You’ve gone through 9 grueling months of pregnancy and finally you get to hold your child in your arms. You learn to nurse your child and your doctor gives you plenty of information regarding the health aspects of breastfeeding. It’s only after a few days or weeks that you realize you have several practical problems and breastfeeding questions but you don’t know who to ask. Here are the answers to some of the most common questions on breastfeeding:
- What is the cut-off age for breastfeeding children?
Each baby is unique so there is no “right” cut-off age for breastfeeding. You can introduce your baby to solid foods at 6 months or so and start the weaning process anytime between 10 months to a year. Some women prefer to continue breastfeeding until their child is 2 years old.
- Which one is better – reusable or disposable nursing pads?
There are pros and cons to both so the best thing you can do is try each one and decide what works best for you. Disposable nursing pads are more convenient, especially if you don’t have the time to spend washing reusable nursing pads. However, reusable nursing pads are made from soft natural fibers so they are less likely to cause chaffing and provide better air circulation.
- Is it okay to warm breastmilk in the microwave?
Some people worry that a microwave will somehow destroy the nutrients in breastmilk but there is no truth to this. However, it is better not to warm breastmilk directly in the microwave as it might heat unevenly and this could cause burning or scalding. Instead, you can heat a small saucepan of water in the microwave and allow the milk bottle to stand in the water for a few minutes as this will warm the milk evenly.
- Is it okay to breastfeed in public?
While it is perfectly normal for a woman to breastfeed her baby in public in rural India, it is not a common sight in the cities. If you are at a shopping mall or a gymkhana and your little one needs to be fed, you can simply look for a quiet secluded corner and use a nursing shawl to give you the privacy you require.
- Can I go on a weight loss diet if I am still breastfeeding?
Many women gain quite a bit of excess weight while they are pregnant and once their baby is born they are eager to get healthy and fit once again. You can go on a post pregnancy weight loss diet as long as the diet is wholesome and not too restrictive. However, it is important to talk to your doctor before you make any changes to your diet plan.
- Is there a home cure for clogged or blocked milk ducts?
Blocked milk ducts can be very painful and many women feel reluctant to seek help hoping that the problem will go away by itself. In mild cases, applying a heating pad followed by a light massage can help to unblock the duct but if the pain and inflammation is severe, go to your doctor right away.
As a new mom, your responsibilities have increased tenfold and your baby is obviously your first priority. But it’s also important that you focus on your own health. Eat healthy and make the time to exercise on a daily basis as this will help you get through any lingering post-partum blues. Before you go to bed, spend a few minutes in quiet meditation as this will ease your stress and improve your sleep.
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