World Breastfeeding Week 2022: Breastfeeding is the most important and effective way to ensure the health, survival, growth and development of a new-born baby. It is the ideal nutrition for infants as breastmilk contains all the necessary components that are required for survival and growth. Breastfeeding benefits both the mother and the baby. Additionally, it protects the mother and the baby from various diseases and illnesses. As an increasing number of women are joining the workforce, new mothers face several issues in balancing breastfeeding and their professional life. After maternity leave is over, mothers need to ensure that they continue breastfeeding for the well-being of their child and make sure they don’t skip it due to their busy schedules.
Below are some tips and benefits of breastfeeding-
- If you’re taking your baby to the office, make sure to take enough breaks to breastfeed at regular intervals. Follow a schedule for breastfeeding or pumping and schedule your breaks accordingly.
- Ask your managers if they have a private area for breastfeeding or pumping and do not use the washroom for the same
- You can make your baby accustomed to bottles. Use a breast pump and store the milk and give it to the baby once or twice a day before going back to work.
- Dress comfortably and appropriately for breastfeeding or pumping and ensure that you carry accessories such as a breast pad or extra bottles for storing milk.
- If your baby is staying home with a caregiver, make sure to keep enough stock of breastmilk in the refrigerator.
- Connect with an experienced employee in the workplace who has been in your shoes and ask them for tips and tricks.
You will have a lower chance of certain cancers
Research shows that women who have breastfed have a lower risk of developing certain types of cancer, such as ovarian and breast cancer, later in life. It also helps in reducing the prevalence of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
Builds a better relationship with your child
Many new mothers experience post-partum depression, which can interfere with their everyday life. It has been seen that women who breastfeed have a lesser chance of developing post-partum depression compared to women who don't. Oxytocin and prolactin, two naturally calming hormones produced by breastfeeding, help nursing mothers feel less stressed and happier. It also increases self-esteem, confidence, and calmness. Mother and child bonding on a physical and emotional level is strengthened. Breastfeeding encourages increased holding, stroking, and skin-to-skin contact. It nurtures relationships during the first few years of life and helps both the mother and the child reduce behavioural and social problems.
Quick recovery from post-partum
Breastfeeding releases oxytocin, the "feel-good" hormone which helps in shrinking the uterus to its normal size and curbs the loss of blood. It also helps to lose the pregnancy weight faster and maintain a healthy weight in the long run.
Most mothers rank their satisfaction with being a mother due to breastfeeding. A unique emotional experience is created for the mother and the baby during breastfeeding, nurturing a strong emotional and physical connection. In the absence of medical conditions that preclude it, health professionals urge breastfeeding for as long as is feasible for everyone. Antibodies and other components in breast milk shield your infant from sickness and chronic disease. Be patient and request assistance if you require it. Although it initially requires a lot of labour, the benefits are worth it!
(This article is attributed to Dr. Anupama D, Consultant Gynaecologist, Connect and Heal)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)