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Breastfeeding advantages and disadvantages

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

One of the best quotes I came across on breastfeeding - “If my breastfeeding offends you, feel free to put a blanket over your head”.


My breastfeeding journey

I struggled for the initial week to even hold my baby. Had no clue how to hold the baby, but I had decided that I will breastfeed her. I needed some guidance but did not get much during the initial days.


She was not latching at all. Every time I tried to feed her, she would fall asleep. I was scared to wake her up, she was so tiny and so delicate. I was sometimes even scared to hold her hands, thinking where I might hurt her.


But we did not give up. Yes, we (my sister, my husband, and I) had decided to feed her breastmilk at any cost. So, we took a spoon and hand expressed my breastmilk and started feeding her.


You will not believe the satisfaction she had after drinking the milk and used to sleep so peacefully. By the third week, my daughter was latching herself well and sometimes I used to be overproducing the milk. But, all was well and I continued to feed till she turned 2 years and 3 months after which she stopped taking milk.


The best advice I got from a friend of mine is to first feel comfortable breastfeeding anywhere. She had told me, anywhere anytime your baby is hungry, you should not hesitate to breastfeed. You have to attend to your child first and not worry about anyone else. This really kept me going.


I had my share of troubles and sleepless nights are unavoidable. I had tried bottle feeding her but I felt it was a hassle to do all the bottle cleaning. For me breastfeeding was convenient, wherever I went, I opted to breastfeed her. All I needed was a place to sit and feed her. I carried a cloth with me to cover myself if I wanted to.


You have to take a decision on how you want to feed your baby. If you are clear in your mind, then everything else just settles in.





Hurdles of breastfeeding

  • Your mindset. You have to prepare yourself for the breastfeeding journey. You can do this by speaking with a professional (lactation consultant) and clearing all your queries and fears.

  • FREE ADVICE! People around you are waiting to give you free advice that can affect your confidence. It is best to not entertain anyone while you breastfeed the baby unless you are comfortable with that person being around.

  • Improper latching can cause nipple soreness or cracked nipples. Whenever you face any issues, it is best to treat the core cause.

  • Your emotional and physical health can also affect you in your breastfeeding journey. It is important to take care of yourself first, then can you take care of your baby.

  • Initially, some women may feel uncomfortable breastfeeding, it is okay. You will feel better as the days pass. Once you get comfortable, breastfeeding can be a relaxing time for you.

  • Leaking breasts can also make some women uncomfortable, for obvious reasons. Do not worry, once breastfeeding is established, leaking will stop. You can express breastmilk whenever you feel your breasts are engorged and tight.


Advantages of breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding is not only beneficial for the baby but also for you. It helps you connect emotionally with the baby.

  • It helps in the contraction of the uterus and in turn, helps in regaining to its near previous size.

  • Breastmilk is easily digestible for your baby. This is natural food and custom prepared for your baby.

  • It is economical and convenient. Economical because you need not buy anything for baby’s food, convenient because even when you go out, you need not worry about preparing the formula or sanitizing the bottle.

  • In some women, breastfeeding acts as a natural birth controller by delaying the periods.

  • Night-time feeding can be convenient. You can feed the baby in a lying-down position as well.

  • Breastfeeding helps in developing a stronger immune system as breastmilk consists of antibodies produced by the mother.

  • Some women tend to lose the extra fat as their body burns calories while breastfeeding.


Disadvantages of breastfeeding

  • While it is the best food that a baby can get, it can be very traumatic for some mothers to keep up with the expectations.

  • If your career profile is expecting you to be at the office even before 6 months, then it can be difficult to continue the breastfeeding routine.

  • Not all women are comfortable breastfeeding outside the home. This can impact a few mothers emotionally.

  • The societal pressure of breastfeeding can impact mothers who are unable to breastfeed due to medical or non-medical reasons.

  • It can get really difficult if there is no support system during the breastfeeding journey.

  • You need to eat healthy food especially when you are breastfeeding. Not that you can eat anything otherwise.

  • It can get tiring and exhausting especially during the nights.

  • Most importantly, you cannot do this all alone. You need a support system to support you while you breastfeed.


Seek help

  • Do not hesitate to ask for help when you need extra hands.

  • Breastfeeding can be exhausting and you need support to take care of the baby.

  • Do not wait till the issue worsens, seek help early.

  • You can also express breastmilk and ask your partner or someone else to feed the baby while you try to get some rest.

  • Do not stress yourself into anything. Remember, you need to be well so that you can be around the baby and to take in every moment with your baby.


Every woman’s breastfeeding journey is different. Do not compare yourself with other mothers. Do what you can and do not stress yourself, and most importantly do not feel guilty about the things you cannot do.


Take one day at a time. Take care!


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