Dear moms-to-be, join breastfeeding classes for expert advice | fitness | Hindustan Times
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Dear moms-to-be, join breastfeeding classes for expert advice

Ever heard of a lactation expert? That’s the person you need to go to for classes on breastfeeding.

fitness Updated: Aug 03, 2017 11:42 IST
A majority of mothers have the capacity to produce adequate breast milk for their baby/ babies.
A majority of mothers have the capacity to produce adequate breast milk for their baby/ babies.(Shutterstock)

‘Get set before you go’ is what a lactation consultant interprets on the importance of pregnancy breastfeeding classes. Before embarking on one of the most important journey of our lives i.e. parenting, it is important to acquire knowledge about breastfeeding.

On World Breastfeeding Week, Dr Shacchee Baweja, lactation consultation, BLK Super Specialty Hospital, says, “There is a concept in our society that breastfeeding is a natural thing and should happen on its own. But if this is true, then why do we have such lower breastfeeding rates? I commonly meet moms, who are either not able to feed their babies or face so many challenges that they get disheartened and give up.”

She adds that it is not due to a lack of will or effort on the mother’s part. “A majority of mothers have the capacity to produce adequate breast milk for their baby/ babies. With correct knowledge and guidance, breastfeeding can be one of the happiest phases in a mother’s life,” she says.

Bottle feeding can cause stomach upset for the baby. (Shutterstock)

According to Dr Baweja, the main problem is the lack of correct knowledge and skilled breastfeeding support. Antenatal breastfeeding education or pregnancy breastfeeding classes are not a new concept in India. In olden times, when the joint family system was the norm, pregnant ladies were taught about the basics of pregnancy and breastfeeding. There used to be many females in the family in different stages of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and it used to be learning experience for would-be mothers.

With so many myths prevalent in our society about breastfeeding and a lack of skilled lactation support, these classes have become a necessity. It is recommended that all pregnant ladies should acquire knowledge and practical skills about breastfeeding during pregnancy. And those who are knowledgeable about breastfeeding have better breastfeeding experiences as compared to ladies who are unprepared.

On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (observed between August 1 to 7), Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, gynecologist and obstetrician, Nurture IVF Centre says, “Breastfeeding positively affects the health of the newborn but protects the mother from various fatal disease such as breast and ovarian cancer. The first feeding after birth contains pre-milk, colostrums, which protects the baby from various illnesses.”

Due to lifestyle issues and busy work schedules, many women give up breastfeeding after just three to six months. And many rely on formula feeding which leads to an increased risk of obesity during early childhood. “Bottle feeding is the major reason of stomach upset of the baby,” says Baweja.

An antenatal breastfeeding class offers guidance for mothers about anticipated situations and signs of effective breast-feeding or breastfeeding problems, the benefits of breastfeeding to mother and baby, the correct positioning to help the infant latch onto the breast effectively, and common concerns. These classes provide breastfeeding education, which is over and above the information given as part of standard doctor visits during pregnancy.

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