Common breastfeeding problems | Breastfeeding is natural, but it causes discomfort for many new moms. A lack of knowledge can force a new mother to give up on breastfeeding or fall into postpartum depression. Unless there is an underlying medical condition, all mothers should be able to breastfeed their babies. In this guide, we’ll provide solutions for initial breastfeeding problems.
The benefits of mother feed are immense for both mother and baby. World Health Organization suggests exclusive breastfeeding for the duration of the first six months.
Common Breastfeeding Problems and Solutions:
Cracked nipples and nipple pain:
Experiencing nipple pain in the first few seconds of breastfeeding is normal but overall it should not be a painful experience. Extended nipple pain and cracks are usually a result of a poor baby latch.
- Try a different position and switch sides at each feed.
- Consult with your gynecologist or a lactation consultant to check the latch.
- A gynecologist can prescribe a safe nursing ointment like lansinoh lanolin to heal the cracks and painkillers.
- Wear loose clothing and keep nipples clean and dry.
An incorrect latch and latching struggles:
A good latch means the baby sucks on the lower areola along with the nipple to stimulate milk ducts. But if feeding is painful and you hear clicking sounds, it means the baby is sucking onto the nipple only. Also, a newborn can experience difficulty if the mother has flat or inverted nipples.
- A proper latching technique takes some time to master. Try holding baby in a different position; baby should feel comfortable with his chin against you and nose free to breathe.
- A gynecologist can help you figure out the right position for your baby.
- To fix the flat or inverted nipple, your care provider can suggest using a breast pump for suction or a nipple shield for feed support.
- Your gynecologist or pediatrician will examine the baby for tongue or lip tie (conditions that prevent the baby from a good nursing grip).
Breast Engorgement: Common Breastfeeding Problems
Breasts get very hard and painful when the milk comes in 3-4 days. Engorgement subsides within a day or two after the supply adjusts to the need and disappears entirely in a couple of weeks.
- Try massaging breasts and remove milk by breastfeeding. Expressing milk with a breast pump or hands can also relieve the pain.
- Feed baby on demand.
- Use warm pads before feeding and cold pads after.
Blocked milk ducts and mastitis:
When a milk duct gets blocked, it makes a red and tender spot on the breast.
- Using warm compresses and massaging while feeding can help unclog the milk ducts.
Chills and fever with the red lump is a sign of mastitis infection.
- See your gynecologist immediately, who will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
Low milk supply:
It requires a few days for the milk supply to establish. If the baby is not losing much weight and producing enough wet and dirty diapers a day, you should not worry.
- Feed baby often, it will stimulate milk supply–based on demand and supply principle.
- Keep up with pediatric appointments to ensure the baby’s well-being.
- Your gynecologist will guide you on a nutritional diet and prescribe supplements.
These breastfeeding problems are short-lived. With knowledge and assistance from your gynecologist, you can overcome these problems. Our maternal-child care plans provide you help to navigate through these challenges successfully.
Buy latest breastfeeding products from our section Breastfeeding Aids.