If every time these words touch the air that surrounds us, the world gets a free tree, it would solve global warming in half a day. Maybe sooner.
How many times have you heard this? Plenty I’m sure.
How many of you were affected by it? 100% of you. I’m sure. Because what kind of a mother doesn’t fear in her heart for this statement to be true as she clutches her tiny frail new human to her heart, wide eyed, bewildered on the inside if not apparently? No one you say. That’s correct. No one.
Now here’s the clincher.
How many of you quit breastfeeding within the first week (or even month) of childbirth because of this statement?
The poll here would be alarmingly high.
So here I am discussing ONLY this matter and NOTHING else.
Not if it was too painful. Not if you had a medical condition. Not if you deliberately chose not to breastfeed (which is okay. It’s your right to decide. It’s your body).
Only because SOMEBODY OR EVERYBODY SAID YOU ARE NOT MAKING ENOUGH MILK.
Let’s debunk the myth that there are mothers who cannot feed their kids.
Physiologically there’s only 1% of women who physically are incapable of breastfeeding. The rest (and hear me out here) were
Just. Not. Supported. Enough.
Yes. If you weren’t able to breastfeed you did not get the right support around you. It is NOT a failure on your part. It is the failure of those around you. Your village failed. Not you.
In order to manage this fall out we need to ensure that there is an accurate perception of a baby’s expected behaviour. We will cover that in a separate post that I will Link here later. For now let’s go perception/ question wise.
1. Baby cries too much
An infant was warmly cuddled up in your womb for 9 months of its existence. That’s all it has seen in terms of “life”. The world is way too bright, loud and overwhelming for it. That is just the mother of many reasons why babies cry as much especially in the first week or even month of birth.
2. Baby doesn’t seem to be having their fill and keeps crying to stay on the boob.
Partially 1. You are the baby’s home as she knows it to be. She wants to feel you close and smell you for comfort. So yes. That’s one. Secondly, frequent nursing is normal and expected in the beginning ranging up to the first few months because the baby is helping to establish milk supply. The more milk is removed from the breasts, the more it signals your body to produce. More feeding means more milk production. It’s simple supply demand and thus a natural way to establish adequate milk production to facilitate successful breastfeeding.
There was a time when my child would come off the boob for 15-40 minutes only. Yes. That’s true. It is THAT nuts in the beginning yet totally normal.
3. How to know if you’re making enough milk?
Two ways. Quite literally. Number of wet diapers and baby’s weight gain. There’s a detailed guide on Kelly Mom here that was my go-to every time I had any such doubts.
Literally. That’s IT! The baby is tiny and so is her stomach. They don’t need bottles and bottles of milk. They need just enough and most probably you are already making it.
4. My boobs are too small. I can’t possibly make enough.
Wrong. Different sizes of breasts will only fill up and empty at a different rate (your child might feed 12 times instead of 8 during a day but that in no way deprives your child from the quantity of milk she needs.)
5. Babies need formula to sleep better at night.
There’s no night or day inside you. So the concept of sleeping through night and other functions during the day need to come much later in life for a baby.
Babies need to constantly nurse to fill up their tiny bellies that quickly digests the little milk it can hold
Keep the milk factories stimulated to keep producing more.
If you introduce any other form of milk any time during any given 24 hours, your supply will inevitably tank.
– So when preparing for childbirth ensure your healthcare providers know you wish to breastfeed and need to bring the baby to you within the first hour of her life. The initial ore milk liquid for the first few days is Colostrum and is chock full of nutrients and antibodies. You don’t want a drop of it to be wasted. It goes to your baby. All of it! Make sure!
– See YouTube videos once you HAVE the baby for the right latch or look up a Lactation consultant (line them up earlier if you can) to ensure correct latching.
– Be prepared for frequent nursing. It’s normal
– Download an app to track breastfeeding and wet diapers. There are plenty out there. My favourite is Baby +
– Breastfeed on demand and for as long as the baby feeds. I can’t say this enough.
– Even though pain while breastfeeding is not termed as normal by professionals and I don’t mean to be technically incorrect but 9 out of 10 times the initial period is QUITE painful. Breastfeeding is a natural phenomenon, the process is far from it. It takes a lot of learning on the part of both mum and babe to get the hang of it. So grit those teeth down and power through it. I PROMISE it gets better.
I love this image going around!
REMEMBER. You are absolutely capable of breastfeeding. Do not let anyone convince you otherwise.
Tried and tested method of increasing supply for me was this drink I’m sharing the recipe of but apart from this fenugreek (methi) is known to be a very effective catalyst. It doesn’t mean you start sprinkling your morning cereal with fenugreek. You need to take it in the form of capsules and proper quantities over a period of time help. Please discuss this with your Lactation consultant before consumption of fenugreek capsule.
Okay so I only had this in the first week of my baby’s life and have never needed it since then because it upped my supply too much for consumption. Worked for me. Give it a shot?
semolina, mixed nuts crushed (pistachios, almonds etc) and clarified butter (ghee) equal quantities (I used a standard cooking spoon) with one two pods of cardamom (green) stir fry well together. Add One litre milk with brown sugar (gur shakkar) to taste. Bring to boil on high flame then simmer on low flame for 20 minutes.
It should be runny like a drink.
I would have one coffee mug (portable type!) once or twice a day. See if it helps
If you don’t want to breastfeed be strong enough to make that decision on your own and stand by it.
Do NOT let anyone else decide for you
Do NOT get fooled into the whole “you can’t do this” bit
Breast milk is customised nutrition for babies and has mind blowing benefits for both you and your child but formula is also an allowed alternative.
Start off being a mom on YOUR conditions. You’ll need all that Momma power to raise your kiddle
P.S. I’m now an ILCA member and I chose this topic to be the first I write about after I got my membership. *silent squeal of excitement*