Just like getting pregnant is a very exciting phase of life, the next step is breastfeeding the little one. Every mother wants to nurse her child as it has countless benefits and advantages for both the mother and the baby. In fact WHO and other renowned organizations emphasize exclusive breastfeeding of the baby for the first six month. But like every mother’s pregnancy journey is different, likewise not all mothers can nurse their baby as easily and conveniently as others can. Some mothers have insufficient milk supply and in order to boost milk supply they need herbal lactation supplements and other sources. Some mothers face latching issues, some children are too weak to suck from the breasts and various other reasons can hinder the process.
Any of the above reasons can make a mother feel guilty for not being able to do the most important job a mother is responsible for which is- nourishing and feeding her baby. Today’s mothers are very well aware of the numerous benefits of exclusive breastfeeding of the baby. They have all kinds of sources, courses and resources to ensure they are well prepared for this task. But for some reason if a mother is unable to nurse her child, guilt, depression and feeling of being a failure washes over her, belittling her and crushing her completely. Well, the secret to a healthy happy baby is a healthy happy mother, so all the new mothers out there- “it’s okay if you can’t breastfeed your baby despite trying your best!”
Don’t feel Guilty at all!
Some mothers don’t have a sufficient supply of milk and in order to increase milk supply they are ready to try anything but end up exhausted and even more disheartened. Some mothers, no matter how hard they try, aren’t able to get their baby latch to their breasts, they end up being, sore, bruised and in a lot of pain but this breastfeeding guilt hampers them to give up. Some mothers have to get back to their jobs and couldn’t exclusively nurse their child so they have to introduce formula milk, which is fine and totally understandable. Don’t let anyone make you feel that you’re not a good mother or you’re a selfish mother. The most important thing is that your baby is well nourished, is gaining weight steadily, sleeps fine at night and you have a strong bond with the little one.
Give Formula Milk without any Hesitation
We have heard this over and over again that breastmilk is the best milk for the child. Mother’s milk is alive just like the baby, it changes its consistency, components and composition as per the needs of the baby. Initially its thick and yellow enriched with immunity boosters, after a few weeks it’s more packed with proteins, less thick and yellow and after 2-3 months it is more water based and has various other essential vitamins and minerals just in the perfect amount. We also know that the formula milk does provide many essential nutrients and mimics breast milk as far as it can. Although the formula milk container clearly states that it’s no way better or even close to the breast milk it does provide a good balance of nutrients and should be used if the breastfeeding isn’t working for you without a speck of doubt or remorse.
How to Beat the Guilt and Enjoy the Time?
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that breastfeeding isn’t the only way to create a bond with your child. Yes it sure is a very good and effective way but no way the only way, so stop fretting. Don’t let this guilt of not being able to nurse your child bog you down with unnecessary remorse, hindering in creating the best memories and enjoying the little things like those smiles, coos, tons of kisses and hugs. But if you’re really feeling the weight of the guilt you need to keep reminding yourself of a few things.
Firstly, if you’re not able to nurse your baby, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be a good mother or are lacking in some way. Secondly, guilt and remorse are both negative emotions which can take a toll on your mental health, so make sure you don’t dwell too much on this emotion as it will only worsen the situation. This guilt will hamper in creating your bond with your child. If you continuously try to force your breast on the baby, it will make you dread nurse time, your child and the whole situation. On the other hand, the baby will also feel exhausted, cranky which will lead to an unhappy and unsatisfied baby. Thirdly, you have to keep reminding yourself that your baby needs you, your love, your undivided attention and not only your breasts of milk.
How to Mimic the Benefits of Breastfeeding while Bottle Feeding the Child?
Boost Immunity- One of the first major benefits provided by the breastmilk is immunity. The first milk from the breast called colostrum is jam packed with immunity boosters, so you can mimic that by getting all the vaccinations on time, washing hands whenever touching the baby, no kissing on the face, sterilize the bottles, nipple and pacifiers and make sure to keep them safe in hiding when in crowds.
Bonding with the Baby- this is the hardest part of the mother as breastfeeding helps in decreasing postpartum depression and excretes feel-good emotions in the brain. But you can still mimic that by feeding the bottle to the baby every time he/she is hungry. Make sure you hold, feed, play, cuddle, smile, kiss, hug and sleep with the baby as much as you can and you’ll create an unbreakable bond with each other.
Raise IQ Level- breastmilk makes your baby intelligent, you can also make your child a prodigy by reading books, encouraging them to ask questions, limit their screen time and do productive activities with them. The best lactaion consultant in Singapore at Mother & Child were extremely helpful.
Mothers need to understand that feeling guilty for not feeding your baby will do no good to either of them. Try the best you can, eat herbal lactation supplements to increase milk supply but if it doesn’t work, stop feeling guilty!