I am an ardent supporter of breastfeeding. It is well evident from many of my blog posts. From discussing the importance of breastfeeding to benefits of extending breastfeeding and sharing tips to confidently nurse in public, I have tried my best to help support breastfeeding moms through my blog posts. I have also many a time wrote on how I successfully breastfed Anshika in spite of being a working mom.
Each time I get an opportunity to learn more about this tailor made miracle drink called breast milk, I am all excited to share it with my readers. Recently I attended a webinar on the topic ‘Millennial Mothers Breastfeeding Challenges’ by renowned gynecologist Dr. Asawari Dongre. It was a very enlightening session for me and here I am sharing with you all what I have learned more about breastfeeding and the challenges new moms face.
Breastfeeding Is The Best For Both Mom And Baby
Breast milk is tailor made for your child. It is natural and has many benefits than you think.
- Breast milk is easily digested and doesn’t cause problems like constipation and diarrhea.
- It has the right nutrients in the right proportion for your child’s healthy weight gain and development.
- The antibodiesin breast milk, (which no formula milk can mimic) improves your child’s immunity.
- Exclusively breastfeeding for the first 6 months lowers risk of allergies, obesity, cancer and diabetics for the baby.
- Breast milk changes its composition according to baby’s needs, health condition and age.
- Breastfed babies score high in IQ tests.
Breastfeeding not only benefits the baby, but also the mom.
- Breastfeeding moms find it easy to bounce back to pre-pregnancy weight.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of cancer and Type 2 diabetics.
- Breastfeeding helps in mom child bonding in the most natural way.
Read more about the wonders of breastfeeding here.
Breastfeeding Challenges Faced By Millennial Moms
Though we stress so much on the importance of breastfeeding and the benefits of breast milk, often we put less efforts to look into the actual problem faced by new moms that make them cease breastfeeding at an earlier stage.
We are quick to judge and shame a mom who couldn’t breastfeed her child exclusively for the first 6 months. But we rarely ask her why she couldn’t breastfeed or what was her situation that she decided to wean her child off breasts before the child could get all the benefits from it.
Though the new generations moms are mature, savvier, smarter and more informed than before, yet they do face some challenges when it comes to breastfeeding.
Let us see some of the challenges faced by the millennial moms when it comes to breastfeeding.
- Working moms who have to go back to office soon after delivery find it difficult to continue breastfeeding. Often most of them switch to some milk substitutes simply because they don’t have an option to breastfeed the baby. This directly affects the breast milk supply too and leads to weaning off breast milk earlier even if the mom wants to continue for a little longer time.
- Most of us are in nuclear families and hence lesser support and help which pushes moms to stop breastfeeding and start formula or solid food early so that her hands are free to cater to other household chores.
- Though more women are coming forward to breastfeed in public, this act is still not normalized in the eyes of many. Finding a suitable place to breastfeed discreetly while on the go is still challenging.
Breast Pumps: A Support To Help Millennial Moms Breastfeed Better
Many of the challenges that new moms face while trying to continue breastfeeding can be dealt with breast pumps.
Breast pumps helps moms to express breast milk and store it for later use by baby. This helps the baby to get breast milk even when the mom is not around.
The whole process of breast milk production is based on a demand and supply cycle. If the baby is not feeding at regular intervals, the breast naturally lowers the production of milk, which causes weaning off breastmilk at an earlier stage than desired. Breast pumps are life savers in these situations. They can be carried around even to your work places thus helping you to express milk and ensure sufficient milk supply. This also helps relieve breast engorgement and heaviness.
Not only for working mom, a breast pump is helpful for stay at home moms too. In case of sickness or when you have a hand full of household chores to do, you can always express milk using a breast pump, store it and ask your partner or nanny to help feed your child.
Breast pumps are also helpful when the newborn has latching problems. When the baby finds it difficult to latch on to the nipples, pumped milk can be feed to the baby using a bottle or even a sterile spoon.
Pumping out sufficient amount of milk can also help feed premature babies round-the-clock who might need more attention and adequate supply of breast milk.
Mother who have twins or multiples can use breast pumps to stock up breast milk to ensure round the clock breastfeeding for the babies and at the same time some much required rest for the mom.
How to store breast milk and use it?
Pumped out breast milk can be stored in sterile bottles in refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours and can be frozen for up to one week.
Stored breast milk should be brought to room temperature before giving it to the baby. You can warm water in a wide pan and immerse the breast milk bottle in it for a few minutes to bring it to room temperature. Never ever heat or boil breast milk directly.
Are All Breast Pumps Suitable For Every Mom?
‘One size fits all’ may not work well in case of breast pumps as each woman is unique and have a different requirement.
Breast pumps work on the principle of suction and pressure and each woman will have a different requirement to comfortably and painlessly express milk. While some have sensitive nipples requiring less suction pressure, others may need more suction pressure to pump breast milk. So it is better to look for a breast pump that can help you adjust the pressure according to your requirement.
During the webinar Dr. Asawari recommended Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump with SFR Technology as a solution to this problem.
SRF technology provides 5 suction levels that can be adjusted according to the body’s response allowing the mom to find her own best suction strength. This helps mothers to express more milk minus the pain and discomfort caused due to nonadjustable suction pressure.
Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump has two modes of expressing milk – one is by stimulation and other by expression. This helps mothers to express more milk naturally as it helps mimic child suction. The pump has silicone massaging pads ensuring gentle and delicate pumping. Since this manual breast pump parts are BPA free it is absolutely safe for the baby too.
How to sterilize a breast pump?
You should sterilize the required parts with warm water and a mild cleansing agent as per the instructions given in the leaflet you get while buying the breast pump.
Air-drying is a must and make sure you keep it in a compact box/ container.
I hope I have covered all the important things regarding the challenges faced by breastfeeding moms and how a breast pump can be a lifesaver for you.
Do write down your thoughts in the comments and also any other doubts you have regarding expressing breast milk and using it.