Breastfeeding Stories With Farrah Shakeel

1) How do you feel about breastfeeding?
It is extremely important to me. The feeling of nourishing your child, the bond it develops, is unmatched. It’s hard but so fulfilling! I have fought against my health issues to do it for my second child.

2) Any totkas you used to increase your milk supply?
None. With my first, I was naturally inclined to drink a lot of milk and eat saunf and they say saunf boosts milk production. I wouldn’t know if that was the case why I did produce a lot then. With my second I have also not paid much attention, and Alhamdulillah it has been going well.

3) Is it common to have uneven milk supply?
If you mean from one breast to the other, then certainly! Everyone I know has agreed they have a good side 😛

4) What do I do if my baby doesn’t latch right away?
Persistence, patience, persistence. If it’s meant to happen, your milk supply is good and on, and the baby has no issues (e.g., mouth thrush), it WILL happen. It took me 2-3 weeks to properly establish it the second time around.

5) Is it normal to not have a menstrual cycle while breastfeeding?
Absolutely! With my first, I got my periods after 10 months of giving birth, and that is about when I stopped feeding as well. With my second I got them at the third month. I’m still feeding her at 6+ months.

6) Isn’t breastfeeding supposed to be easy?
Not at all. It has its conveniences like not having to manage bottles and formula, and the perfect milk is always available for my baby. I don’t have to get out of bed at night. But breastfeeding has emotional and physical impacts too. It can also hurt in the beginning. Overflow and wet clothes can be annoying too. Ailments like painful joints are so common. Feeling tied to your baby, not being able to go anywhere or having limited time can ultimately become annoying. Plus, you might have to get used to, or overcoming the fear of feeding in public.

7) What are the challenges for working women who breastfeed?
Luckily I haven’t been working during these times. But I have massive respect for those who manage this. Pumping, expressing, storing can be exhausting.

8) Have you clusterfed? How is it?
I did not know this term, but after looking it up I feel that’s what I have been doing non-stop with this second one of mine. I am not rigid or the scheduling kind with feeds – a big benefit of breastfeeding – I’ve been feeding on demand. When my second one was younger, I was feeding almost every hour, around the 24-hour clock. Nowadays she is feeding hourly between 4:30 am and 8:30 am. Yes, I want to pull my hair out sometimes and yes, I’ve broken down and cried because of it.

9) How do you manage the night shift?
Godspeed! And with an understanding, very helping husband. Shukar Alhamdulillah. Oh the tears he has wiped :’D

10) Any advice for soon to be mommies about breastfeeding?
DEFINITELY keep your baby on one bottle a day so weaning is easier when you feel you’ve had enough, or when your supply falls. Talk to your gynaecologist/paediatrician if you’re having any trouble establishing it. Massage, warm towels, warm baths, taking care of nipples so they don’t get chapped. But at the end of the day, if it still doesn’t happen, then don’t kill yourself over it – your motherhood won’t be weighed on any breastfeeding championship scale.

To watch the full interview, visit the link below:

Photography Credits: @fatimaarifphotography

Amna Batool

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