My baby survived the first six months of her life solely on breast milk – barring two occasions at the hospital when the nurses managed to convince my husband that my baby wasn’t getting enough milk from me as my milk supply wasn’t established, therefore was crying because she was hungry. I was too tired and newly sleep deprived to argue, so I gave in, and my baby had formula.
No, I have nothing against formula and it is godsend for mothers who can’t breastfeed or don’t want to for whatever reason, but I wanted to exclusively breastfeed for as long as I could, and only use formula if needed.
While I was still pregnant, I had a lot of free time and the opportunity to read up on breastfeeding and the issues that one could face on their journey. I also read up and watched videos on how to ensure that the baby had a deep latch, how to determine if baby was getting enough, and once she was born, even about why I shouldn’t doubt my supply even though she nursed every hour during those few weeks.
Unfortunately, not many women know that and immediately start questioning their milk supply as soon as baby’s nursing frequency inceases, and supplement with formula not knowing that reducing the number of times your baby nurses results in reducing your supply because milk production works on demand-and-supply.
Fortunately for me, except for soreness and cracked nipples in the first week of my breastfeeding journey, I have not faced any trouble so far and today, at almost 10.5 months, I still nurse my baby and plan to continue to do so for as long as I can and for as long as she needs me to.
Our bodies are amazing. When we get pregnant, in addition to creating an entire human, our body creates a whole new organ that never existed before – the placenta – to provide nutrition to the baby while in the womb. So if our body knows what goes into making a person and the placenta, wouldn’t it provide for the baby’s nutrition after birth too? And that too, for as long as the baby needs? Sometimes we just need to trust our bodies to know what our babies’ needs are and let nature take its course.
There’s nothing wrong in giving formula, of course. But your breast milk is tailor made for your baby and I firmly believe that if you want to and are able to exclusively breastfeed, you shouldn’t give up when it gets difficult. If you don’t want to, or aren’t able to, then that’s totally your choice, obviously.
As August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week, Nayantara and I thought this would be the perfect time to take this subject up, create awareness and provide whatever help we can to new and expecting mothers about breastfeeding, its benefits, share some tips, and bust some myths. Which is why, the theme for WARM August 2017 is…
Nourish, Nurture & Flourish
The Nourish part, of course, refers to breastfeeding, but it could mean any kind of nourishment we provide to our babies!
In July, we focussed on ourselves. So this month let us bring our babies and other important people into the fold and cherish them as well. As Nayantara and I also practice Attachment Parenting, in keeping with all things natural, Nuture is also about keeping our babies close. We both babywear and have loved the closeness, the comfort, and ease it brings into our lives as mothers in a nuclear family. But, did you know that the closeness babywearing brings actually helps breastfeeding? Amazing, right?
As for Flourish… Pick any one relationship in your life (or more, if you want to) that has taken a back seat since the arrival of your baby. For most of us, it is our partners. But it could also be your best friend, or your parent(s), or even a sibling or cousin. If you feel like you haven’t spent enough time with them, we are going to make you 😜 and you (and they) will love us for that.
So are you ready to play Nourish, Nurture & Flourish with us? Check out what Nayantara has to say about our theme for August 2017.
Stay tuned as we reveal our sponsors and prompts during the next few days leading up to August 1. Also, Nayantara and I have organised an event in Mumbai with one of our amazing sponsors. More details coming in a day or two.
- If you aren’t breastfeeding (anymore or never did) feel free to interpret any prompts relating to nourishment as food your baby has. We’re going to have some fun prompts relating to this, so don’t feel like you can’t participate just because you aren’t breastfeeding or your babies are too old to breastfeed.
- If you didn’t or don’t babywear, again, feel free to interpret the prompts in ANYWAY you want. Snuggling with our babies is always fun, right? With or without baby carriers?
P.S. If you plan to write any breastfeeding related articles during World Breastfeeding Week, do let me know. Also if you want to share any Breastfeeding tips, or bust some myths, do share with us. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be happy to share them on We Are Real Moms.