We know that breastfeeding is a very common phenomenon throughout the world but no one talks about it, unless it’s behind the closed doors. Mothers are still expected to cover themselves while they feed their child in public. As a result, many new mothers are unable to ask about their doubts regarding breastfeeding.
Here are some facts about breastfeeding that every mother should know about.
1. It doesn’t happen easily most of the time
Although breastfeeding is a natural, biologically inherent process, it doesn’t easily occur for many women. Every woman’s body is different, so generalizations don’t apply to the process. Here is another common phenomenon for certain new mothers: milk can come a little late. So don’t panic if that happens to you. However, if you’re concerned, just visit your doctor or a lactation consultant.
2. Position matters
Breastfeeding can be painful for mothers if the position of the baby isn’t right. Just latching isn’t enough. If it hurts you, try changing the position. You can also take advice from other breastfeeding mothers. If your baby can’t latch on easily, try supporting their head from your other hand. For example, if the baby is on your right, support his head from the left, and vice versa. Also, make sure the baby’s back is supported by pillows and cushions.
3. It takes time and patience
You can’t rush breastfeeding. You and your baby will be doing this activity for hours during a day. You will have to be patient enough for the baby to latch on properly and get a good feed. Ideally, you should be in a quiet room, so that you and your baby don’t get distracted.
4. Size doesn’t matter
It’s a common misconception that larger breasts produce more milk. Breasts are made up of fatty tissues, which has nothing to do with the lactation process. When your body prepares for breastfeeding, the size of your breasts increases as it fills up with milk. If that doesn’t happen, you may have a condition called Insufficient Glandular Tissue. Visit your doctor to see how you can produce more milk.
5. It doesn’t alter the shape
Pregnancy and hormones affect the shape of your breasts, not breastfeeding. It may change the way your breasts look or feel, but not the shape itself. So your breasts won’t sag because of feeding. Rather, it’s good for you, as it reduces the risk of breast cancer.
6. It can hurt but don’t ignore the pain
Breastfeeding can hurt sometimes, but it doesn’t mean that you should ignore the pain. If it hurts too much, you should consult a lactation consultant or your doctor, who can advise minor changes to make the process better for you.
7. It may not make you lose all the pregnancy weight
According to specialists, any woman of average weight shouldn’t gain more than 10-15 kilograms weight when she’s pregnant. So if you gain more weight and eat junk food, then breastfeeding may not help you lose all of that weight.
8. It is not just for mothers who give girth
Adoptive mothers can also breastfeed. However, the milk they produce may not be enough for the baby, so they need the help of a few supplements. The baby suckling on the nipple will trigger milk production. If the breast is stimulated enough, it might just produce enough prolactin required to produce milk.
A breast pump can also be used. However, it won’t immediately happen. According to experts, it can take up to a month of regular pumping to produce milk. Hence, it may be difficult (but not impossible) for adoptive mothers to breastfeed.