"Armenian caring" and breastfeeding | Live Broadcast

The world lives in a new reality, where new "game rules" apply.

UNICEF Armenia
Մայրը ծննդատան սենյակում կրծքով է կերակրում իր փոքրիկին, իսկ հայրը հուզված գրկել է երկուսին:
UNICEF Armenia/2016/Pirozzi
20 August 2020

Through live broadcasts on UNICEF social platforms, together with different professionals we try to help you to quickly overcome, with ease, the possible physical and psychological problems in this new situation, and not let them disrupt your normal life.

The next topic is breastfeeding. We present several observations of the specialist, which the breastfeeding mothers face.


Breastfeeding and the postpartum depression

After nine months of pregnancy and giving birth, breastfeeding is a new challenge, especially for the first time mother. We also know that not in every woman’s case will the process start and go on smoothly, without any complications. Many women also have postpartum depression; which among the primary causes are social environment factors such as: the environment the mother lives in, how she is treated, does she feel loved, respected, and so on. Even this is enough to understand that the mother needs support. This is where the educated and unconditional care of the husband and family members is needed; so that the very new mother can quickly overcome her fears and compulsive thoughts.


"Armenian" caring

I want to bring a few examples that are very typical for our society. Sometimes, due to loving the mother very much, wanting to take care of her, or sometimes not trusting her, the women from older generations around the inexperienced mother can often take the child from the mother's arms. It may seem simple and innocent, but if it becomes a habit, it inadvertently disturbs the development of emotional connection between the mother and the child. And that connection - that dialogue between bodies and souls, is extremely necessary, so that the mother and the child start understanding each other and start "cooperating".


When everyone is a teacher ...

Unnecessary advice is another obstacle for inexperienced mothers. Regardless of the mother's level of awareness, many women become anxious after giving birth, which is explained by an increased sense of responsibility. Especially first-time mothers and those whose children have delays in growth and development, or the baby was born prematurely. These mothers have millions of fears and worries and they are much easier to be exposed to various influences. They may listen to and follow advice that is not always correct. Something which cannobe said about mothers of a second or third child, is that they are more confident and able to distinguish between following the advice and ignoring it.


COVID-19: The new reality

-In addition to mothers navigating seemingly regular circumstances mentioned above, the COVID-19 epidemic has been added - a new cause of anxiety, fears and doubts.

Many mothers today are wondering if it is possible to feed their baby if they become infected with COVID-19. In this case, too, the imaginary opinions and advice should be ignored, and only the instructions of specialists should be followed. Our country is guided by the WHO approaches in this issue, that is, to continue breastfeeding in case of infection with COVID-19 as the dangers of stopping breastfeeding are greater and more serious than the possible dangers caused by COVID-19.

Of course, there are vexatious people, but one thing must be understood: we know what to do to avoid the infection - wash your hands frequently, disinfect hands and frequently used surfaces, maintain social distance, wear a mask. Imagine if we didn’t know all of this, or in other words, did not know the means of preventing the infection, what would be our reaction in that case? But we know what to do, the one who follows the rules is certainly less worried about his health than the one who does not follow the rules.

By the way, being over-informed contributes to the emergence of compulsive thoughts. I know people, who read, watch, listen and discuss materials related to the epidemic from dawn until dusk. It is a pointless exercise. Yes, it is important to know, but it should not take up the most of your day. Get acquainted with the official news, read one or two interesting articles? Well, that is enough. Talk less, discuss less news, or new deaths. These days, mental health is as important as physical health. Do not let your mind and soul be overloaded with useless information.


Note the positive

There is one good thing, though, in all of this. Following the rules and restrictions taken to prevent the epidemic, people visit each other much less today. It can be used by women who have just given birth: fewer guests, less advice, reprimands and criticism.

If, however, the mother feels pressure, she must understand one thing: she and the child are one team; she must be firm and defend her point of view, approaches and principles.


What should the dad do ...?

The role of husband and father is very important. It should be noted that women who help mothers often demean the role of fathers and seem to push them out of the process of caring for their children. Meanwhile, the men play an equally important role in the development of the breastfeeding process. When we say “to support the mother,” we first mean the man, whose care and attention can solve many problems easily and calmly.

One thing is for sure, nature has made sure that mothers do not need any extra food during the first months of the baby's life. The mother and only the mother can give her child the best food in the world, and one of the most essential factors hindering her, is the lack of trust. If you do not disturb the mother with unnecessary remarks, tips and hints, the process of breastfeeding will surely be regulated very quickly.


Three conditions:

If you love your child, you should take care of yourself, your health, and your feelings. It is not right to sacrifice in order to prove something, to do something you do not want, at the same time depriving yourself of the need of having some privacy with your child at a specific moment.

You are not alone, you have a team, and your team is your child. If the father or another family member joins that team, it will be even better.

Never blame yourself. There are many difficulties and it is natural that something will not work out or will not work out the way you would like. You need to be sure that what you are doing is right and that if you need help, you can turn to people you trust. But if you notice a prolonged decline in mood, lack of joy in communicating with the baby, a deep sense of guilt, a desire to cry for a long time, sleep disorders, then most likely you are dealing with postpartum depression. Make sure to seek professional help.


You can read this article in Armenian and watch the live recording here

This article is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government