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Ah, I became a new mother recently, and started on an emotional roller coaster - fell in love and rose in love, was overwhelmed, did overwhelm, have laughed and cried, have my heart burst with joy with the lovely giggles and pulled my hair with the tantrums every day...yes, it’s a lovely roller coaster !
So, I am one of the new moms who did not listen to her mom and grand mom when it came to breast feeding. I followed my doc to the T i.e. atleast 6 months exclusive bf, followed by solids and weaning!
Was it the right decision?
Well, have mixed feelings about it as the child did not take to bottle feed later (until 1.2 years) – so continued to breast feed and yes, it is rewarding but very tough (as I was warned ample times) – but then we learn from experience – so, if you want it easy for yourself and the kid both, start with bottle early on, may be a month later or through the start!
Having said that, my daughter finally left breast feeding at 2 years. So, yes, it does look that it would never end, but it sure does. So, just follow your heart and do what you feel is right/ appropriate for you!
A few tips on breast feeding:
The system for rearing a child is self-sufficient; we do not need anything from outside. However, we can support it by overcoming the deficiencies of our own body by eating right and following a few do’s and don’ts.
Though the new age doctors advise that there is no special diet for breast feeding mothers but there is ages-old wisdom available with our elders which can help enhance the quality of milk and nutrition for the baby. There goes in it the treasure of Ayurveda and deep knowledge on how different ingredients help enhance the quality and quantity of mother’s milk.
You will be given a plenty of this information the moment you have a baby – you can choose to follow what seems logical/ scientific and appropriate to you. It’s all about regulating the hormones and diet plays an important role in this.
A good advice I got was to try all foods and be sensitive and observant about what does not suit baby’s tummy and moods (fussiness, gassiness, colicky behaviour), follow that pattern and avoid such foods. Since, everything you eat reaches the baby through breast milk, a little caution helps. In my case, Rajma (red kidney beans) used to be an irritant and would make my baby colicky. So, I just avoided it! You can follow the same if complete restrictive diet is not your cup of tea.
There are certain foods/ ingredients that in addition to being nutritious are traditionally known to help enhance quality and quantity of breast milk. It is good to include these in your diet (in moderation) while you are breast feeding.
Here are a few traditional dishes that are prepared for new mothers in traditional Indian homes (will be sharing recipes soon):
In addition, it is important to nurse frequently (on a regular basis) to maintain a consistent breast milk supply. It is a scientifically proven fact that the stimulation of the nerves with breastfeeding, as well as the removal of milk, signal to your body to ramp up production.
What you consume reaches your baby through breast milk, therefore, it is important to be cautious for the health of the baby.