March 13 2017 was the day I met my little angel who gave me a second life. The labor and delivery was a scintillating experience for me as a first time mommy. All throughout my pregnancy, I constantly kept myself occupied reading about the various ways people enjoyed being pregnant. I followed fellow blogger mommies who had different views on everything relating to pregnancy. Right from the tests, scan, food, workouts, and leisure time; my choices were abundant and I had plenty to choice from.
But, the one thing that was constantly running in my subconscious mind- VAGINAL DELIVERY and BREASTFEEDING.
That is also the time I started reading about breastfeeding. I also got to know there were classes for learning about various positions to feed the baby and that can be taken even before the delivery. There are also few hospitals who offer this as part of their package to expecting clients. Well, living in the 21st century, this is not something to be surprised of. This would not have been possible for our ancestors- say even our moms.
When I told my mom about this, she found it interesting and gave me a go ahead. Though we do have the elders guiding us through their experiences, they still agree on things like these.
A breastfeeding class can introduce us to some of the different positions and offer some reassurance that breastfeeding is not something that’s going to happen immediately. Baby and us are both going to need some time to get the hang of it.
The ‘Womanly Art of Breastfeeding’ is a wonderful book to start with, in case you do not have time to attend to classes.
These classes teach us about the different latches, feeding cues, and stomach size.
It is very important to get the first latch properly. This is done immediately in the labor room. My God, I really felt I was in heaven when I felt her lips. What more does a mother want?
And ladies, in case you are attending the classes birthing/ breastfeeding don’t forget to take your husbands. It is extremely necessary they accompany us, not just as moral support, but to get to know and be supportive.
I initially had little struggles with making my daughter feed, I was very worried about it. But, I did not give up. The main thing to focus during this time is not to fall into depression and not to lose hope. I strongly kept saying within me that I can feed my baby, I can satisfy her hunger needs, and I can do it. This positive vibe really did wonders, and slowly I starting seeing changes and feeding time became relaxing for both, me and my baby. Feeding with keeping the baby in the baby carrier was another blessing in this era. Though feeding in public is still a big “WHAT THE” in this society making a lot of heads turn, the carrier made it easier.
As the months passed, I noticed that she needed much more than only milk. That is when I decided to wean. I started with porridge and fruit purees. She had an instant liking. We can start this once the head gets the support and the baby can balance the head-neck. Apple purees, finger millet, and rice porridge were becoming her favourites.
SO, what is BLW or baby led weaning then?
We can start letting the baby taste and feel the textures by giving them small portions. Self-feeding improves hand-eye coordination. Baby learns to swallow, lick, and chew. Once the baby starts sprouting the first tooth, we can offer finger foods like carrots and beans. Take care to not feed nuts/peanuts as it may lead to choking.
Eating with the family is a great practice that can be cultivated as early as 8 months. The baby can watch others eat, so that they get to learn what and how.
And ladies, you can still continue breast feeding until the child is one. Nobody can stop you from that!
Related read : Baby led weaning.