My daughter was born a month prior to my due date. Luckily I had a normal delivery and my labour didn't trouble me lot. The first thing my doctor asked me to do was breastfeed my daughter as soon as she was out.
Colostrum, the first pale yellow milk from the mothers breast is considered as the baby's first immunization. I did as instructed and held her to my breast. I could hardly see the milk coming. All I could think was whether everything is right with me. My doctor asked me not to worry and that I will have the milk within 4 to 5 days of my delivery.
Here I was watching my baby cry almost every 2 hours for my milk. I had no option but to give her formula milk which left me with a guilt and a feeling of my first mother failure. I thought why is it happening as I was on strict healthy diet during my pregnancy and left no stone unturned to keep myself fit.
It's not that I did not try. I started producing milk post 4 days of my delivery but I had breast engorgement and my breasts turned as solid as rock leaving me in terrible pain and fever. I could not feed my baby for almost a week due to engorgement. I followed the nurses instructions and tried feeding my baby but it did not help much.
There were times when I was losing patience but everytime I felt low I looked at my girl which gave me energy to be determined and not give up.
I had to express my milk by giving hot water fermentation so that I can give the same to my baby. It was painful and left me in tears. I was in a situation where I felt giving birth to a child was easy but realised that motherhood had no epidural.
I once called my paediatrician at 3 am in the night as my baby wouldn't stop crying. The doctor said she was hungry. It was a real concern for me as it meant I wasn't producing enough milk. I started eating everything that would help me produce more milk such as fenugreek seeds (methi), shatavari kalp and garden cress seeds(aliv).
I always breastfed her first and if she still cried for more then gave her formula milk. It took me 20 days post her birth to produce sufficient milk and to latch my baby to my breast where she did not ask for formula milk.
Following were the lessons learnt :
- 1. Do not give up : Most of the mothers tend to give up on Breastfeeding when the baby's cry go beyond control. In this case it is best to give them both breastfeed and formula till you produce enough milk for your baby.
- 2. The more you breastfeed the more milk you produce.
- 3. It's good to have herbal supplements to increase your milk supply. Fenugreek, shatavari kalp and garden cress seeds are the best.
- 4. If the breasts are engorged and making it difficult for the baby to latch on then give hot water fermentation which will make your breast softer for the baby to latch on or to pump the milk.
- 5. Express your milk by a breast pump or manually and feed the same to your baby so that you start producing more milk and it will also help you reduce the pain of the engorgement.
An enthusiastic individual, focussed professional and someone who lives life with a strong positive outlook are just a few words to describe Swati Sandhane.
Having completed her Masters in Business Management, working as a HR professional with a IT firm and handling responsibilities in a happy marriage for 4 years Swati recently welcomed her first child 5 months back. As a new mother everything is the first time and Swati is now honing her mommy skills very well.
While she intends to get back to work she also wants to share her experience in baby care and all other factors which are related to baby and mother well being.