Let’s talk about a very familiar scene that is seen in hospitals, particularly in India, soon after a child is delivered. Elated new daddies, grand-parents, and hosts of relatives busily debating on whom the baby resembles. Elaborate distribution of sweets with festive fervour. Kids, both young and old, running around quite excitedly; adding to the fact that they have the leniency of the elderly folk to do what they want, since it’s a time of jubilation.
And, in the middle of all this, medical personnel trying to shift the mother and child to their respective wards. I know that most of the moms who are reading this will be saying, “Story of my life!” now. Well, you are not alone, for this was my story too when i delivered my girl!
In the melee, everyone tends to forget the new mother’s apprehensions and emotions, which run really high at that moment. One should not forget that the need of the hour is the well-being of the new mother, and the baby which has just opened its eyes to see the whole world around it.
It is beyond conclusion that new mothers will be subject to a wide range of emotions which were hitherto unknown, when it comes to handling a baby so very tiny, and trying to be a good mother at the same time. I must say, mothering is one skill which comes naturally to a woman and so is something which you cannot go wrong with. The most common apprehensions are associated with breast-feeding and women tend to feel shy to disclose them and seek answers.
Now let us take a look at some standard questions related to breast-feeding.
1. Can I breast-feed my baby normally after a caesarean delivery, like a mother who under-went normal delivery?
Definitely yes! A mother who has under-gone caesarean operation would be under the influence of anaesthesia for a while after delivery and would possibly not have her breasts secreting milk. In such cases, doctors will recommend, a technique called “suction” and that will help the mother to get normal flow of breast-milk.
2. How soon can I feed my baby after delivery?
There is no such word as “soon” in this context. The word is “immediate”! Mothers should start feeding the baby as and when the medical care-givers hand-over the baby to the mother for nursing. Don’t forget that the first flow of breast-milk or “colostrum” is the healthiest feed that you are giving to the baby.
3. Will I have adequate supply of milk?
The key-word here is to eat healthy, and eat wise. Yes, you will be subject to lots of grandma remedies to increase milk flow coupled with doctors’ advice during this time. Just ensure that your diet is of high nutritional value and natural sources like fruits are in plenty.
4. Can I eat junk food while breast-feeding?
Oh c’mon! New mommies, at least now get health-conscious! Junk food has zero nutritional value and is not beneficial in any way to mothers. You need to eat healthy and wise.
5. Should I take multi-vitamin supplements to increase flow?
Only if your doctor recommends it, else it is not required.
6. What is the duration of feeding?
Babies get hungry every two hours. Ideally, feeding should be for 20 minutes, once in every 2 hours for new-borns.
7. Does the size of your breasts play a role in the supply of milk?
Now this is a funny question, although the answer is a No! The size of the breasts has nothing to do with the amount of flow.
8. How will I know if I am holding the baby right while feeding?
This question comes with a confused look as well! Don’t shy away; people will help you initially to get it right. It will feel awkward at first, but over time you will get the hang of it.
9. Can I still feed if I am taking medication?
Mothers who may be diabetic, for example, will be taking medications but doctors need to be intimated about it so that proper advice can be given.
10. Can I introduce other foods along with feeding?
No way! New-borns can only ingest and digest your breast-milk and nothing else. Remember to breast-feed exclusively for the first six months.
To conclude, shoo aside your fears, don’t feel shy to ask questions, take charge and enjoy motherhood!