Breastfeeding is a natural and essential way to nourish and bond with a newborn baby, yet this is often a challenge for new mothers.
Postpartum recovery, the physical and emotional process of healing after childbirth, is not often spoken about, but it is hugely important for both the physical and emotional health of new mothers.
Many new mothers face challenges in establishing and maintaining successful breastfeeding due to a lack of postpartum recovery support and education.
During this year’s Breastfeeding Week, Lizeth Kruger, Dis-Chem Baby City’s National Clinic Executive is shining the spotlight on the importance of postpartum recovery education and its impact on breastfeeding outcomes.
“This year’s theme “Enabling breastfeeding: making a difference for working parents,” presents the perfect opportunity to raise awareness on postpartum recovery and offer advice that supports mothers and optimises their ability to breastfeed,” said Kruger.
She offers the following guidelines which contribute to a positive breastfeeding experience.
Physical and pain recovery
Rest, rest, rest. Fatigue is real. New mothers should not be afraid to ask for help from family and friends.
Physical recovery is hugely important as it can take several weeks or months for a woman's body to fully recover from childbirth.
Physical pain is also a reality from the process of birthing a baby including stitches or a caesarean section operation which adds to discomfort for mothers.
Medication for pain management is therefore important. Coupled with good nutrition and rest, this increases breastfeeding success.
Equally important is emotional wellbeing which plays a significant role in breastfeeding.
Supportive partners, family members and healthcare providers can offer emotional support, encouragement, and reassurance, which help alleviate stress and anxiety, creating a conducive environment for successful breastfeeding.
Mothers who are well-rested and nourished are more likely to have more energy to produce an ample milk supply and effectively breastfeed their infants.
Well-informed mothers are more likely to approach breastfeeding with confidence and have a higher chance of success.
Healthcare professionals, a helping hand
Healthcare professionals play a vital role in postpartum recovery support and education by providing personalised guidance, addressing concerns, offering practical tips and referring mothers to additional resources as needed.
New moms especially do not always get latching and breastfeeding techniques the first time. Be patient with yourself and your baby.
If milk supply is challenging, get in touch with your doctor or nurse at your healthcare clinic for assistance.
Remember you are not a failure and that it is not your fault if baby is fussy and not feeding.
Help is always on hand and most nurses are well equipped to assist with breastfeeding, postpartum recovery, proper nutrition, hydration, and sleep hygiene, which all contributes to overall well-being and optimal milk production.
By prioritising comprehensive postpartum support and education, healthcare professionals significantly enhance breastfeeding outcomes.
Postpartum recovery support and education help instil confidence in new mothers, empowering them to overcome breastfeeding challenges.
Mothers who feel well-supported and knowledgeable, are more likely to persist with breastfeeding and navigate difficulties successfully.
When mothers prioritise their own wellbeing, they can establish and maintain a healthy milk supply, ensuring their infants receive sufficient nourishment contributing to prolonged breastfeeding.
Mothers who receive the necessary support and education are more likely to breastfeed exclusively and continue breastfeeding for the recommended duration, providing their infants with optimal health benefits.