So it’s World’s breastfeeding week, let’s talk about it and share our experiences. Sorry guys it’s not World’s Formula Milk week so I won’t talk about it, however I don’t wish to dig down about a Mum’s choice or her circumstances; but having said that, breastfeeding week is here for a reason! For a moment let’s not talk about you and I, but are you aware that today companies are targeting poor families and luring them about formula milk, initially providing them free samples, and preaching about how it’s of superior quality than a mother’s milk??
Just imagine the ones who can’t even afford one meal have an unforeseen burden to buy a formula milk box of INR 500 that hardly lasts for a week! Such is the wave of misconception these days that doesn’t distinguish between rich or poor, litterate or illiterate. So it didn’t came as a shock to me when once even in my family one of the elder asked me if he should quickly get a pack of milk if I’m producing low supply of milk or baby is still feeling hunger!
So nobody wants to check the real reason why a baby is crying or check the mother if she can produce enough milk if provided an adequate support or nutrition!
This is the reason why celebrating world’s breastfeeding week is important, it’s not there to reward any particular set of Moms or Influencers.
Over the past few days I have read enormous blogs where Mothers who unfortunately couldn’t bf their children or couldn’t continue it for a considerate period later switched to the other options and have found practically no difference in their kid’s health wrt bf or formula; I agree with you completely. But let’s also accept that as a baby grows older than 6 months, many of us are able to afford nutritious fruits, veggies, nuts, quality milk substitutes for them and ofcourse we are mostly educated so we know the best ways to improvise their immunity and health; there are many of us have to even resume our work. But giving such statements to others we might be hindering the illiterate paths of thousands of underprivileged women who not only be battling with postpartum depression but also dealing with a constant pressure to enhance their baby’s health.
Unfortunately today we could only see two parameters to check the baby’s health- her height and weight; and this is the advantage these multinational infant milk producing companies churn out!
‘The baby formula market is already worth $47 billion a year, and it’s predicted to increase by around 50% in the next three years — making it one of the world’s fastest-growing packaged food markets. ‘
4 years back when I became mother for the first time, I was also clueless about the Mom’s milk existence and it’s importance; honestly that was the topic that hubby and I had rarely discussed. But like any new Mom , breastfeeding emerged out to be my prime duty the moment my little girl was popped out of my tummy!
I don’t want to debate upon or vent out how each one of us are advised/pressurized/ lectured about how breastfeeding is the best thing to do both for the mother and the newborn; at the end we all know it’s elixir for the babies but that postpartum phase; when everything moves so fast and every situation feel like another set of miseries; often I also felt that I was done with this whole bf drama and I just couldn’t do it anymore!
But today after two kids, first one bf for 2 years and second child for nearly 18 months now; I feel that the people around me were so right!
Yes including my gyne, nutritionist, peadtrician, nurses, Mother, Mother-in-law, distant relatives, friends or anyone who came to me and asked ‘ Bacche Ko apna doodh pilati ho ki nahi’?
After my first c-section in the hospital, one lactation consultant came to check me on the second day whether I had been breastfeeding my child or not. I grimaced because not only I found the conversation awkward but also I was really not sure about it, two days already and my daughter was happily drinking FM without my support and without any discomfort to me! But to my shock she said that I will not let you leave the hospital with this FM dabba so I better gear myself up for some hard work, before leaving the room she winked at me and suggested me to put on some extra large nursing bra. To my utter surprise when I checked myself, I was all full from inside; and I hadn’t even realised that!
See motherhood journey is full of misconceptions and judgements and there is no shame in accepting that we improve by time also in understanding our bodies, our hidden capabilities and will power!
And let’s be fair guys if you can promote bf enabled neckpieces, earrings, breastpumps, bottles, dresses and what not then there is no harm in promoting bf above FM; at the end it’s most convenient and affordable way of a baby’s nutrition too. When I say and put forward my belief, we all know how breastfeeding is anyday preferable over formula, then it’s not meant to disgust non-bf Mummas, albeit my experiences can be counted to boost up the moral of new Mummas, struggling with the dilemma of whether they should replace bf with bottles at night or to continue bf when a healthier supplement option is available?
Sharing my friend’s case who was quite willing to bf her child but her MIL would feed the baby bf during the nights and won’t wake her up. Within a week she began experiencing breast engorgement issues and even then nobody thought to take her to the lactation consultant. At the end, her breasts had to be operated to clean the entire mess from inside; not only the entire process was extremely painful and exhausting for the new Mom; it also shook away her precious desire to ebf her little baby!
So jst because I have certain ideology or I wasn’t able to do that doesn’t imply that I can’t motivate my friend to try breastfeeding. Again reiterating the motive isn’t to prove someone inferior but encouraging more and more Moms to opt for breastfeeding and continue it for as long as they can!
Sometimes it’s not about choices but also about the sustainable choices and that’s the reason a Mother is being worshipped as the most beloved diety.
Seek for support, find your voice. Luckily these days there is a growing network of good lactation consultants and breastfeeding groups. Don’t hesitate to prioritise your health, don’t shy from sharing your situations to your gyne or family; probably things may work out!
Let me know if you found my blog useful or readworthy. Apologies if unintentionally I may have hurted you, intentions aren’t the same.
Lots of love and power.