Every mother who decides to start breastfeeding her baby inevitably faces some of the breastfeeding problems like mastitis or latching problems on the way she has chosen to follow. It is very important to inform yourself, reading a lot about it, or trying to reach a lactation consultant, so you could be aware of the fact that you are not the only one, and that there is a number of women that are in the same situation.
Here is the list of the most common breastfeeding problems and, additionally, solutions to them that we recommend.
- Latching problems – Helping your baby to latch on is the best way to successful breastfeeding. How to know if he is latching well? First, he needs to have your nipple and almost the whole areola in his mouth. Moreover, your nipple should reach its soft palate. Then, you must feel pulling milk from your breasts and notice rhythmical movements of its mouth and temple. Also, listen is your baby swallowing.
- Sore nipples – In the first few days of breastfeeding, it is common to have this feeling. It takes time to get your breasts used to be a source of milk. But, if your nipples hurt a lot, you mustn’t wait. The most usual cause of sore nipples is that your baby has a shallow latch. This means that the baby is sucking the nipple and not the breast. If you notice that, take him from your breast, and start again. Besides that, using the breast pump incorrectly can cause this pain, too. Essential in this case would be to find out the right cause, because only by treating it, you could solve this painful problem.
- Breast thrush – This fungal infection caused by Candida albicans can be very boring. Your nipples are tender and even clothing can cause pain. If you are doing everything right with breastfeeding, but your nipples still hurt, you need to get some advice from your doctor’s. Recent use of antibiotics or some nipple damage that you didn’t notice are usual causes of this condition. Signs of the thrush can be shown in baby’s mouth, too. It appears as a white coating on the tongue or white spots on the cheeks. Doctors treat breast thrush with antifungal medications – creams and tablets. But, remember that you need to treat your baby’s mouth, too using oral gel or drops.
- Mastitis – This condition can make you feel like you caught a cold. It is caused by retaining milk in the milk ducts, which happens when your baby isn’t sucking properly. It also happens when you don’t nurse regularly. The breast tissue becomes inflamed and swollen, and it can be followed by the high temperature. When diagnosed, we treat mastitis in two ways, depending on the fact are you nursing or not. If not, then your doctor will suggest antibiotics. If you are breastfeeding, then taking an ibuprofen to lose pain and drinking a lot of water could be helpful.
- Engorged breast – After the delivery, you will notice that your breasts are bigger, heavier and slightly tender. This fullness becomes easier during the first two weeks and they get softer. If that doesn’t happen, they are likely to be engorged. What leads to this condition? Your milk ducts become obstructed if you wear a too tight bra or have large implants that do not leave space for anything else. To prevent it, nurse regularly, between eight and twelve times a day. Also, let your baby finish nursing on one breast before switching it to another one. It would be good to gently massage your breast while nursing. Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen could soothe your pain.
- Low milk supply – Every woman once in a breastfeeding time faces the moment when she wonders if she has enough milk for her baby. If the answer is negative, your baby might be in a risk of malnutrition.
Here is what can you do to increase your milk supply:
- Nurse on a two to three hours
- Add a pumping session between two nursing
- Don’t supplement feedings with formula or solid foods unless your doctor advises you to do it
- Try to achieve the best latch-on position
- Wake a sleeping baby to nurse if it is time
- Make a good breastfeeding diet plan
- Oversupply of milk – Although having a decreased milk supply can be a problem, the oversupply of your milk can also be disturbing for a fresh new mother. Their babies have symptoms like hiccups, colic, and vomiting. They, also gain weight faster than average babies. Having too much milk can engorge breasts or cause mastitis.
Here is what you can do to decrease your milk supply:
- Try to offer just one breast during the one nursing session
- Avoid frequent pumping
- Consider donating your milk
- Drinking a sage tea can decrease your milk production because it contains a form of estrogen
Raising children isn’t easy. This is something you knew even before you got pregnant. There will be tough moments at every step, but you will experience far more enchanting situations. Try to find some balance and to learn how to enjoy these nice hours, collecting strength to deal with those that are difficult.
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