Millennial mothers have different challenges than mothers of previous generations, so when I got this opportunity speak with renowned gynaecologist Dr, Asawari Dongre, I was only too keen to share my learnings with you all.
It was an enlightening session and Dr. Asavari was only too happy to answer the plethora of questions that we had.
Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby and Mother
After 6 months, you may start to wean baby on to solids while continuing to breastfeed till the age of 1 or 2 years or even longer as per your convenience and wish.
- Breastmilk protects babies against allergies, sickness, and obesity by providing antibodies from mothers body to baby’s body.
- Breastmilk is the most suitable food for a newborn and is almost completely digested. It does not cause problems like constipation or diarrhoea.
- Breastmilk protects baby against infections, like ear infections..
- Babies have healthier weights as they grow. I have shared my story about how my baby thrived after exclusive breastfeeding even though she was a low birthweight baby.
- Research has also shown that breastfed babies have higher IQs.
Not just babies, but mothers who breastfeed also have numerous benefits:
- Breastfeeding can help mother burn 300-500 calories each day, thus helping them to reach their pre-pregnancy weight.
- Breastfeeding is the best and most natural way to bond with your child.
- Have a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes and certain cancers such as breast cancer
Challenges faced by millennial mothers
Even though millennial mothers are older, more experienced, more mature, and savvier than ever before, they also face numerous challenges.
- Earlier women were shamed or otherwise discouraged from breastfeeding in public, or even from breastfeeding at all. Millennial moms, prefer to breastfeed at higher rates than recent generations.
- But finding a secluded place in public may not be easy and also may not be comfortable for everyone. I remember how I used to get back to the car to breastfeed my daughter every time we ventured out with her.
- Moms also have to get back to work soon after delivery, which may make breastfeeding regularly a challenge. One of my friends had to resort to substitutes simply because she had no option of coming back to feed her baby. This impacted her breastmilk supply and she could not continue it despite wanting to breastfeed as long as possible.
Such challenges can be addressed by the use of breast pumps which are becoming increasingly common these days. We were quite curious to know doctor’s opinion about the use of breast pumps and she recommended them whole heartedly.
A breast pump is a blessing for mothers like my friend, who can pump and store milk so that baby can take breastmilk even when mum is not around. But its advantages are not only limited to working mums, even stay at home mothers can use a pump to store milk and ask an attendant to give a feed when needed while catching up on some me-time. I remember doing this when I had to go for check ups and could anticipate being away for more than 2 hours.
Benefits of using breast pumps
A breast pump also comes in handy if the baby can’t latch well (where the child is unable to suckle or hold on to the nipples of its mother) but the mother is lactating enough to produce good quality of milk. This is what happened to me and I am glad I used a breast pump n advice by the lactation consultant.
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.
Continuous pumping can also save a new mother from the clutches of engorgement and the heaviness of breasts.
Breast pumps can also be very handy if you are mum to twins.
Can breast pump replace breastfeeding completely?
No, mother needs to continue to breastfeed baby whenever possible to ensure optimum breastmilk supply as well as for other benefits like bonding with baby.
Is any breast pump suitable for all mothers?
No, breast pumps work on the principle of suction and pressure and not every women’s body is the same. Some women may have more sensitive nipples and may need less suction pressure, while others may need more pressure to pump milk. Improper suction pressure is the main reason for discomfort while pumping.
On asking for a recommendation, Dr. Asawari recommended Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump with SFR Technology gives more comfort in pumping breast milk. SFR technology solves mothers’ problems due to single suction level. Each mother can adjust pump’s suction level according to her own body’s response and allow finding her own best suction strength. So that it helps mothers to express more milk.
There are 5 levels of suction pressures in Little’s Comfort Manual Breast Pump, which can be adjusted as per mother’s individual need. It has two modes of expressing milk – stimulation and expression. This helps mothers to express more milk naturally. The pump has silicone massaging pads which ensure gentle and delicate expression of milk. All breast pump parts are BPA free which make it safe for the baby.
How can pumped breastmilk be stored and for how long?
Doctor recommended that breastmilk can be pumped out and stored in refrigerator for 4-6 hours and can be frozen for upto a week.
When giving stored breastmilk to baby, you must bring it to room temperature and warm it slightly in warm water and give to baby. Never ever heat breastmilk directly.
How should one maintain breast pump hygiene?
Breast pumps can be dismantled into smaller pieces and should be regularly washed and sterilised like all baby utensils.
How long can one Breast pump be used. As in can it be cleaned and sealed and re-used for second child?
Yes, a breast pump can be washed, cleaned, sterilised and used any number of times as long as it is not damaged.
These were some of the insights from the session that we had. If you have any more questions, do let us know and we will try to answer them for you.