A mother overcomes different obstacles in the journey of motherhood. Breastfeeding is one of them. Difficulties in breastfeeding her baby can add a lot of stress for a mother and sometimes make them fall into depression.
To discuss in detail, the difficulties faced during breastfeeding, we have on board with us Shefali Boghani, a corporate banker and the mother of a 16 months old baby boy. Lets’ get talking!
Q1. Why did you choose ‘breastfeeding’ as a topic to educate others?
When you become a mother, out of all the changes that you face, the most you are concerned about is breastfeeding. I consider it a god’s gift to every woman, who can feed their babies with the milk produced biologically in their body. It is important for the health of both, the baby and the mother. However, sometimes your body does not permit you to breastfeed due to physical and mental pressure a mother goes through when the baby arrives. The case could also be that your body is not producing the required amount of milk. Her routine is changed and she often struggles to manage all things together. Adding to this is the responsibility of breastfeeding the baby and ensuring proper nutrition is provided to the baby. I chose this subject because I have been through this experience when I could not breastfeed my child and it got me so stressed that I was on the verge of depression. But I eventually overcame it and I want my readers to know that being unable to breastfeed your child is completely okay. The fact that because of lack of breastfeeding your child will miss out on nutrition which might hamper his growth is a myth. Your child will grow and develop as he is required. Here, one thing I would like to clarify that focus on keeping yourselves happy, if you are not happy, your child will be unhappy too. Breastfeeding is the choice of a mother and she gets to decide what she wants. With the help of development in science, we get milk in the market easily and nowadays, pumping machines are available too for the mothers. So, it’s entirely upon you to take the call.
Q2. What is the main purpose of breastfeeding?
The main reason because of which breastfeeding is stressed upon the topic in our society is that it helps in the development of a baby, especially the health of a baby. Sure, breastfeeding has its advantages like it contains antibodies, as it is naturally produced, which helps the infant to develop a strong immune system and fight diseases. Growth and development play a major part in the significance of breastfeeding.
Q3. According to you, until what age should the child be solely dependent on breastfeeding?
Well, I have read a lot of books and ample articles on this topic and I am convinced that a baby should be dependent on it for the first 6 months. You can also feed them with pumped milk or formula milk but not solids. Till the age of 6 months, a baby gets all he requires from milk itself, so there is no need of feeding them with any kind of solid food.
Q4. Can you tell us about the alternatives available or those which you chose for yourself?
Yes, there are alternatives available like formula milk which consists of all the properties required for the nutrition of a baby. The other one is a pumping machine. There are times when your body is producing milk but the baby is not able to suck it and there is a tongue-tie issue. So, in this case, you can still feed your baby with your milk by pumping it out with the help of the pumping machine. I also used this substitute to feed my baby and I am so thankful for this invention which made it possible for many mothers to tackle similar problems.
Q5. Please tell us about the challenges that you faced in your early motherhood days.
Motherhood is a journey of challenges and similarly, I too have them. In the initial days, my baby was latching fine and I was able to breastfeed him normally. But after a week, he developed a tongue-tie issue and he was unable to suck the milk. This made the situation worse for me. He used to cry a lot as his stomach was not full and that made me feel myself as a failure because I am not able to give my child what he needs. I faced physical problems and was unable to keep him trying. I was stressed but then I researched and got introduced to the concept of pumping machines. Then I used that for feeding my child and it, fortunately, worked out and my child was stomach-full and happy.
Q6. You touched the topic of depression previously, so how is the mental health affected due to breastfeeding difficulties?
Being a mother, you are burdened with a lot of responsibilities and when the baby is too young the only thing you can give him to feed is your breast milk. When difficulties occur during the breastfeeding phase, you are disappointed that you cannot give your child the only thing he requires now. That makes you numb and shattered. You get surrounded by negativity. People tell you that you could not even breastfeed your child hampers your mental condition. And as I said if you’re not happy your baby will get affected by it. It is said that breastfeeding and skin to skin connection help in connecting with your child. But I want my readers to know that even if you don’t breastfeed your child the connection will still develop and the baby will grow an attachment with you. You play with your baby and spend time, that all is required to build a connection.
Q7. Any message to the readers?
I would like to say that motherhood is crazy but the best part of a woman’s life. Parenthood is a blessing for a couple. You can gift someone's life and that is something blissful. Seeing your child grow is a miracle. Every day you learn something or experience things you have never before. So I think we should all enjoy parenthood and not miss it due to its difficult pathway.
Stay Tuned, Stay Relevant!