August is National Breastfeeding Month, and Aug. 1-7 was World Breastfeeding Week. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for first six months of life for optimal growth and development. It provides essential health benefits to the mother and the infant; and it is economical and environmentally favorable. Though everyone knows, breastfeeding is the best for mom and baby, many times it is natural to face some hurdles while breastfeeding: latch-on issues, engorgement, not enough milk production, difficulty understanding baby’s hunger cues and illnesses with the mother and/or baby. With adequate support from family, friends, health care providers and lactation consultant this blockade can be conquered.
I would like to share my personal experience while breastfeeding my baby who is 9 years old now. My daughter was born after 20 hours of labor. Few hours after her birth, she latched on perfectly and nursed like a champ. On day 15 of her regular check-up, she was not gaining weight the way she was supposed to, and then began the three months’ ordeal of going exclusively to formula feeding and switching to exclusively breastfeeding. It took a while to get back to normal exclusive breastfeeding routine, but it was totally worth it. Though my experience of nursing my daughter was a roller coaster ride, she has grown up with a strong immunity and has always been healthy, free from any kind of severe infections or other severe illnesses.
For some new mothers, breastfeeding will be a smooth sail, while for others including mothers who are medical professionals, might face some hurdles, the essential part to remain persistent and determined, and giving it your best shot. And if it does not work out, you should be proud of yourself you tired!
Jignasha Shah, Mechanicville