Nidhi Shubham Shilpa
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Celebrate Motherhood. Celebrate Breastfeeding.

Alisha was on cloud 9, when the doctor told her that she is pregnant. All in the family were eagerly waiting for the baby.

When the doctor handed over the baby Ishaan to Alisha, she was also told about the importance of golden hour of breastfeeding and how this will be crucial for the baby and will boost his immunity.

However, Alisha didn’t take the advice seriously and got busy with the celebrations with family and her friends of kitty party.

Alisha joined her startup business within a month of her delivery and the baby was left with a full-time maid, who used to give her bottle feed.

During the first 6 months, little Ishaan fell severely ill many time due to one or another reasons. When worried Alisha contacted the doctor, the pediatrician told her that the chances of kids on bottle feed falling ill are 10 times more than, who take their mother feed.

Look carefully- there could many more Alishas around you!

Importance of Breastfeeding

Motherhood doesn’t start when you give birth to your baby. You realize it when your friends start to take advice from you. Like natural childbirth that I was blessed, I assumed breastfeeding would be a relatively intuitive and empowering experience. During my pregnancy days, my well-wishers profoundly filled me with lot of information on breastfeeding. Some even told me that it might be “difficult,” but frankly, I didn’t believe it. After all, what could come to mother and baby more naturally? But how it starts?

Recently I attended an educational and awareness sessions on breastfeeding for new mothers, organized by Apollo Cradle at Nehru Enclave as part of celebrations for World Breastfeeding week (#ApolloCradleBreastFeedingWeek). Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Geeta Chadha and Lactation Consultant, Dr. Vandana Sarkar informed the audiences the benefits of breastfeeding.

The doctors told that there are a number of women like Alisha who don’t breastfeed their children due to either reason, however Dr. Geeta Chadha shared that there is an improvement in this trend but a lot more has to be done.

For infants, not being breastfed is associated with an increased incidence of infectious morbidity, as well as elevated risks of childhood obesity, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, leukemia, and sudden infant death syndrome. For mothers, failure to breastfeed is associated with an increased incidence of premenopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer, retained gestational weight gain, type 2 diabetes, myocardial infarction, and the metabolic syndrome if some studies are to be believed.

There are lot many like Alisha and it is quite imperative to talk about the importance of breastfeeding especially in era of modernization and high-end lifestyle.

 

Golden Hour to give your baby the best start of her life!

After nine months of waiting and anxiety, a new mother gets her first chance to hold her baby in her arms, to count the tiny fingers and little toes and gaze into the eyes of her newborn. Research shows that the first hour of her life can maximize the bonding experience between mother and child.

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Shared Dr. Geeta Chadha, “At Apollo Cradle, we encourage uninterrupted skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby until the first round of breastfeeding is established. This, in real terms is the Golden hour for Child Growth and development and provide her the best start of her life!”

It is a medical benefit. So, mother breast feed early and she has a huge oxytocin that stimulates the production of breast milk. Breastfeeding as “Mom-made” while Formula milk is factory made. Unnatural substances are unhealthy and should be avoided till they can be. Top feed may lead to unknown allergies.

Dr. Geeta also shared that the infant needs this elixir exclusively for first six months – which means she cannot be fed anything else, not even a drop of water and mother’s milk is a complete food for the baby. The solid food can be introduced gradually after six months.

 

Choosing wisely where to give the birth.

Childbirth is a celebration. Delivering a baby is the only time when one is happy going to the hospital. It needs a conducive environment. This is where specialized Maternity hospitals takes lead over general hospitals. Clubbed with a well-known panel of doctors, hospitals such as Apollo Cradle duly takes care to provide you all comfort. Rooms are dressed with soothing colours, multi-positioning beds that can accommodate a variety of birthing position and they also offer a provision to play your favourite music tracks to make the patient feel good and to soothe your tough times.

Maternity Wards at Apollo Cradle

Maternity Wards at Apollo Cradle

Choosing the right delivery hospital is very important so this is the place that will first hold up your tiny infant. Apollo Cradle encourages bottle free environment. By that it means that the hospital does not provide top feed unless it is a medically required.

 

Ante-Natal preparation is the key!

Childbirth and pregnancy is overall an overwhelming experience especially for the mother. It is an exciting time for her, and these nine months are filled with many queries on her body that is constantly changing, developing baby, pre and post care of mother and baby. The Ante-natal classes are so designed to offer a conducive environment for would-be mothers to discuss their common concerns with the expert doctors and help you and your partner feel more prepared on parenthood.

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“We encourage all would-be mothers to attend these classes with their partners. Childbirth is no longer only about women but also the husband’s emotional quotient is equally important. Breastfeeding is one of the key topics discussed during these sessions. Exercise, proper diet and support from your ” shared Dr. Vandana Sarkar.

She added, “too much of information can be sometimes misleading! Choosing the right Ante-Natal expert can make your journey towards motherhood much more convenient and enjoyable”.

 

 

Encourage Frequent, Unrestricted Feedings

It is essential to recognize that breastfeeding is not only the mother’s responsibility. She needs support – of her husband, family and the employer. The recent Maternity Benefit Amendment Act has increased the duration of paid maternity leaves available for women employees from the existing 12 weeks to 26 weeks in India to facilitate breastfeeding by working mothers.

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Our policymakers need to make greater efforts to support and encourage new mothers to start and sustain breastfeeding. This can be facilitated through better support, considerate maternity and return to work policies and a legislative framework that enables women to breastfeed when out and about.

“Breastfed children fall sick less often, so their mothers are absent from work less often, too” said Dr. Geeta Chadha.

 

Breastfeeding do give some ouch’s!

The mother may have some discomfort in form of sore nipples, Breast engorgement or other some problems. But when it comes to the array of benefits, these problems can just be ignored. In the end, it becomes a priority for health of the infant, the emotional bonding between mother and child and also a protection cover for respiratory infections, diarrheal disease and other ailments.

 

Breastfeeding is the right of a mother.

Women across the globe has always been sexually objectify in the public breastfeeding carries a social stigma in much of the world as well in India.

Last year, Larissa Waters, an MP in Australia made a history, when she addressed Parliament while simultaneously breastfeeding her 14-week-old baby Alia Joy creating a controversy over social media. This year as well, a magazine got infamous, when an actress Jilu Joseph appeared on the cover of Grihalakshmi, a Malayalam magazine, for a breastfeeding campaign.

I think that what Larissa Waters did or what Grihlakshmi portrayed was a very bold message breaking the taboo of breastfeeding in public and we all should support it, as it is the most natural act for a mother to breastfeed her child.

Seen in the picture are Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr Geeta Chadha and Lactation Consultant, Dr Vandana Sarkar with all participants

Seen in the picture are Senior Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr Geeta Chadha and Lactation Consultant, Dr Vandana Sarkar with all participants

It’s important to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding, and also the notion that it truly is a woman’s reproductive right. It’s up to us to change that view in society, and provide a healthier alternative to bottle-feed to mothers and children across the country.


Post by: Vertika Saxena

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