In the coming months, MyMama will be launching a number of initiatives to promote breastfeeding and, more importantly, provide support, practical information and tips to mums who embark on this journey. This article penned by Multi-Mam, reminds us of how multi-faceted motherhood is... and even when elbow-deep in daily challenges, to always remember to be true to ourselves.
Motherhood has always been treated like an umbrella term, as if one word could hold the meaning of all that it entails. Perhaps you will agree with us that in this case, it’s a rather ambitious feat that is doomed to fail. It is a word that brings forth within us a hard to describe sense of contentment, even to those not yet mothers themselves, the feeling of softness against our skin, that 'baby smell', the power of the strongest form of love, so much love, known to mankind.
And yet, this moment of sheer beauty is also a source of much worry, an anxious period bound by expectations, differing opinions, contradicting advice. It’s an overwhelming period all right, a state of constant change, a roller-coaster of emotions. Today, we’re not here to guide you through these stages – we feel they’re too different for every mother to pin down to strict phases. Today, we wish to provide more practical information about one such expectation tied to motherhood - BREASTFEEDING.
Whether a mother decides to breastfeed or not is entirely up to her. Some women decide not to, some women find they cannot. Whatever the reason, every choice is to be respected and admired. For those who wish to breastfeed, or are currently breastfeeding, we at Multi-Mam would like to walk you through the benefits of breastfeeding, the challenges that come with it, as well as three of our natural products that will ease breastfeeding, helping you cherish this intimate moment that has been experienced for millennia.
We have no doubt that this will sound like a broken record to you, so we will keep it succinct, sticking to the main benefits of breastfeeding.
Breast milk is extraordinarily adaptive, adjusting the nutrients it contains (over a 200 of them) according to your baby’s needs.
Breastfeeding passes on the antibodies you would have accumulated during your lifetime to your own baby. This naturally improves your baby’s immune system, decreasing its chances of falling ill to a host of afflictions, ranging from infections to allergies, and a large number of diseases – to name but a few.
Breast milk is soothing. The hormones present can help even a teething baby find relief, as well as a sense of general well-being. And if that were not enough, breastfed babies have been found to score higher at IQ tests, thanks to the milk’s properties which aid in brain development.
But perhaps one of the most important aspects that has no tangible result, is the bond that is created between mother and baby, the sense of security and warmth that truly has no price.
No good thing comes without challenges, right? We’ll focus on the biggest challenge here, the one so many mothers find difficult with when first setting out on this extraordinary experience - dry and cracked nipples.
If your baby is sucking on the nipple rather than the breast tissue behind the nipple, this causes irritation and consequently dry and cracked nipples. Help on how to help your baby latch is always available at hospital - ask for a lactation consultant/midwife who will guide you in those early days.
A few other causes for you to watch out for, are the use of perfumes washing gels and soap (which tend to dry out the sensitive area around your nipples), as well as tight bras. Nipples should always be left to dry after breastfeeding to avoid irritation caused by rubbing against your bra.
Multi-Mam Balm (find it HERE): Multi-Mam Balm targets the nipple area, protecting before and during breastfeeding. When a mummy breastfeeds, the process naturally removes skin supplements and natural fat from around the area. The balm replaces this, preventing cracked nipples. It is completely lanolin-free, being a plant-based alternative to such remedies. It is non-sticky, and has no taste or smell so you can breastfeed as normal.
Unfortunately, many mummies skip the precautionary measures, opting to treat once the harm is done. Multi-Mam Balm is the product of the age-old adage, 'Prevention is better than Cure'.
Directions: During the last month of pregnancy, it is advisable to start applying Multi-Mam Balm by applying a small amount to the nipple area. This is to be carried on in between breastfeeds. There is no need to wipe off the product before feeding.
Multi-Mam Compresses (find it HERE): For those who might have already started breastfeeding, Multi-Mam Compresses bring relief to sore nipples, soothing and optimizing the condition of the skin. Not content with just the relieving aspect (the bio-active properties enhance the healing process), the Compresses will also prevent any infections which might develop as a result of breastfeeding, giving mummies a 360 degree solution for all their breast-woes. And it’s all natural ingredients inside!
Directions: The Compress is applied directly to the nipple area after each feed for approx 30 mins. A good tip is to place the Multi-Mam Compresses in the fridge for an extra cooling, soothing effect (especially during the summer months!) Remove the Compress, ideally apply Multi-Mam Balm and carry on breastfeeding.
Perhaps you might never really be prepared for all that motherhood entails (who is?), but there is help out there should you ask for it. Multi-Mam natural products are easily accessible, found in all pharmacies and most baby shops around Malta and Gozo, or ONLINE should you wish to opt for free, speedy delivery to your door.
Being a mother is above all being yourself. Yourself to experience, cherish, to take the final decision after heeding so much advice, yourself to raise and nurture. You’re a mother, you’re a woman, you are YOU. Don’t forget that.