BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC-MY EXPERIENCE

So when we talk about Breastfeeding and normalising it one of the most controversial topic that crops up is “breastfeeding in public”,I thought to take this weeks celebration as an oppurtunity to talk about breastfeeding in public and my experience so far.

I like travelling and weekends are only fun if we are out and if you have read my last post MY BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY you would know that my son’s primary diet and soother till now are breasts. But that has never stopped me from venturing out or going for dinners or for that matter stopped myself from venturing into the streets for shopping or long walks.

I would not say that I was comfortable breastfeeding in public initially.It took me a while to get comfortable and get out of my own mind block of people are watching.

But before I write about my experience I would like to thank my parents, sister and my husband who have constantly worked on making me comfortable.I was very nervous the first time we went for a dinner and Nirvaan got cranky and I was scolded by my mother saying either you stay at home or be comfortable feeding in public.

Since then I don’t think I have ever felt nervous or refused to feed in a place where people are around.Breastfeeding in public or at any place is a personal choice and should be respected.A mother’s primary concern is her child be it any place that can’t change just because she is in a public place her right to feed her baby should not be questioned or looked down upon.

My Experience 

Initially when Nirvaan was an infant my outings honestly were to the places where feeding was comfortable like to a mall where there are feeding rooms or to the restraunts where we used to book the corner tables for extra privacy.Nirvaan made his maiden flight travel when he was just one and half months old and we did quite well with the feeding rooms at the airport and the window seat.Feeding an infant in public is honestly easier.All I did was to either use a cloak or a long shrug as I couldn’t feed him without looking at him.

I have fed him in parks , airport very much infront of people but always with a cover on that is my idea of being comfortable in public .

The real challenge I faced or rather face during feeding in public places is with a toddler who doesn’t want to keep the cover on him and also breastfeeding for us is not just breastfeeding it is a bonding time where Nirvaan loves to hear the sweet nothings I tell him and also he demands a lot of skin contact even till now.So in public places where he gets really cranky I don’t feel like feeding him out in open and honestly I prefer washrooms if there are no feeding areas.That gives me the required privacy and also gives him the required comfort.I find nothing wrong in it but yes one should not be forced to feed in washrooms when they are comfortable anywhere.

Well washrooms have been my last options I usually rush to clothing store and use their changing rooms and those are the best ūüėČ or if he is sleepy feeding him is easier in public .

I don’t bother those looks and till date have never stopped myself because of those looks.

I feel like if my breastfeeding makes someone uncomfortable then they should just avoid looking at me and can take a walk as I have not sat down for them to stare at me. You don’t like it then move on why bother looking and getting uncomfortable watching a baby having food. 

The whole idea of breastfeeding in public comes down to just one point of being comfortable whether with a cover or in the washroom it should be you who should be the decision maker not the people around.

For the beginners I just have one tip be confident you will get those looks even if the baby cries inconsolably,so just don’t bother and go ahead breastfeed any where  you feel comfortable.

HAPPY BREASTFEEDING MOMMIES 

I would highly recommend to check fellow mommy Natantara’s blog post on breastfeeding which is a complete guide for new moms click below to read it

http://mommyingbabyt.com/first-30-days-breastfeeding-new-moms-need-see-success/

Don’t forget to share your experiences down below in the comment section would love to know your breastfeeding experience in public .

 

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MY BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY

This post is not just about my Breastfeeding journey but more about my journey as a mother.The journey which started as a painful experience and nothing to cherish about, which started with me questioning my ability to become  forget good but a mother all together.

Read about my initial breastfeeding story My Story-Breastfeeding and the sore nipples and get to know what I am talking about when I say it was painful.

After the initial teething issue we both faced as a new mother and baby N as a new baby we evolved as a better team.We understood each other better in the terms of need and attachment.So the first six months went on smooth with both of us becoming expert in the matter of breastfeeding .Then came the phase of tasting the real food directly and we did pretty well here too.Initial food introduction was a hit Baby N would never fuss and eat so well and I thought I am the luckiest mother on this earth with every mother complaining about their child being picky eater.

I joined office and Baby N was doing well with expressed milk, pureed food, and me coming during lunch time to feed him.It was at 8 months that my sabbatical started and we moved in a different country altogether.Initially when he refused to eat I thought its the change and I should give him time but it went on for almost a month, he would not even take a single spoon of food and will only asked to be fed with breast milk.I started loosing it as it was taking a toll on my life with an almost 9 month old healthy baby with a good appetite feeding on me day in day out.

There has not been a single day when I didn’t discuss his feeding issues with my mother and my sister and there has not been a single day when they have not told me that he is just doing fine and its a phase.My mother would quote my brothers example who was breastfed for ¬†3 yrs ¬†and was least interested in real food and my sister would quote her son’s example who till the age of one even refused to take real food.

It went on till 10 months and finally I decided to take  it as it is.I stopped forcing him to eat and partially adopted baby led weaning.why partially because Nirvaan asks to be spoon fed now so we are not exclusively into baby led weaning.And my life was much easier after I accepted the fact that me being around makes the real food less interesting.

Till one year I was quite relaxed with him being exclusively breastfed.Infact it was a boon in the vacation we went on his birthday .I didn’t worry about his food and he was one happy water baby there.

After his first birthday I noticed that he was showing interest in eating the finger foods and many other food items by himself and I was relaxed that finally things are working and getting into track.But I was completely unaware about the monster named Teething and it happened when we were all settled and eating well.Teething happened at 14 months and He stopped eating and was again into exclusive breastfeeding.

Exclusive breastfeeding and a cranky baby who wants to bite your nipples to ease his teething pain is a worst combination.It was an emotional phase where I thought it is better for both of us if he is weaned off the breast completely.There has been so many moments when I felt like Why me ? I see other moms with kids of same age roaming around wearing their favourite dress and here I am struck with my baby who still wants to be fed like a new born.But Thankfully those feelings were momentary and I made up mind to be the mother he wants me to be.Not forcing him to eat and feeding him on demand.

And today at 21 months when I look back I seriously think why did I fuss over a 9 month old not eating ? I laugh at myself thinking how stupid of me to think of weaning him off his primary diet at that age.

And are we working on our weaning journey ? No not yet we are just gonna enjoy this beautiful journey of breastfeeding as long as we can.May be next year at this time I might just talk about weaning while we would be celebrating the World breastfeeding week.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week to all the mothers who have  fed love to the little ones through breastfeeding and to  the mothers who  have fed all the love through the bottle.A big salute to all of you for being what you are and being best at it.

Also check the inspiring journey of Karuna and Baby K on how she started with formula and still breastfeeds baby K at two plus

http://nameplaceanimalthing.in/2017/08/07/chose-extended-breastfeeding-2-year-old/

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How to keep the baby awake while breastfeeding

It is very important for the baby to have a full feed as this will ensure proper nutrition and at the same time setting a longer sleep routine becomes easier when the baby is full.This means less hungry cranky wake up sessions.But how to keep the master dreamers awake, when what lulls them to sleep is the breast.Here are few tips which will help you keep those tiny little eyes if not open but awake for a full feed.

1.Switch the breasts while feeding the moment you sense the baby is dozing off to sleep.

2.Burp the baby in between.

3.Tickle the baby’s feet, thighs, tummy ,cheeks by running your fingers gently.

4.Stroke the baby’s head gently, this is one of the reflex that the babies have,Stroking their head makes them suckle.

5.Try to change the position after sometime this will wake the baby up and will give you some relief from sitting in the same position for long.

Benefits of full feed and why it is important to keep the baby awake for a full feed

The breastmilk has two component Fore Milk and Hind Milk these are not different kind of milk produced but the same with the difference in fat content.The milk that comes first is the fore milk and the milk which comes last is the hind milk ;which is rich in fats as compared to fore milk which has a lesser percentage of fats.A full feed means empty breast which means the baby get the desired fat required for the weight gain.Secondly fat will keep the baby’s tummy full for a longer duration.

A well fed baby will not only sleep for longer duration but also be less cranky.This will help in setting the routine for the baby which includes sleeping longer duration during nights.

Lastly,If none of the above mentioned techniques works out for you try to wake your baby every half an hour for a feed initially .Make the baby sleep on the bed instead of your lap.This will wake the baby up.Later on once the baby starts taking little longer feeds you can try the above mentioned tips.

Ways to get relief from sore nipples

In continuation to my last post My Story-Breastfeeding and the sore nipples , I thought to share the ways I got rid of sore nipples and also got relief while breast feeding.

Sore nipples during the initial stage of breast feeding is very common and experienced by almost all ,I envy you if you are amongst the few who didn’t have to go through it ;).And if you are one of those fighting the battle just try the methods I used to get relief from the sore nipples and eventually mastered the skill of breast feeding along with my baby.

First and the most important thing to do is while breast feeding is to make your baby learn how to latch.When the baby is hungry he will get up and start feeding without properly latching to the breast.This causes abrasion of the nipples with the most hard surface of the mouth of the baby and hence they get sore.

If you feel the pain while breastfeeding that means the baby has not latched properly.Insert your fore finger from the side corners of the mouth of the baby and try to remove your breast by losing the grip of the baby.Never try to pull your breast away as it will leave you with more pain and abrasion.I did it once and it worsened the situation as my baby got cranky and my nipple was badly hurt.

While you latch the baby while feeding make sure you insert the nipple along with areolae into the mouth of the baby ,it is very important that the baby latches on the areolae .Reason is simple when the baby latches nipples along with areolae the nipples touches the most soft part of the mouth and the hard part is touched by areolae as areolae is not a sensitive part it doesn’t get ¬†hurt while feeding.

If your nipples are sore and hurting make sure you offer the breast which hurt the least first to the baby.

Apply coconut oil on regular interval to your nipples.This will help your nipples stay hydrated and will avoid drying , dry nipples get sore easily.

As I mentioned in my last post use a nip shield .I highly recommend a Nip Shield if the pain is unbearable and you are thinking of quitting and switching to formula.Give Nip Shield a try.With my personal experience I can recommend this, It will help your nipples recover and will help the baby learn to latch without hurting you.

There are creams available in the market for sore nipples like nip cure or nip care, take advise from your doctor and use it.Make sure you wipe the cream off with a wet cloth before offering your baby feed.I use to apply in one and offer the baby other and the next time would offer the other and apply on the other one. It was difficult for me to apply on both as my baby would get up every half an hour or one hour for feed.

Apply your breast milk to the nipples after every feed. The hind milk is rich in anti bacteria  and helps in healing.

Try to feed as frequently as possible, I know it is difficult and pain makes it almost impossible but believe me the more you feed in fact the more frequently you feed more the baby learns to latch properly and also will be less hungry. Less hunger means making the baby learn latching by removing breast and re-attaching will be easier.

Try and try until you succeed just remember that it is new for both of you and the best way is to give each other some time and learn it together.

Hope my tips would help you get rid of the pain and will make your breast feeding journey a little easier.

 

 

My Story-Breastfeeding and the sore nipples

Sore nipples are some thing every female experiences at some point of her life.But if the sore nipples are due to breast feeding believe me there is nothing more painfull,emotionally and physically.I had a normal delivery and I thought the pain at least the physical  is over but to my shock there was much in the store for me.

I can’t forget the first time I fed my little baby it was a mixed feeling of joy and anxiety.Joy of being a mother and anxious if I was producing any milk for him.While he was trying hard himself to learn the tricks of trade, I was busy counting his toes, fingers totally unaware of the battle that was ahead of both of us.

The second day we were home and I could feel the pain in my nipples already,I thought since it is new and there are lot of hormonal changes I am feeling the pain and it will go away eventually.During my pregnancy I read a lot about breastfeeding and was aware about the basic facts like latching and since my baby was feeding properly I never thought that latching would be an issue.It was the second day, every time my baby latched I felt the pain and slowly my nipples were sore.As it was only the second day and my baby was feeding on colostrum every one said that it will be better once the milk starts coming and it will start in a day or two.

It was the third day my nipples were sore and bleeding and I could see the blood on my baby’s lips while he would feed and was cursing myself for not being able to feed him properly.That night I cried while my husband was consoling me and asking me to be patient as it is a new beginning and was motivating me to fight with the teething issues at the same time saying sorry as ¬†I had to go through all this alone.Honestly I did not cry that night because of the pain I was going through I cried of the guilt that every time my baby woke up I dreaded feeding him ,I felt guilty for being selfish ,he was completely dependent on me and all I thought was about the pain and not about him.But honestly today I don’t feel guilty at all and would suggest the same to all mothers out there fighting the same issue, Don’t feel guilty its ok if you are unable to do a certain thing your baby will just do fine, feeling guilty will make it worse. Believe me feeling guilty is the worst thing you can do to ¬†you as well as to your child.In guilt you might just jump into conclusions and give up trying, thinking yourself as a failure.I wanted to give up too but it was the family and my husband who made me believe and stick to it.It is important to have ¬†support system , don’t shy away from sharing your plight everyone goes through it ,sharing helps.

It was the fifth day when the milk started coming and it made my situation worse as I experienced hardness and pain increased.I would cry and feed the baby and just remember my mother saying ‘it will be alright’.I had options I was aware and they were readily available but honestly I wanted to breastfeed my baby.Now when I look back I wonder what came into me and why I didn’t give up.When you are a mother you are a different person,thats not you in my case I can say the mother part of me is not me but ¬†some selfless creation of nature which forgets me when it comes to my baby.

So while we were struggling I was introduced to nip shield by my Doctor.By 7th day I started using it.There are many pros and cons of nip shield .But I remember just one thing while using it ” Feeding through Nip shield is better than no Breastfeeding”.It took us 7 more days by the time my baby was 15 days old he mastered the skill of latching and slowly ¬†my nipples started recovering.We used the nip shield for a month almost and unlike the popular belief associated with nipple rejection my baby just did well with and without it.He never rejected be it with or without nip shield.

I can never forget the emotional and physical pain I went through but I am happy I sticked to it and is still breastfeeding happily till now.

Also read  WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK.