As Sruti and actor husband Nakkhul became parents to a baby girl, one year back, Sruti shared a heartfelt note on her social media with new parents about her journey as a breastfeeding mother to mark World Breastfeeding Week.
“It’s been one year since Akira was born and it’s also been a year where Nakul & I were also born as Parents. It also completes one year of exclusive breastfeeding for me. It also so happens that August 1st week is World Breastfeeding Week. This week I have just a few things I’d like to say to every single Mummas and Pappas!”
- Reading up exclusively and attending classes on lactation helped in busting myths and made me much more confident about what I was getting into. If my baby didn’t latch, I knew the right way to go about it and how to help the baby latch correctly.
- Golden Hour is truly golden. Right after Akira was born, she was immediately on my chest. Like the next second. In a matter of 20 minutes I got my stitches. While getting my stitches, she was still on my chest, skin to skin and she didn’t whine even a bit and was only observing my face. While I was cleaning up to get ready to nurse her, Papa was holding her skin to skin. After this, when I held her next to my breast, she just naturally latched on like a dream.
- The first 4 days I didn’t have “milk” like milky white things flowing out. I had good colostrums. Only on the 5th day I could actually see the breast milk. Also, I didn’t have any progesterone supplement tabs when I was pregnant.
- The first 3 months were the most exhausting. The long nursing hours, cluster feeding days , lack of proper sleep , fear and anxiety if I’m holding her right , if my breast is covering too much of her nose, is the let down too fast ? All these things were running in my mind.
- By the 4th month I was more confident. I was able to lie down next to her and feed her while she nursed for a longer time and I got to rest as well.
- There have been days when I’ve been overwhelmed, over stimulated because of nursing and cried because I didn’t feel like feeding any more. There have also been days when I admire her while she’s feeding and cried because one day she might wean off. It’s a never ending cycle of mixed emotions.
- As silly as it sounds, I’ve been scared to pump and give her milk because I used to think what if she didn’t drink from my breast after that? The fear that I might be replaced by a mere cup! My breast pump machine still sits unopened in my cupboard.
- I’ve eaten everything from day one. Every single thing I like but in moderation and whatever is in season. Babies get gassy, cranky and irritated for a million things. But no it’s mostly not because of what you ate.
- Yes she comfort feeds, she needs to nurse to fall asleep most times. No that does not mean you’re spoiling your child. She feeds on demand & Even after she started solids , she ALWAYS looks for me for a top up of milk right after her meal 😄
- Teething days are hard but it’s good to set your boundaries and tell them that it hurts when they bite. We think they may not understand and they just laugh. But trust me, babies know. There have been times when Akira has bitten me so badly while she’s teething, my natural reaction would obviously be to whine in pain. Once I unlatch her, I tell her calmly that it hurts me and that I’m going to feed her after a while. Sometimes she understands and sometimes she cries. But it’s okay. You don’t have to feel bad.
- Breastfeeding is just more than milk. It’s intense, it’s emotional, and it’s a different kind of bonding for both the mother and the baby. Also NO the size of your breast does not matter. And DONT FORGET TO PEE / POOP. Just don’t. Don’t hold it in. It’s okay for the baby to cry for a couple of minutes but go take that damn bathroom break.
- Last but not the least, there may be mommies who didn’t enjoy breastfeeding from day one, some who give formulas, some a mix of breast milk & formula. It does not matter. You do what works for your baby and you. Don’t let anyone shame for your decisions. You don’t owe any explanations to anyone. Trust your body & your mommy instincts.
“Also, all your daddies, it’s your child too. Yes, you can’t breastfeed them. That’s the only thing you won’t be able to do. But it’s nice when sometimes you’re also awake with the mommies when they’re up and feeding in the dead of the night. Giving company helps them to not feel lonely. Support your wife’s decisions and back her up when people try to give unsolicited / myth-based advice. It’s your duty equally to read up and learn about breastfeeding. Repeat after me- “Breastfeeding is not just ladies matter”. It’s hard; it needs dedication and a lot of help and support. It’s recommended by WHO to breastfeed for AT LEAST 2 years. So NO, it does not lose its nutritional value all of a sudden when the baby turns one”.
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