It’s World Breastfeeding Week from the 1-7 August 2020 and on behalf of the team at Home Health, we’d like to help raise awareness with UNICEF who are calling on governments to support women’s access to help with breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding delivers countless benefits to a baby, but it isn’t always easy, and mothers need support in making it work. It can be an immensely difficult time fraught with physical and emotional struggles.
From low milk supply and breast engorgement to poor latching and sore nipples, breastfeeding can be tough. You’re not alone if you feel this way. A survey in 2019 found that half of mothers felt like failures as a result of struggling to breastfeed.
And there’s always Google! With 130 million results in less than a second, it’s certainly a popular subject to search.
We took a look at the top three ‘Can I?’ questions in Google related to breastfeeding and here they are (with answers).
Whilst the chances are much lower when breastfeeding, you can get pregnant from as little as three weeks after the birth of your baby. If you don’t want to get pregnant again that quickly, it is advised that you take contraception or monitor your fertility levels using a home ovulation test.
Let’s be clear – breastmilk and alcohol don’t mix! There is no safe amount of alcohol that can be passed to your baby. However, if after 9 months of pregnancy you want the occasional celebratory drink, you could use these breastmilk alcohol testing strips, which can give you confidence that you aren’t passing that alcohol to your baby when you breastfeed.
Yes, you can, as only a small amount gets into the breastmilk, according to advice from the NHS website. New mothers can suffer from pain when breastfeeding from sore nipples or mastitis. The advice is to rest, drink fluids, place a warm and wet cloth on the breast, and take Paracetamol or Ibuprofen if needed. Only take the recommended dose for the shortest time. If your baby was born prematurely, has a low birth weight or medical condition, consult your GP first.
In addition to the normal breastfeeding questions, Covid-19 has brought additional stress to mothers who, until recently, couldn’t take partners to antenatal appointments. Even now, mothers continue to suffer extra worry surrounding the virus.
Currently, there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be passed to the baby through breastmilk although the NHS is recommending the following precautions:
The overriding advice is to ask for help. Don’t suffer or worry alone. There are friendly, knowledgeable experts waiting to help. Also remember to rest, eat and drink – if you don’t look after yourself, you’ll find it much harder to look after your baby. And take one day at a time. If it’s tough today, try again tomorrow.