Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BreastFeeding: To do or Not to do

Hello everyone!! This is my first blog post. And what better way to begin than sharing my opinion about breast feeding: the most discussed and debated topic in our journey as mothers.
Here's to the most debatable topic always for the mommy's to be or the one's who have been through this dilemma. With so many opinions and suggestions floating around it is a difficult choice for the mothers to choose one option over the other. Having breast fed successfully for a year, I am no expert at this but would like to share my opinion with all  of you.
As I write, I take a walk down the memory lane with all the fears, doubts, and stories about being able to do it properly taking form in my mind. Since the time I was pregnant, there were suggestions from every person I met regading brest feeding. Be it my mom or my mom-in-law, relatives, neighbours, friends etc. everyone was ready with their piece of advice. Some people shared their stories of how it is unhealthy in the long run for the mother as the baby takes away all the nutrition, some said that the baby develops a habit and leads to embarrassing scenes in public, some said it is beneficial for the baby but the baby do not detach themselves easily.

Scientific evidence on the other hand, which I could only find sparingly that too only online, recommended exclusive breast feeding for the first six months of baby's life which should be continued for at least a year with gradual addition of food from other sources (according to World Health Organization and American Academy of Pediatrics).
With so much information explotion happening, I had absolutely no clue about feeding my baby. Being trained as a scientist, I knew that I should feed my baby.  So I was nervous, skeptical, and confused about how will I breast feed.... But I had one thought which would not wander or falter ever from my mind, and it was "I WILL TO IT". I wanted to do it for my child and myself.
So the day my baby arrived, even though I had a C-section, the nurses helped me and taught me how to go about it. The doctors were very supportive of the fact that I wanted to feed my child. I was scared that I would not be able to do it once at home, but with constant determination I succeded.
Initially the milk production is less, so the baby is hungry quiet often but with time as your body pumps up the supply in keeping with the demand, baby is satisfied and satiated for longer duration. But still it is a big commitment as you have to feed your baby every 2 hours for at least the first six months. This is because  mother's milk is easily digested and the baby feels hungry every 2-3 hours.
Now coming to the big question: How did I manage it? Getting used to breast feeding is as difficult for the child as the mother. Luckily I did not face much problems with my baby but many women face problems like mastitis. Do consult your gynaecologist in case of such complications. Otherwise, it is a natural process and every women can breast feed. So the more relaxed you are, the more easy it would be for both of you.
Well for the first 3 months, my baby was exclusively breast fed. I joined back full-time when my baby was four months old, so I started bottle feeding when he was three months once a day. This allowed the baby to get used to bottle feeding.
This was how I managed: after coming home from work, I used to feed my child at nights and in the morning before leaving for work. And the weekends offered me ample opportunity to breast feed. As my baby started on solids, at six months, I started dropping off feeds one by one at night. This is important, as the teeth start arriving at the same time and sugar might lead to tooth decay. Similarly never put a bottle next to your baby while she is asleep, as it leads to sugar accumulation on the bottle and subsequent tooth decay for the baby. Morning feeds were dropped at ten months when I started giving my baby the bottle after bathing him. Slowly, we progressed to one feed a night and a week before his birthday, I stopped breast feeding completely and settled him with a bottle at night. This way I manged to wean him off the breast without resorting to various other means, like neem leaves juice, karela juice or other "dadi maa ke nuskhe".
It does take a lot of commitment, patience, and will power to feed your child. But, the one goal that doing it is good for your baby would definitely keep you motivated. It helped me a lot. Do listen to the advice's on offer, it never hurts, but follow your heart. As a mother, you and only you know what is best for your baby.
So to all mums to be, "Happy Breastfeeding"
Take care...



  1. Hi ,

    I am exclusively breast-feeding right now and plan to return to work when my son is 4 month old.

    I was told by my doctor that if I were to give my baby a bottle, he would not want to breast feed anymore. Is there any truth to that statement?

    Did your baby want to breast feed even after you introduced the bottle?

    1. Congrats Navya for being a mommy!! The trick is to introduce bottle once a day initially and then alternate between bottle and your feed. You can start a month before you plan on returning to work. This worked for me, and after joining back I fed my child during morning and nighttime.
      All the best, hope it works for you and your baby as well :) As they say each baby is unique :)

    2. Thank you. I came across your blog in search of Munna's Ragi Manni. I have started that for my son from yesterday. I will also introduce bottle tomorrow onwards. I am WFH this month... So I guess your tip should work hopefully for mine as well.


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