I am blessed with a child and I am grateful for it. When I was pregnant, my doctor told me that the child is in breech presentation. I was mentally prepared to feed my child with “my milk” for two years. I was selfish. I knew the advantages of mother’s milk and the most precious colostrum. When the child is born by C section, the hormone prolactin activates after few days unlike a normal delivery where the brain gets the signal that the child is delivered and the milk production starts instantly. I had to be patient. I attempted the next day, it was my first attempt and with few trial and error both of us succeeded.The suckling stimulation of the child helped. It helped in the production of colostrum.
Colostrum a thick sticky yellowish fluid. It has life saving properties. It has an especially high concentration of antibodies and white blood cells which protect the newborn from infections. It also contains certain growth promoting substances. The infant body does not contain these substances nor does the body have the capacity to make them.
I fed the child with the most purest food. Mother’s milk is free from contamination. Yes , human milk does have a low concentration of certain nutrients as compared to other animal milk but it is specially designed for human baby. It suits the baby’s tender digestive system and it gets easily assimilated in the body. Breast milk has a high content of carbohydrates, specially lactose ,essential fatty acids and certain protective nutrients like vitamin A and Vitamin E which are beneficial for the infant.
Olden time Indian houses were filled with lots of people. They all used to take care of a child. The mothers used to take care of the household tasks but now most of the families are nuclear and both the parents are working. I was not the exception. I started working as a consultant when my child was about 3 months old. I used to take my child to the office. It was easy. I did not had to carry any bottles . The bottles have to be cleaned thoroughly and sterilised. I didn’t have to buy any milk formula , medicines for colic , fever , etc so I saved the cost ,time and energy of purchasing and making the formula . It takes time for a baby to learn to be hungry at a certain hour. During the early weeks of life a flexible feeding time can be done but as the child grows a schedule is important. If the child feeds all the time, it would have been very difficult for me to take care of myself , my home, my work everything. A child has to be disciplined,after all he would be a responsible person in few years. I had a special bonding with my child. Breast feeding is psychologically valuable. I felt that I am giving something no one else can. My child was not constipated or digestive upset , did not cry from colic pain , did not suffer from any cold , cough, infection, fever. He had a healthy, happy ,active childhood. He never cried of hunger because I didn’t left him to prepare the milk in the pantry , it didn’t disturb my husband’s sleep as well. He had an ideal weight for height. The teeth and gums were healthy and strong. He didn’t suffer from dental problems which the bottle fed suffer from. He was not getting added sucrose or sugar. The active suckling needed to draw milk from the breast stimulates the development of the lower part of the baby’s face. The best part was I lost my excess weight. I was slim. The baby’s suckling stimulates the breasts and helps speed the return of the uterus to its former size and condition. Breastfeeding is very important method of contraception. The hormone prolactin which is secreted by the anterior pituitary gland in response to baby’s suckling has an anovulatory effect. In many societies sexual abstinence is practised during lactation amenorrhoea. This too helps to increase the birth interval.
Sometimes I felt uncomfortable, tired , nervous and irritable but it was my fault. The food is very important for a nursing mother.
Once I had mastitis. My grandma advised that my child can only rescue me from this problem. Continuous breastfeeding only helped me from the pain.
Breast milk is good for health and to be fed excessively till the start of supplementary feeding to the child. It can be gradually reduced after the child is six month old and can be further reduced when the child is a year old and then stopped gradually. Mother’s diet and health is more important at this stage.
In spite of the advantages of breastfeeding it should not be done if the mother’s or father’s attitude toward it is not good . The love the baby receives during a feeding period is far more important than the method of feeding.