feeding stole in their bag, which is very helpful for moms when they have to BF in public places.
How is natural delivery helpful in early breastfeeding?
Natural delivery is very helpful in early BF, a mom can sit and breastfeed as early as possible while after a C-section, she would be generally advised to avoid sitting for atleast 12-14 hrs. Also, due to the post C-section pains, she would need assistance in feeding her baby for 24-48 hrs. Hence, a good lactation is easier and possible much earlier in normal delivery cases as compared to c sections.
Many premature babies and twin babies are also being born through IVF, how can moms manage BF for them?
Generally, if the babies are not given to the moms on the same day as they are born, mothers can use breast pumps. It helps in stimulating the process of lactation and also can help in preventing breast engorgement. Also the expressed feed can be given to the doctors that can be used for the baby too.
Any lactation advice for moms having babies through surrogacy ?
Yes, there are Human Milk banks in India. A baby needs the antibodies from the breastmilk to build up it’s immunity. Therefore, I strongly advise moms to give some donor’s milk from the human milk bank to their babies in such a case and help the baby build up it’s immunity rather than only giving formula feed in such cases.
Any advise for pregnant women about BF?
Yes, I would advise expecting moms to read about wellness in pregnancy, prepare for a natural delivery and also learn about BF before your baby comes into this world. Meet a lactation specialist and learn the basic BF techniques from her. Also, learn about the basic breast care to prevent engorgement and sore nipples and stay in touch with a lactation specialist to ensure that your baby establishes effective BF so that the baby gains sufficient weight.