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Midwives and mothers are for breastfeeding and talk about this extraordinary experience

02 November 2010 / 11:11:13  GRReporter
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“Almost all mothers are born able to breastfeed - breastfeeding is the final stage of pregnancy. But feeding infants technically for so many years led to disastrous consequences for natural breastfeeding. Mothers have forgotten their own nature,” says the midwife Hara Tzahrista at a seminar on breastfeeding, which takes place at the obstetrics and gynecology department of Elena Venizelou hospital in Athens this week. “We encourage mothers to wash their breasts only with Ph neutral soap and not to use alcoholic products, because any intervention could change the Ph of the skin. Breastfeeding should begin as soon as possible after birth. The baby could be placed on the mother’s breast even before the umbilical cord is cut off and the baby will alone find the way to the breast within 30-60 seconds. The most important thing is the mother to be calm and comfortable when she breastfeeds. Of course, there is the correct positioning of the child to the breast, which is the only rule for successful breastfeeding,” told Ms. Tzahrista that read a lecture on the techniques of breastfeeding during the seminar for midwives and doctors on the occasion of the World Breastfeeding Week.  

“The first thing I felt when my child started to suck was relief that milk flew from my breast. I immediately felt tenderness, love, my maternal instinct woke up but I did not know what to do and felt slightly disturbed. Otherwise, my daughter - Maya was fed not with milk firstly but powdered milk since I gave birth through Caesarean operation and I was under anesthesia. So, the midwives had given her milk bottle. But it was very difficult when I had to breastfeed for the first time because neither I, nor Maya knew what to do. I was very nervous at first. I thought I would not handle. And this continued for a long time. So, our first steps were not very easy. But when she learned and began to eat, I felt incredible relief. And completeness. I was breastfeeding my child eight months. Then I stopped breastfeeding because the pediatrician said it was no more necessary and I was feeling exhausted already. But if the doctor had told me not to stop, I'd go on. His view was that the child should be weaned at some point. I do not know whether it was right or wrong, but at that moment I needed to relax and chose to follow his advice. But the strongest feelings since I was breastfeeding are infinite love and tenderness that you feel for your child. I did not work every day so that I was at home when I had to breastfeed and I am glad I did not have this kind of dilemmas.”

Mirto, 32-year-old mother of a 3-year-old girl

“Very strong and extraordinary feeling. Now I think I want to breastfeed until he is 20 (she is laughing). But my case was somewhat complicated because one of my nipples was inturned. I've decided even before the birth that I want to breastfeed. So, I got widely informed and almost turned stubborn about it. I did pretty well and I no longer have problems and continue to breastfeed. But it is an amazing experience that I do not want to end and if I'm well I'll try to breastfeed him while I have milk. The issue is that I started work when he turned three months and it troubled me a little. Now I feed him before I go out, but the good thing is that I’m not out for a long time – I go out for two to three hours and then go back home. I am a piano teacher – I tutor and I do not work eight hours a day. I leave my milk in the fridge when I'm out and my mother feeds him if he is hungry. It was quite a stress at the beginning, but it is a pity to give up and let the child not to breastfeed your milk. I went to a seminar in the hospital of Ipokratio before the childbirth where there were training methods for painless childbirth and two of the lessons were about breastfeeding. I feel that if I had not started breastfeeding I wouldn’t experience motherhood in the same way."

Tina, 33 years old, mother of 5-month-old boy

According to UNICEF, ten steps are necessary for successful breastfeeding:

1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.

2. Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.

3. Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.

4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within half an hour of birth.

5. Show mothers how to breastfeed, and how to maintain lactation even if they should be separated from their infants.

6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk, unless medically indicated.

7. Practise rooming-in - that is, allow mothers and infants to remain together - 24 hours a day.

8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand.

9. Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.

10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.

Breastfeeding advantages are undeniable for the child and the mother. One motto of the Breastfeeding Week is: “The child is born from the womb. The man – from the embrace.” Breastfeeding is the basis for the mental health of the child and helps to build a strong relationship between the mother and the child. Breast milk is not only indispensable food but also medicine that protects the newborn against many diseases. Allergies such as asthma, rhinitis, eczema, and diarrhea are less common in babies who are breastfeeding.

Young mothers wishing to breastfeed their children should follow a few tips:

- To learn how to breastfeed properly

- Be patient and insist

- To not influence by anyone - by wrong and irresponsible advice

- To take care to be in a good mood and be calm.

Tags: NewsBreastfeedingMothersNewbornsNatural feedingNatural birth
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