Hey Moms, Have Breastfeeding Questions? Here Are Your Answers 

Hey Moms! We got a neonatologist to answer all your questions on breastfeeding.

Updated01 Aug 2020, 07:10 AM IST
Health News
3 min read

It’s World Breastfeeding Week 2020 and despite the progress, breastfeeding and breasts in itself are shrouded in confusion, often shame, and many questions.

Motherhood is called the toughest job in the world, so we hope to lift some of the burden and answer some burning questions.

“Just put your nipple in the baby’s mouth, it’s very easy”. “Don’t create a fuss, you just need to feed the baby!”. “Just feed your baby every time he cries!”

If you’re a new mom, you’re given unsolicited advice by the dozen on breastfeeding. Some are sensible, some are impractical and some just make you go what-the-F***!

We've got your back. FIT compiled a list of questions that new moms normally have about breastfeeding and got a neonatologist (a doctor who takes care of newborn infants) to answer them for you.

Hear it from Dr Vidya Gupta, Senior Neonatology Consultant at Indraprastha Apollo:

Q: Why is breastfeeding important?

Breastfeeding is important because breast milk is the best kind of food for the newborns. Breast milk has so many advantages that can never be replicated by any kind of a formula. Which is why it is very important that all mothers breastfeed their babies from birth so that they start early and get enough milk.

Q: Does breastfeeding reduce the risk of breast cancer?

If you are breastfeeding, it does not in any way ensure that you will not develop breast cancer. That is an absolute myth!

Q: How often should a mother breastfeed?

The mother should breastfeed the baby on demand. If the baby is crying, if the baby seems hungry, if the baby is not settling despite changing the diaper, or even after cuddling – then the baby should be breast fed.

In the first few weeks, the babies need to be breast fed every one-two hours. Slowly this increases to about three hours intervals.

Q: How to improve lactation?

The first thing you need to do is to relax. Try and stop worrying about whether or not you are lactating.

Second, drink lots and lots of water. Keep yourself properly hydrated so that there is enough water in the body to actually make the milk.

Third, eat a normal diet. Most importantly, feed the baby frequently and allow the baby to suckle. The more the breast empties out, the more the milk is produced.

Q: Are breast pumps safe to use?

Breast pumps are useful and convenient. The problem rears its head when the baby gets confused with the bottle and the breast in the first few weeks. The technique for sucking from the bottle and the breast is very different and the baby gets confused.

Q: Is it good to freeze breast milk?

Freezing/expressing milk does not in any way change the nutritional or the immunological advantages of breast milk. Boiling will remove all the nutrients. Make sure when you store the milk, you keep it in the fridge for 24 hours. You can also keep it in deep freeze for 2-6 weeks.

For consumption, defrost it slowly and warm it up slightly so that the baby does not drink very cold milk.

(World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated from 1st-7th August every year to encourage new mothers to breastfeed their children and increase awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. FIT is republishing this story from the archives.)

Video Editor: Puneet Bhatia

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Published: 01 Aug 2017, 07:29 AM IST
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