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A guide to the importance of postpartum recovery for achieving successful and stress-free breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding, a natural and vital method to nourish and bond with your newborn baby, can present challenges for new moms. Often overlooked, postpartum recovery – the crucial process of healing physically and emotionally after childbirth – plays a significant role in the well-being of new moms. Despite its importance, postpartum recovery is not frequently discussed, leading to difficulties in establishing and maintaining successful breastfeeding. Many new moms struggle due to the lack of support and education surrounding postpartum recovery, impacting both their physical and emotional health.

During this year’s Breastfeeding Week, Lizeth Kruger, Dis-Chem Baby City’s National Clinic Executive, shines 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,” says Kruger.

She offers the following guidelines that contribute to a positive breastfeeding experience.

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Physical and pain recovery

Rest, rest, rest. Fatigue is real. New moms 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.

Emotional support

Equally important is emotional well-being which plays a significant role in breastfeeding. Supportive partners, family members and healthcare providers can offer emotional support, encouragement, and reassurance, which helps alleviate stress and anxiety, creating a conducive environment for successful latching.

Healthcare professionals, a helping hand

Healthcare professionals play a vital role in postpartum recovery support and education by providing personalised guidance. This means addressing concerns, offering practical tips and referring moms to additional resources as needed.

New mums especially do not always get latching and breastfeeding techniques the first time. Be patient with yourself and your baby. If milk supply is challenging, seek assistance from your doctor or nurse.

Building confidence

Postpartum recovery support and education helps instil confidence in new mothers, empowering them to overcome challenges. Mothers who feel well-supported and knowledgeable, are more likely to persist with breastfeeding and navigate difficulties successfully.

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By placing emphasis on their own wellbeing, moms can effectively establish and sustain a healthy milk supply, guaranteeing their infants receive ample nourishment, which leads to extended breastfeeding periods. When mothers receive the essential support and education, they are more inclined to breastfeed exclusively and continue breastfeeding for the recommended duration, offering their babies the maximum health advantages.