Is Stress Influencing Breastfeeding?

Is Stress Influencing Breastfeeding?

It is commonly known that this week (1-7 August) is the Breastfeeding Week and even if there are people who do not know about this period, the newspapers and media already got this covered by celebrating the occasion with plenty of information about how mothers should sleep, what to eat and drink while they are breastfeeding. The government took its responsibility to promote and encourage breastfeeding due to the countless benefits it has for both mother and baby.

Breastfeeding is not an easy task

Most people are tempted to believe that breastfeeding is an effortless process that the mother suffers, but the reality is much harsher. There are multiple factors that individuals fail to acknowledge, such as: the baby has to latch on properly so that the mother won’t experience later pain, if that does not happen, the mother will end up frustrated and exhausted. To add on the list, there are involved: loneliness, pain, tiredness and also worry. So, the experience of breastfeeding or even motherhood can be a difficult and lonely journey where the mother is the only one who can provide nutrition for the baby.

Obsessing over the benefits of breastfeeding can become stressful

Besides the physical distress experienced by the mother, there is also the psychological process that the mothers have to endure. Internalizing the fact that breastfeeding has incomparable benefits can make women worry too much and even feeling guilty for using formula as a replacement for natural milk.

Nimi, a software professional from Bangalore, is just one example of women who started worrying about the whole process of breastfeeding. She gave birth to a premature baby and she had to feed the baby from the get-go. However, she expressed her frustration saying that many people believe that milk comes right after the baby is born, which is false. Naturally, she felt worried that the baby did not get enough milk in the first days, but after a long talk with her lactation consultant, she learned that it is something normal.

Breastfeeding in rural and urban areas

Niloufer Ebrahim who is works as a lactation consultant at the Jehangir Wellness Centre noticed a difference between breastfeeding in urban areas and rural ones. In the rural areas, breastfeeding is considered a common thing; people find it usual to see a woman breastfeeding, while in urban areas the whole concept of breastfeeding is approached as a taboo, a mystery.

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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