28 yr old Sarita Khanna was provided the best lactation counseling and guidance that helped her overcome her apprehensions and medical issues that were hindering providing exclusive breastfeeding to her baby. A team of doctors headed by gynaecologists and supported by lactation counselors at Paras Bliss Hospital, Panchkula were able to provide medical & clinical regimes for her latching issues.
According to UNICEF, around 180,000 babies under five can be saved if they are exclusively breastfed for 6 months. In India, only 34% of the mother breastfeed their baby within the first hour of their birth and only 24% opt for exclusive breastfeeding. Research also highlights that exclusively breastfed babies are 14 times more likely to survive than non breastfed children. Lack of infrastructure for breastfeeding, unawareness, myths and beliefs and no support are reasons for mothers to not opt for exclusive breastfeeding. Most these reasons medical issues and aspects associated with latching dominate too.
According to Dr. Monica Agarwal, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Paras Bliss Hospital Panchkula, “Sarita was keen to breastfeed her child. She was also committed to exclusively breastfeed her baby, however, due to certain issues she wasn’t being able to do the same. Anxious she reached out to us and asked if she should start feeding the child supplements – A major mistake made by most mothers. Thankfully we were able to counsel her at the right time and provide her the right direction. We realised that she had inverted nipples. This a problem in which nipples are not well formed and are inverted so sucking and latching become very difficult for the baby. It was grade 1 inversion so she was taught manipulation of the nipples so that they come out. Rolling the nipples between thumb and forefinger with some lubrication 5-6 times a day was told to her. After that application of a wet towel with cold water was done. This stimulates the nipples to become erect and difficult to invert again. The inverted syringe was also given to create vacuum pressure on nipples and make them erect. She followed our advice with a lot of patience and very sincerely. It is this commitment that we are actually looking out for.”
Dr. Monica Agarwal also highlights, “Breast shells were used which are small discs with a hole in between which push the nipples forward for some time. The breast pump was also used which helped nipples come out and then baby latched on the breast. The inverted syringe was also used. In short with so many issues, she was able to feed her baby with success and give it the benefits of breast milk all because she was motivated and followed the advice patience.”
She also shares that today it is also important for women to join ante natal classes so that they can be aware about the aspects of motherhood and be prepared when their bundle of joy comes. Paras Bliss Hospital Panchkula has a specialized designed session for Ante Natal Guidance which includes diet, exercise, gynecological guidance along with lactation, delivery choice, and labour preparation. Numerous mothers and families have benefitted from the program.
Sarita shares,” The whole ordeal needed a lot of patience and persistence; however, the credit for the success doesn’t only go to me. Dr. Monica and her team has to be congratulated and thanked too It s due to their diligence and efforts that my baby could be breastfed. I shall forever be indebted to them.”