5 Breastfeeding Problems And Helpful Solutions
Breastfeeding is a natural way to feed your baby. It is the way we have been biologically designed. Our breasts recognise our pregnancy and provide breast milk to feed the baby once they are born. However, just because it is natural does not automatically mean that it is without challenges.
Many women experience obstacles when it comes to breastfeeding, particularly in the beginning days. Just like any new skill, it takes time and patience to reach a stage where things work well. It is a completely new experience for you and the baby but together you will learn and it will come to be one of your most cherished experiences of motherhood.
Some women find breastfeeding really straightforward and they do not experience any issues at all. If you are experiencing challenges we are confident that there is a helpful breastfeeding solution to your breastfeeding issue.
It Hurts When My Baby Latches
It is normal to feel discomfort in your nipples when you first begin breastfeeding. This may be especially true if you are a first-time breastfeeder as the entire experience will feel very new. If the pain is prolonged by more than one minute it is a good idea to have your latch checked by a trained lactation counsellor or consultant. Quite often you may need to consider a different position when feeding and these professionals can show you many tips and tricks to help you achieve this. In some cases, the pain may be due to your nipples being dry and irritated. A balm such as Lanolin can be applied between feeds to help soothe your nipples.
I Have A Blocked Duct
Do you have pain in a very specific area of your breast? Is it hot and hard? The likelihood is that this is a clogged or blocked duct and it is very common. It happens when the milk does not completely drain after every feed. It may also happen if you are wearing tight clothing. A blocked duct is not harmful to your baby but can cause you quite a bit of discomfort. Applying a warm compress and massaging the area should do the trick. Feed as normal and keep an eye out for signs of fever as a blocked duct can develop into Mastitis which will require antibiotics from your GP.
You have probably had this in the past but this is a whole new experience if your baby now has thrush in their mouth and it has spread to your nipples through breastfeeding. The rash can be itchy and uncomfortable and will require antifungal medication from your GP. It is important that both you and the baby are treated or you will continue to spread it to each other.
Low Milk Supply
Has someone told you that your baby is hungry? Have they highlighted that your breast milk is not enough for the baby and you need to top up with formula? This is rarely the case. Breastfeeding is supply and demand and introducing formula is a counter-productive way of helping to increase your supply. Continue to feed on demand and have a lactation consultant check your latch to make sure that your baby is feeding effectively if your PHN is concerned about your baby’s weight gain.
I Have Flat Nipples
If you have inverted or flat nipples your baby can have difficulty latching and feeding well. This affects a huge amount of women and is absolutely not a reason to give up. Hand expressing before the baby latches can be helpful as the milk begins to flow before they latch. In some cases nipple shields are helpful if they are used short term as the baby’s tiny mouth may latch to a silicone shield easier in those first few weeks before being able to latch directly on to your breast. Speak to your Midwife or Lactation Consultant about this and they will be able to give you some guidance.
Written by Tracey Quinn staff writer at FFHQ who also blogs at www.loveofliving.ie.