Breastfeeding after IVF delivery: What you should know

breastfeeding, ivf

A stressful mother will often find it difficult to lactate. (Source: Getty Images)

By Dr Shweta Goswami

Breastfeeding is a natural process. However, in many cases, after delivery the mother's body undergoes a lot of changes that makes breastfeeding a little difficult, especially if you had cesarean delivery. But this does not at all mean that you should give up on breastfeeding. Stress, hormonal imbalances and fatigue are very normal for a new mother and some mothers even face postpartum depression that can interfere with breast milk production.

During breastfeeding you are no less than a milk making machine 24x7. First of all, make sure to increase your water intake. This is extremely important when you are breastfeeding your newborn. If you stay hydrated more milk will be produced, which will help you feel energetic the whole day too. Keep your meals simple yet nutritious. Always keep fresh fruits and vegetables at home so that when you feel hungry you do not grab any snack or cookies or high and empty calorie food items.

There are some super foods for breastfeeding mothers to increase milk supply and help you feel energetic throughout the day too.

· Goon or edible gum

· Ajwain or carom seeds

· Almonds

· Sauf or fennel

· Til or sesame

· Coconut

· Methi or fenugreek

What to do if you face any issues after IVF delivery

Remove stress from your life

First of all, stop feeling too much stressed. Though it is very normal to feel stressed out after delivery especially if it's your first baby, stress at this time could hamper breastfeeding. Remember, a stressful mother will often find it difficult to lactate or even help the baby latch on correctly. Practice deep breathing or soak in your tub to feel the water and try to do everything that keeps you calm and relaxed.

Read| Why IVF mothers have trouble breastfeeding their baby

Eat the right foods

It is very important for you to eat right and good foods whatever you eat directly influences your breast milk production so try to have a balanced diet, stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids. All these things help to boost milk production and help a mother get on with breastfeeding.

Take small breaks from breastfeeding

If your child suckles frequently, production of milk could be hampered though the action helps to produce milk. But sitting for long hours with the baby at your breast can only make it more stressful and hampers with breast milk production. So, take small breaks after feeding; let the milk production begin again and till then hand over your baby to your spouse or a relative, while you sit back and relax. This will help you lactate well.

Take folic acid and pills on time

Folic acid is not just needed during pregnancy, but also during breastfeeding. But before jumping to any conclusions do consult your doctor to know if you need supplements.

Breastfeeding is the best thing that can happen to both you and your baby in the first year. Knowing the benefits help you make the most of the moments.

(The writer is Medical Director at Zeeva Fertility Clinic and Sr. Consultant IVF from Jaypee Hospital Noida.)